Mormonism Unveiled


Mormonism Unvailed Pratt, Parley P. (Parley Parker, 1807-1857)

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Pratt, Parley P. Mormonism Unveiled: Zion’s Watchman Unmasked, and its Editor, Mr. L. R. Sunderland, Exposed: Truth Vindicated: the Devil Mad, and Priestcraft in Danger! New York: O. Pratt and E. Fordham, 1838.


“And all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”—Rev. xxi: 8.

“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.”—Rev. xxi: 27.

“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”—Rev. xxii: 15.

WHEN the public are overwhelmed with lying slanders of every description concerning the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The inquiry often arises, why do the Elders of the Church hold their peace, instead of contradicting the various falsehoods, which are published concerning them and their principles? The answer is, it would require a standing army of writers, and printers in constant employ; for no sooner are our enemies detected in one falsehood, than a thousand more are put in circulation by them: and there are many who love a lie so much more than the truth, that we are quite willing they should enjoy their strong delusion; because, they believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness; and we know, that those who are seeking for truth, will judge for themselves, by an examination of our books, and not allow our opposers to judge for them. What ideas would be formed of the Bible, by one who had never read the book himself; but who trusted altogether to the statements of Thomas Paine, and other Infidel writers concerning it? We propose in this work, to prove to every candid mind, that whether our principles be true or false, Mr. Sunderland is guilty of the most glaring falsehoods, misrepresentations, and lying slanders, that ever disgraced humanity; and that he has palmed upon his deluded readers, such wilful and barefaced imposition, that he is justly ranked among dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, and idolaters; and no longer fit [3] to fill any place in civilized society; much less to stand at the head of a paper, under the sacred title of “Zion’s Watchman.” If his readers do not dismiss his paper immediately, after coming to a knowledge of his wickedness, they will be set down as partakers of his evil deeds; and if they hold him any longer in fellowship either as a christian or a member of society, the proverb will be fulfilled upon them, “that a man is known by the company he keeps.”

We will now proceed to an examination of “Mormonism,” as published by him in the “Zion’s Watchman.”

First he enquires, “What is Mormonism?” then proposes to answer, by an appeal to the books, which they have published concerning themselves. First, the Book of Mormon, published 1836, printed by Grandin. Now, Mr. S., the book to which you refer, was published, and dated 1830; making a difference of six years. You say, first, “All Mormons profess to act under the infallable inspiration of God; and to have power to work miracles, such as the interpretation of languages they have never learned; healing the sick, and raising the dead.” And you attempt to prove it by a quotation from the “Voice of Warning,” by P. P. Pratt, pages 118 and 119. Now Mr. Sunderland, you verily know, that raising the dead, is not mentioned in the “Voice of Warning,” in connection with the spiritual gifts, bestowed upon the members of the Church, Ancient or Modern.

And that, raising the dead, is not included in the spiritual gifts, mentioned by the Apostle, in his writings to any of the Churches; neither is raising the dead included in the signs, which the Saviour promised should follow them that believe, Mark, c. 16: v. 17, 18; consequently, we must think, you intended to misrepresent, and that you are possessed of a lying spirit. It is true, there are a few instances of raising the dead, mentioned in Scripture, but nowhere included among the spiritual gifts enjoyed by the members of the Church; and you know too that the “Voice of Warning” does not argue, that every member should possess all the gifts, but that the Church should have [4] all the gifts distributed among them, dividing to them severally as Christ will, and that God is the author of that principle, and not Mr. Pratt.

2d. Says Mr. Sunderland, “they profess to have intercourse with the angels of God, and affirm that they frequently see them, and have messages from God thro’ them.”

Very good, Mr. S. this is what the Saints professed in all ages of the world, in every country, among every nation, and under every dispensation of God to man, whether Patriarchal, Mosaic, or Christian; and one who does not believe in such enjoyments, is an infidel and not a believer of revelation in any shape.

3d. Mr. S. says, “They claim to be the only true Church, all other churches are of Anti-Christ, and exposed to God’s eternal displeasure.” Pray, Mr. Sunderland, how many churches, or doctrines, and religious systems, has the spirit of truth instituted among men? How many systems did the Apostles acknowledge among men ? I reply one, and only one, and that one, was a system of direct Inspiration, which put men in possession of the gifts, and power of God.

All others were false religions. How many systems do the Latter Day Saints acknowledge to be true? I answer, only one, and that one is a system, which puts men in possession of the gifts and power of God; and of course, God is not well pleased with any other.

Mr. S. further quotes, “The only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth,” “with which I, the Lord, am well pleased; speaking unto the Church collectively, and not individually.” Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 1. Now, Mr. S. why did you stop so short with the word earth, in this quotation? Why not finish the sentence, so the idea might be conveyed, which the author intended? Does it not amount to a falsehood, for you to quote half an idea, so as to leave a wrong impression on the mind of your readers, and thus delude them? Again, they say,”’ says Mr. S. “That God has sent down from heaven, a city, called the New Jerusalem, and located it in the Western boundaries of Missouri, where he requires all his true fol-[5] lowers to go, under pain of his wrath.” As proof of this, Mr. S. quotes, Voice of Warning, page 197, which reads thus, “America is a chosen land of the Lord above every other land; it is the place of New Jerusalem, which shall come down from God out of Heaven, upon the earth,” “when renewed.”– Now, Mr. S. why did you omit the words, when renewed, in our quotation of this page? And why did you lie again, by converting the word shall into has, in the conclusion you draw from the quotation on this subject? The one expresses something future, which will happen upon the new earth, when time is no longer. The other conveys an idea of a city, which has already descended, which is perfectly ridiculous; and none but the most abandoned and hardened of liars, could possibly have so misrepresented another’s statement. And again, says Mr. S. “Where he requires all his true followers to go, under pain of his wrath.” What wrath, Mr. S.? I know of no requirement, in any of our books, which compels men to go there or any where else, under pain of any wrath, except the troubles of a temporal nature, which shall befal the Nations. And, if God has provided the great West for a refuge, from such wrath, it is no more than he has done for his saints in former ages. Think of Noah, Lot and many others, who received revelations, directing them to a temporal refuge, from the calamities which befel the wicked: and remember, it must be LIKEWISE in the days of the coming of the Son of man. Indeed, our revelations are backed by the political papers of the Eastern cities. They give the same advice now which the Lord gave seven years ago, namely, that those who are in distress flee to the West, and even advise that those who are unable to go should be assisted in going.

Mr. S. makes three other quotations from our books on this subject, which all go to prove something future, concerning a New Jerusalem, and not at all favoring the lie which he states concerning a city which has come down.

Pray Mr. S. what delusion is there in moving West, [6] and building a city, called “Zion,” or “New Jerusalem,” with a Temple or Sanctuary in the midst? when it is an event which all the Prophets have predicted.—But, says Mr. S. the cruelty of requiring all to go there. But here you are at war with the 60th chapter of Isaiah, which declares, concerning a city of zion, not only that nations and kings should be gathered unto it; but the nation and kingdom which will not serve THEE, shall perish and be utterly wasted.

But again, Mr. S. why did you break off in the middle of the subject, concerning the sheding of blood!—Thus sir, you are likely to be an instrument, by your lying and deception, to cause our blood to flow, in fulfilment of this revelation. Had you quoted the whole subject, it would have forbidden us to shed blood, and foretold that our enemies would shed ours; which has actually been fulfilled; be the revelation true or false.

“They affirm,” says Mr. S. that “their books, preaching, pretended prophecies, and revelations, are Scripture, and of equal authority with the Bible.”—This is another falsehood, for we lay no stress on PRETENDED prophecies or revelations; but rely on real ones. Now, I ask, if the word of the Lord, spoken by the Holy Ghost, is not equal in authority with the Scriptures? Or, what authority has the Scripture more than that? “They pretend,” says Mr. S. “to have power to give the Holy Ghost to those on whom they lay their hands for this purpose.” what fault can be found with that ordinance, more than with baptism or any other duty? seeing it is according to the New Testament pattern. Which is the best, Mr. S. to do according to the pattern, or to cry, Lord, Lord, while we teach for doctrines, the commandments of men?

Mr. S. finds fault, because all are condemned, who reject the message which God has sent us to preach.—But, I enquire, did God ever send a man to preach the gospel and baptize; and then save those who would not obey it?

Mr. S. remarks, that Mormonism, Mahommedism, the French Prophets, the Shakers, Swedenborg, and [7] others, have a kind of family likeness, and have equal claims to divine origin. But wherein are they alike? Says, Mr. S. they all pretend to receive revelations, prophecies, ministering of angels, &c. Well, Mr. S. you may include all the Prophets and Apostles, both true and false, which ever made their appearance among men, and all that ever will come, in this family likeness. Paul and Peter are just like the rest in this respect. All, both true and false, have these peculiar characteristics, namely, they pretend to prophecies, visions, revelations, &c.; therefore, your rule of judging is this—beware of false prophets; you shall know them by their fruits; all who have visions, prophecies, revelations, angels, &c. are false; and I would add, all who do not have any of them are false of course. And so, between us both, nothing would be left but atheism. But I like the old rule best, I mean the rule given by John: “whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God,” “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son.” Now, by this rule, I reject Mahomet, first, because he had no testimony but his own; and secondly, because his doctrines agree not with the Law and the Testimony. I reject the French Prophets, for the same reason, as to doctrine; and because their predictions were unscriptural, and did not come to pass.

I reject Ann Lee, first, because God never sent a dispensation by a woman.

Second, she forbid to marry. Third, she pretended Christ had come the second time according to promise, in her person. Fourth, she denied the resurrection of the body.

Fifth, she laid aside all the ordinances of the gospel.

I reject Swedenborg, because he mistifies the Scriptures, and does away the ordinances of the gospel; and lastly, I reject methodism, and other systems, because they do away the power and gifts of God, and change the ordinances of the gospel.

But when I come to Mormonism, it sets in order in their ancient purity, all the ordinances, gifts and pow-[8] ers, and thus restores the pure doctrine of Christ.—This, Mr. S. proves in his various quotations, and references to our doctrine, ordinances, &c. notwithstanding his endeavors to throw a shadow of darkness over them.

Mr. Sunderland speaks of the power of imagination over the nervous system, in regard to the healing of diseases; and as many in the city of New-York and other places, have been healed by faith in the name of Jesus, and the laying on of hands; I am pleased that imagination has such power. For my part, if I can persuade people to imagine themselves well, it answers every purpose necessary to their bodily comfort, and this power of imagination has been many times manifested in this city of late; even in the persons of infants of from three to eight months old. But probably, Mr. S. would call them impostors, who were so interested in Mormonism, that they only pretended to be healed, in order to palm off a deception.

Mr. S complains of the Mormonites professing to be inspired, and placing themselves on a level with the Apostles; this, we acknowledge of course, for they were men of Adam’s fallen race, just like every body else by nature; and all they did was by faith in Jesus Christ through the grace of God given; and I know of nothing but equality in the Church of Christ, for one is there Master, and they are all brethren.

Mr. Sunderland seems to hold forth two kinds of inspiration; the one he calls Plenary Inspiration. The other is that by which sinners are converted, the heart changed, &c. This last he seems to think is liable to mistakes or errors, and is not above the light of nature. As to Plenary Inspiration, I know of no such term in the Scriptures: and as to the other kind, it is no where to be found in the Scripture or any where else, except in the imagination of modern sectarians.—What! Mr. Sunderland, has it come to this at last, that you hold forth a kind of inspiration that gives no certainty, no knowledge, no light above that of nature? Pray, what benefit would such inspiration be to any [9] person? The inspiration of the Holy Ghost reveals to those who enjoy it, the knowledge of the truth.—

And the bible knows no other. And this inspiration is for all the Saints. And indeed no man can even be a Saint without it. However, we will suggest a couple of terms which will distinguish Mr. Sunderland’s two kinds of inspiration more clearly. I would say, inspiration of the spirit of truth, and inspiration of the spirit of error, that the one guides into all truth, and the other into all the divisions of modern sectarians.

“Miracles,” says Mr. Sunderland, “are for the proof or evidence of some particular doctrine, or in attestation of the Divine Mission, of some particular person.”

Now, hear what the Apostle says on this subject, first, Cor. c. 12, and Eph. c. 4, and other places. He says “gifts were for the work of the ministry; for the perfecting of the saints; for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Now, if we believe Paul instead of Mr. Sunderland, we must believe that gifts and miracles are for a different purpose, from what he would represent, and that they were to continue as long as the gospel ministry itself; and as long as there were Saints, who were to be perfected or edified. But if they were given only to establish some particular doctrine or mission; then the Scripture concerning Jesus should read thus: Jesus did more mighty miracles in his native place, than any where else, because of their unbelief. Again, a certain text should read, God hath given them ears, but they hear not; eyes but they see not; hearts that understand not, that they might be converted, and healed, because of unbelief. And again, faith comes by miracles.

And again, without faith it is possible to please God so as to be healed.

Mr. Sunderland complains of scores of miracles recorded in the Book of Mormon, as performed on the most trifling occasions; but can give but one instance of the kind, namely, the Lord showing his finger to the brother of Jared; “and it was as the finger of a man like unto flesh and blood.” But, Mr. Sunderland was careful to omit the word AS, in order to make a false and ridiculous statement appear in the Book of Mor-[10] mon, where there is none. For of course, the Lord’s finger appears AS the finger of a man appears; or man could not be created after His image and likeness.—Mr. Sunderland, just remember the fingers of God that the impious Belshazzar saw writing on the wall.

Mr. Sunderland intimates that the Bible records no instances of miracles being performed, or revelations given, except on great and important occasions. Now, in the first place, we challenge Mr. Sunderland, or any other man, to produce instances where miracles are introduced in the book of Mormon on any occasion, except for great and important ends; ends worthy the exertion of the power of God. We challenge any man to produce a single instance in that book of an angel’s visit without an errand worthy their attention. And, secondly, we will proceed to notice, a few of the great and important objects, which called forth angels, revelations and miracles, in the Bible. Exo. c. 33, v. 22 and 28. “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in the cleft of the rock; and will cover thee with my hand, while I pass by: and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen.” Now, Mr. Sunderland, what would you say to this, if it were in the book of Mormon, that the Lord put Jared in the cleft of the rock, and placed his hand over it to keep Jared from seeing his face, but after he had gone past, he took his hand off, and suffered Jared to see his back parts? See also, Deut. c. 23, v. 1 and 13, concerning who was to come into the congregation of the Lord, and concerning the paddle. Now, Mr. Sunderland, you say there is a vast, vast difference between the two books in this respect. I wish you to bring a few parallel cases from the Book of Mormon, for an offset against the above sublime truths.

Also, see Deut. c. 25, v. 9, “then shall his brother’s wife come unto him, in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot; and spit in his face,” &c.

Verse 10, “and his name shall be called in Israel, the house of him that had his shoe loosed.” See also, [11] Deut. c. 22, v. 6 and 7, concerning the bird’s nest,—”But thou shalt in anywise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.” I should like to see something brought forward from the Book of Mormon, that will compare with the above examples; and with the great occasion of the Lord’s turning water into wine, that they might drink a little more, after they had well drunk.

Mr. Sunderland says, “Mr. Smith pretended to be three years translating the book.” This is not so.—The plates containing the record, was obtained Sep. 22, A. D. 1827, and appeared in print in March, 1830, making two years and a half; much of which time, was spent in laboring with his hands for his support & much was spent in fleeing from place to place on account of persecution, and of course much was spent in printing, &c.. Mr. S. further says, “No person ever saw one of their miracles, but themselves.”

How do you know that, Mr. Sunderland? Or, by what authority do you speak? Have you been with all our elders, in all their travels? I have only to say, your assertion is false; for it is a noted fact, that there are many in this city, who have been healed, who did not belong to the church; and these things are done publicly, and this we are prepared to prove by good witnesses, both in the church out of the church. Mr. Sunderland further says, that “public monuments must be setup, and some outward actions also, must be perpetuated in memory of the miracles thus publicly wrought.” Now, I ask, what monuments or ordinances, are standing proof of the thousands of miracles and gifts, wrought by the Apostles and members of the ancient church? O my soul, has it come to this at last, that men cannot go to the true and living God, in the prayer of faith, and learn the truth for themselves? but must depend on certain monuments of antiquity for all the knowledge they have, either of God or religion. May the Lord pity such a graceless an ungodly generation. But I acknowledge, that such abominable liars, as La Roy [12]

Sunderland, need something before their eyes to put them in mind of a God, for I am sure there is no place for the witness of the spirit of truth in their hearts.

He further says, “The existence of the Plates, is not vouched for by any disinterested person.” But in the name of common sense, I ask who would be a disinterested person? If all christendom should see the plates, and be convinced of the truth of the record, every person would be as interested in the same, as those who first witnessed it. Who ever heard of God’s choosing a disinterested witness of his resurrection, or any other truth? Or, would Mr. Sunderland have a witness who would say, the thing is true, but does not concern me, I purpose never to obey it myself; but go down to hell, for the sake of giving others a disinterested testimony of its truth?

Let christians blush at the ignorant and impotent objections of the editor of the Zion’s Watchman; for I am satisfied that even infidels never advance objections, so foolish and unreasonable!

Concerning Prophesy, he remarks that “it cannot be proved that one prediction, in that book, which is not taken from the Bible, was written before the event, said to be described.” Again he says, “there are no predictions, peculiar to this book, yet to be fulfilled, no names of persons or places, or periods of time, are referred to, by which any thing definite can be khown, as to what is meant by the jargon of Mormon Prophets.”

Now, Mr. La Roy Sunderland, we will prove to the world, that this is one of the most barefaced falsehoods, ever uttered by man. The Book of Mormon contains many Prophecies, yet future, with names, places and dates, so definite, that a child may understand; indeed, it is one of the peculiar characteristics of the Book of Mormon, that its predictions are plain, simple, definite, literal, positive, and very express, as to the time of their fulfilment. Notice a prediction of Nephi, page 125, second edition. “For after the book, of which I have spoken, shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord; there shall be [13] many, which shall believe the words which are written, and they shall carry them forth, unto the remnant of our seed, (the Indians,) and then shall the remnaant of our seed know concerning us; how that we came out from Jerusalem; and that they are the descendants of the Jews; and the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be declared among them; wherefore they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers; and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers; and then shall they rejoice for they shall KNOW, that it is a blessing unto them, from the hand of God. And their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them; save they shall be a white, and delightsome people. And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered, also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ, shall also be a delightsome people; and it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth. * * * For the time speedily cometh, that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy, and he will spare his people.”

Also, page 121, 2d edition. “Behold that great and abominable Church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof: for the kingdom of the devil, must shake; and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; for behold at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.”

Also, page 122, 2d edition. “Woe unto all those who tremble and are angry, because of the truth of God; for behold he that is built upon the rock, receiveth it with gladness: and he that is built upon a sandy [14] foundation, trembleth, lest he shall fall.”

Also, page 123, 2d edition. “Woe be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts; for notwithstanding I shall lengthen out my arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me.” See also page 514, and read the fate of our nation, and the fate of the Indians of America; in the day that the Gentiles should reject the fullness of the Gospel.—(The Book of Mormon.) See also, page 526, where a sign is given, and the time clearly set for the restoration and gathering of Israel from their long dispersion, namely, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, should be the sign; and in the day this work should come forth, should this great event commence among all nations. Also, p. 527, where all who will not hearken to the Book of Mormon, shall be cut off from among the people; and that too, in the day it comes forth to the Gentiles and is rejected by them. And not only does this page set the time for the overthrow of our government and all other Gentile governments on the American continent, but the way and means of this utter destruction are clearly foretold, namely, the remnant of Jacob will go through among the Gentiles and tear them in pieces, like a lion among the flocks of sheep. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. This destruction includes an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our Cities, Forts, and Strong Holds—an entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the Covenant, and are numbered with Israel.

Now, Mr. Sunderland, you have something definite and tangible, the time, the manner, the means, the names, the dates; and I will state as a prophesy, that there will not be an unbelieving Gentile upon this continent 50 years hence; and if they are not greatly scourged, and in a great measure overthrown, within five or ten years from this date, then the Book of Mormon will have proved itself false. And furthermore, as Mr. LaRoy Sunderland has lied concerning the truth of Heaven, the fulness of the Gospel; and has blasphemed against the word of God, except he speedily [15] repent, and acknowledge his lying and wickedness, and obey the message of eternal truth, which God has sent for the salvation of his people. God will smite him dumb, that he can no longer speak great swelling words against the Lord; and a trembling shall seize his nerves, that he shall not be able to write; and Zion’s Watchman shall cease to be published abroad, and its lies shall no longer deceive the public; and he will wander a vagabond on the earth, until sudden destruction shall overtake him; and if Mr. La Roy Sunderland enquires, when shall these things be? I reply, it is nigh thee—even at thy doors; and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I hope Mr. Sunderland, will no more complain of the jargon of the Mormon Prophets being unintelligible or indefinite.

Mr. S. says, “admitting the 29th Chapter of Isaiah was a prediction of the existence of the Book of Mormon, it does not predict that, that book would be a good one.” Now I am more, and more astonished at the perfect weakness of your cause. What!

The deaf hear the words of the Book, the meek increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice; the house of Jacob be glad in the Holy One of Israel; they that err in spirit come to understanding, and they that murmur learn doctrine.—And all this brought about by the means of a Book, and that Book not a good one? You say, “the text speaks of a book being presented to a person unable to read it.”—Here you mistake again: the text speaks of the WORDS of a book being delivered to the learned who could not read them; but of the Book itself being delivered to the unlearned, thus making a distinction. The words or characters being copied form the Plates and delivered to the learned who could not read them, while the Book was delivered to the unlearned; thus fulfiling the words of the text.

Mr. S. further says, “the text speaks of a Book—it says nothing about Brass Plates.” But I reply, the text says nothing about parchment, tables of stone, [16] papyrus, bark, paper, or any thing else on which this Record was to be written; consequently, it must not be written on any thing, according to your logic. But as you are learned, please define what materials may be written on, in order to constitute a book; and what materials may not be used; and what name we may give to a Record on Plates, and they would not constitute a book.

Mr. S. says, “Mormonism is directly opposed to the Holy Scriptures. 1st.—The New Testament informs us, that if we believe what is written in that book, of the Son of God, we shall be saved.—John, c. xx: v. 31. While the Book of Mormon says, if we don’t believe that also, in addition to the old and new Testament, we must be eternally damned; hence Mormonism is a lie.” Stop, stop, don’t be so fast; John makes no allusion to the New Testament, in the text you have quoted, but refers to the Book he was then writing, now called the Gospel according to St. John. For the book called the New Testament, did not exist at that time, neither is it at all probable that the had any book before him at the time, to which he alluded, except the testimony, or gospel, which he was then in the act of finishing; consequently, you will please relinquish all claim to faith in any other book of the New Testament, and set them down for lies, as you have Mormonism. Because John wrote his book that you might believe on the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through his name; therefore, according to your own logic, you are bound to reject all others as lies. 2d.—You say, “God has imperatively forbidden any addition to what is written in the Old and New Testaments. Deut. c. iv: v. 2: and Rev. c. xxii: v. 18.”

Here you are too fast again, Mr. Sunderland. These two texts say nothing concerning the Old and New Testaments at all; the one speaks of Moses’ writings only; not at all including the writings of the Prophets, for they were not the commands of Moses, and were not in existence when Moses wrote. And the other speaks exclusively of the “words of the [17] Prophesy of this book,” (the book of the Revelation of St. John,) which was not then compiled with any other book under heaven. Thus, Mr. Sunderland, in destroying the Book of Mormon, you destroy every book in the Bible. By your application of the first text, you destroy every book except John’s Gospel; not excepting Moses nor the Revelation of St. John.—Then by your application of the other two texts, you destroy the Gospel of St. John and all the other books, except Moses and the Revelation of John. Thus if you gain the victory over the Book of Mormon by these texts, you gain an equal victory over all the other books. It is not Mormonism alone, that is struggling for existence beneath your infidel thrusts; but it is the whole truth of Heaven, which was ever revealed to man, or ever will be. Indeed your logic would shut Heaven, seal up the mouth of Jehovah, forbid the ministry of Angels, deprive men of the Holy Ghost, (the spirit of Prophesy and Revelation,) close all communication between man and his Maker, and leave the world in Atheism. First, by destroying the Bible, and all other ancient Records which are sacred. Secondly, by forbidding mankind ever to receive any more. Thirdly, you say, “the Holy Scriptures are sufficient as a rule of our faith and practice,” and you make many quotations to prove it. And you further say, “the doctrine taught in these passages, Mormonism denies;” and to establish the accusation, you quote our Doctrines and Covenants, Sect. 5th, “In cases of difficulty respecting doctrine or principle, when there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council; the President may enquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.”

You make it read thus, “if not sufficiently written,” thus giving a false quotation. Now, sir, you are a false accuser, for our doctrine and covenants, in this text, perfectly agree with the rules of faith and practice, laid down in the Bible. See James, c. i, v. 5: “If any of you lack WISDOM, let him ASK OF GOD, who giveth to ALL MEN liberally, and upbraideth not, and it SHALL be [18] given him.” And again, the Apostle prays that God will enrich the disciples “in the Spirit of WISDOM and REVELATION in the KNOWLEDGE of God.” Now Mr. Sunderland, wherein does Mormonism differ from the rules of faith and practice just quoted from the Bible? And if desired, I pledge myself to produce a thousand precepts and examples of a similar kind; all being rules of faith and practice, which we fulfil or live according to, in fulfiling that one rule of our “Doctrine and Covenants.” Indeed, if the Scriptures were given for our rule of faith and practice, then are we continually to receive Revelations, Prophecies, Visions, Angels, &c.; for this is according to all the precepts, examples, rules, faith, and practice of Scripture, and you, sir, in opposing this part of Mormonism, are in opposition to all the rules which you yourself have brought forward from Scripture.—Thus, like Haman, you receive that punishment, which you prepared for others.

“Christ born of Mary, at Jerusalem, the land of our forefathers.”—Book of Mormon, page 240, 2d edition. This you say, is a contradiction of his being born in Bethlehem, (a little place, six miles from Jerusalem,) but mark the local difference in the places where each was spoken. One prophet stands in the vicinity where the thing was fulfilled, and points out the exact location, (Bethlehem.) The other stands on the other side of the globe, from Jerusalem, and addresses a people who knew but little concerning the localities of the various towns and villages of Judea. The prophet speaks in general terms concerning a thing which should transpire in the land of Jerusalem, as they had a general idea of the great capitol city and country, from whence they sprang, rather than a distinct idea of all its villages. This is in perfect accordance with all the circumstances under which they wrote, and a great proof in favour of the Book of Mormon; because an imposter, in forging a book, would have said Bethlehem; for every school boy knows, that Bethlehem is the place where the Lord was born. [19]

And Mr. Sunderland, you say, “the Book of Mormon gives numerous instances of persons ordained to the Mosaick Priesthood, who were of the tribe of Joseph,” but I know of no Mosaick Priesthood. But if you mean the Aronic, I deny the assertion, for the Aronic Priesthood is no where pretended to in the Book of Mormon. The Josephites claim the Priesthood after the Order of Melchisidek; which had power over all things— the Aronic Priesthood not excepted, for they paid tithes to this greater Priesthood, according to Paul. This Priesthood was after the power of an endless life, without beginning of days, or end of life; and holds the keys and authorities over all the other offices of the Church, in all ages of the world. The book claims no Ark of the Covenant, no temple service, as to the Holy of Holies, or any thing that pertained exclusively to the Aronic or Levetical Priesthood. But says Mr. S, “the Jews were not allowed to offer Burnt Offerings in any other place after the Temple was built, except Jerusalem.—Deut. c. xii: v. 13, 14. The reason of this prohibition was, the holy fire could be obtained in no other place.—Lev. c. x: v. 1.”

I have examined both of these texts. The first does not mention the Temple, but only the place which the Lord should choose.—See verses, 10, 11, of the same Chap.

WHEN they dwelt in the land, the other side of Jordan, and had rest from their enemies, and WHEN they dwelt there in safety, THEN there should be a place for them to bring their burnt offerings and sacrifices. THEN they were to take heed not to offer sacrifices in every place, but in the place which the Lord should choose. Now I ask, if Lehi, who left Jerusalem just in time to escape the Babalonish Captivity, or his children who lived in America, were dwelling in the land of Canaan, the other side of Jordan, in peace, at the same time they were roaming the wilderness as outcasts from the land of their fathers? If so, then the restriction concerning sacrifices, applies to them, if not, it does not apply to them according to verses 10 [20] and 11 of that chapter. Lev. c. x: v. 1, says nothing concerning Jerusalem or the fire obtained there, any more than it does of the flood. And why it is quoted by Mr. Sunderland on that subject, I am unable to guess, unless it was for want of any proof whatever to support the assertion.

I shall now proceed to apply Mr. Sunderland’s rule to Elijah, the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead. 1st Kings, c. 18: where he offered sacrifices on Mount Carmel, near 40 miles south of Jerusalem; and this in the days of King Ahab, a long time after the building of the Temple of Solomon. Consequently, Elijah must share the same fate of all ancient “Mormon” Prophets. Neither did he get his fire from Jerusalem, but from Heaven.

This is a more aggravating transgression of Mr. Sunderland’s rule, than the Book of Mormon any where records: for this was done in the very country where the Lord had required all to be performed at Jerusalem. Poor old Elijah, what a pity that you did not understand the Law as well as Mr. La Roy Sunderland, Zion’s Watchman; for now you are doomed by him to eternal infamy and destruction with us, poor deluded creatures.

And it seems your fathers were equally ignorant with yourself, for you only repaired the Altar of God where they had offered their sacrifices before you—and all in the wrong place. And as to others offering sacrifices, who were not of the Aronic Priesthood, I refer the reader to Gideon, of the tribe of Manasseh; Judge, c. vi: v. 25.—Manoah, of the tribe of Dan; Judge, c. xiii: v. 16, 19.—Samuel’s offering: 1st Sam. v. 7, 9.— David of the tribe of Judah; 2d Sam. c. vi: v. 17, 18.—These all offered sacrifices acceptable to God, and that too, while the Law of Moses was in force, and in a country where the seed of Aaron and Levi were to be found. Now, Mr. LaRoy Sunderland, you must be looked upon either as a knave, or too ignorant to stand at the head of any paper, much less to be one of “Zion’s Watchmen.” I have dwelt upon this subject more full, because Mr. A. Campbell, of Virginia, Editor of the “Millennium [21] Harbinger;” Howe, of Painsville, Ohio, publisher of “Mormonism Unveiled.” Himes, of Boston, author of a pamphlet on “Mormonism,” and Bachelor, with his two horns, cloven foot, and pitchfork, have all raised the same ignorant objections, as to sacrifices and priesthood. All these profess to be very learned, and make a great outcry against Joseph Smith, Jun. and the Mormons in general, for their ignorance. Now how does it come about, that Joseph Smith, and the Elders of the Church, (being unlearned and ignorant men,) should confound and bring to nought, all the wisdom of the wise? Surely the Scriptures are verified, that the weak, the unlearned, and the despised, hath God chosen to confound the wise, and bring to nought the understanding of the prudent. Now if this common blunder of theirs, proceeded from ignorance, we shall expect to see a general confession on their part; but if it be the effects of Priestcraft, Knavery, and Imposture, they will signify it by their silence.

Next you say, “the Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 2, contradicts the Bible by saying, Remission of sins must precede Baptism.” This, sir, I deny; it says that the candidate should receive “of the spirit of Christ, UNTO the remission of sins” You further say, “The Voice of Warning, page 22, says the Dreams of Pharaoh were to be literally interpreted. Thus contradicting what Joseph said of them.”—This, sir, is a lie. The “Voice of Warning” says no such thing. But rather says Joseph’s Prophesy (to Pharaoh) was to be interpreted literally.—See “Voice of Warning,” page 21 and 22.

As to God’s repenting and being grieved at his heart because he had been so foolish and shortsighted as to make man, or whether it was Noah that was grieved, I leave the candid reader to judge. The one is King James’ translation, the other is Joseph Smith’s. I suppose if it were written in King James’ translation of the Bible, that two and two make twelve, and we should say two and two make four, we should be accused of contradicting the Bible. Thus superstition [22] would make the King’s uninspired Translators of far more authority than the God of Truth. You further say, “that God informs us, that the Gospel Covenant is to last forever, and never to be succeeded by another:” and you quote Heb. c. vii: v. 21, 28; c. viii: v. 6, 13; c. vi: v. 13, 20. Now I say God says no such thing in any of the texts, as that the Covenant, Offices and Ordinances of the Gospel, as set in order by the Apostles, would never be broken among men; but these texts speak of the Covenant and Priesthood of the Son of God, how it should last forever; and it will be recollected that he is in Heaven. He is not a priest to administer ordinances here on earth. It is true, Heb. c. viii, from 8th to 13th verse, speaks of a new Covenant to be made with the house of ISRAEL, which Covenant should never be broken, and succeeded by another; but his Covenant was to take away THEIR sins, and cause THEM ALL to KNOW the Lord, from the least to the greatest. But this Covenant never took effect in the Apostles’ days, nor at any time since, but is yet future, as I will prove by three infallible proofs: first, Romans, c. xi: v. 25 to 31; places that Covenant in future, viz: when God should take away the sins of Israel, and they should obtain mercy, after the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. Now I enquire. Are the Jews, together with Israel, now free from sin, & ALL acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ, their Saviour? The answer is my 2d proof, that, that Covenant is yet future; the Jews are yet scattered in unbelief, blindness, and sin, among all nations. And Mr. La Roy Sunderland dare not say, that the Covenant spoken of in the 8th of Heb. and Rom. 11th, has ever been made with ISRAEL and JUDAH. My 3d proof is, that this Covenant never will take effect with them in their scattered situation, but will take affect with them when they are gathered home from all nations, to their own land. See Ezek. c. xxxvii. Hence the folly of Missionary efforts to bring them to the standards of Sectarianism; when in fact the Gentiles [23] will have to bow to them and their standard, to end their own controversies.

Mr. Sunderland having lied, misrepresented and falsified our Books, and mangled the Scriptures in a most horrid manner, at length cries out, “here is proof positive that these books can never be reconciled, either with themselves or the Scriptures of Truth.”

When in fact, it is his own blunders and falsehoods, which can never be reconciled with any truth. Mr. S. then proceeds thus, “Mormonism is a system of unrelenting cruelty. To be convinced of this fact, a person has only to read the Book of Mormon, which is one continued history of wars and murders.” Pray, Mr. S., is it cruel to record a faithful history of wars? And again, was the doctrine contained in that book, the cause of the wars recorded in it? or were the wars caused by sin, and opposition to the holy principles contained in it? But, says Mr. Sunderland, “Mormonism is cruel; 1st, in requiring Faith without evidence,” and adds, “it is true, eleven men have said it is true.” But Mr. S. it is written in the Law, both of God and Man, that the testimony of two men is true. But you say, “ten thousand others can be found who will testify that it is not true.” Well, Mr. S., there were twelve to testify that Jesus had risen from the dead, and as many nations to testify he had not risen. But what does this negative amount to, without you first destroy the affirmative? But it seems, some of these witnesses are guilty of being named, Smith and Whitmer. But this is the first time I ever heard of a witness being rejected on account of his name. But I see no cruelty in requiring people to believe any thing, true or false, as long as it leaves them at liberty to disbelieve it! But secondly, “Mormonism is cruel in taking from its votaries their property and refusing to restore it again.” And then, Mr. S., has heard some literary gentleman say, that he has heard sombody say, that the Mormons in the West, did so and so. Now, Mr. Sunderland, this is proof sufficient against them, although Eleven Men cannot be believed in their favour. [24] Yes, this is quite enough, away with such fellows, crucify them! crucify them! It is not fit that they should live.

Now, Mr. S., we do not take any man’s property from him, only what is freely donated, in charity to the poor; and we have officers who are bound to see to the distribution of every dollar for the purpose for which it was given. And I ask, if the Abolition, Missionary, Bible, Tract, or any charitable institution, gives back the money donated to them? For instance, if Mr. Sunderland joins the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and gives a certain sum for Colonizing the poor, and this money is expended for the purpose given; the poor eat it up; and Mr. S. apostatises; the officer who handled the money, must go to work and earn the money, in order to replace to Mr. S. what he gave to the poor, otherwise “it is a system of unrelenting cruelty.”

Again, Mr. S. says, “its cruelty appears in its requiring its votaries to leave their homes and go to the Western part of Missouri.” Now, Mr. S. no “Mormon” has ever gone to that place, except by choice, in order to escape the troubles which God has forwarned us of respecting other countries. And Jesus was equally cruel in telling the disciples to leave Judea, and flee to the mountains, on a certain occasion. I ask, is it cruel to take men from the midst of distress, tribulation, want of employment, starvation, and oppression, and Colonize them where there is land and employment enough, with provisions in abundance, and very cheap?!! But, says Mr. S., “its monstrous cruelty appears again, in its pretending to send all to hell who do not believe it. But I reply, that every dispensation that God ever sent, is equally cruel in this respect; for God sends all to hell who reject any thing that he sends to save those that believe. An I add, if Methodism be true, God will send every man to hell who rejects it. And a man must be very inconsistent, to come with a message from God, and then, tell the people that they can be saved just as well without, as with it. But he complains of its consigning to hell, all who persist in [25] the doctrine of Infant Baptism. But pray, Mr. Sunderland, is Infant Baptism any part of the pure Gospel which Paul preached? If not, it is a perversion of the Gospel: and Paul has been so cruel as to agree with Mormon, in pronouncing a curse upon all those who pervert the Gospel. Says Mr. Sunderland, “the writings of the Mormonites, are replete with nonsense and blasphemy.” He then gives several specimens: first, it is impious blasphemy to teach that the Lord suffered for the sins of the world, and bled at every pore; and that sinners must repent, or suffer for their own sins, as he has suffered for them. And, indeed, (says he) “it would be difficult to find ONE passage in any of their writings, that we have seen, which conveys ANY THING LIKE GOOD SENSE.” Then follows another specimen. Our Doctrine and Covenants, say God is the light of the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the power by which they are made, and that God is in them. This seems to be nonsense and blasphemy when found in Mormon writings. But let the Bible say, he is in all things; that he is the light of every man that comes into the world; or let a Methodist Priest say that God is Omniscient, and Omnipresent, i.e. that he is in the Sun, Moon and Stars, and every where else, and it then becomes good sense, and a pious saying. Now, let the reader mark, that it is writing these things in a Mormon Book, that makes “nonsense and blasphemy,” of them. Under the head of nonsense and blasphemy, he quotes the following from the “Doctrine and Covenants.” “Through the redemption which is made for you, is brought to pass the Resurrection of the dead, and the spirit and the body, is the soul of Man, and the Resurrection from the dead, is the redemption of the soul.”

This “nonsense and blasphemy,” becomes good sense the moment it is found in the other Scriptures. Instance, in Gen. where God formed Man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living SOUL. Here, the earthly part, animated by the Spirit of Life, is called [26] Man, and is also called a living SOUL. Now, this is “nonsense and blasphemy,” in “Mormonism,” but in the Bible it becomes sublime truth. Or has the Ignoramus never read the Bible? But another specimen of Mormon nonsense and blasphemy is quoted by him. “And the Saints shall be filled with glory, and be EQUAL with Him,” (Christ.)—“Doctrine and Covenants.” This nonsense and blasphemy, becomes truth when found in the Bible. As to this equality of Christ and his people, see the prayer of Christ, recorded by John, concerning his saints, becoming ONE with him and the Father, as they are ONE—and certainly they are equal.

And again, the saints are joint heirs with Him. And again, “he that overcometh, shall sit down with Christ in his Throne, as he has overcome and sit down with the Father in his Throne.” And again, the spirit should guide his saints into all truth, and if it does guide his saints into all truth, God is in possession of all truth, and no more: consequently, his saints will know what he knows: and it is an acknowledged principle, that “knowledge is power;” consequently, if they have the same knowledge that God has, they will have the same power. And this will fulfil the Scripture, which saith, “Unto him that believeth ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE.” And I am sure God can do no more than all things: consequently, there must be equality. That is, the redeemed return to the fountain, and become part of the great all, from which they eminated. Hence the propriety of calling them “GODS, even the sons of God.” In fact it was this doctrine of equality, that constituted blasphemy in the minds of the Jews, and brought down their malice and vengeance upon the head of our dear Saviour.

The next specimen of “nonsense and blasphemy,” is quoted by Mr. Sunderland from “Doctrine and Covenants,” Sec. 7th. It is a clause from a Revelation, rebuking the Church for the idleness of some of its members, and the wickedness of their children, together with their covetousness and neglect of prayer and devotion. But this is the first time, that speaking [27] against such evils amounted to “nonsense or blasphemy.” Indeed, I now understand why he uttered that sweeping declaration, that it would be difficult to find one paasage of good sense in all of our books; it is because they are taken up mostly, in speaking against sin, which amounts, in his mind, to nonsense and blasphemy, therefore, our books are filled with “nonsense and blasphemy,” because they are filled with warnings against sin; and because they hold forth repentance and redemption, through the blood of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and a fulness of glory at the right hand of our blessed Redeemer.

Another specimen from the Book of “Doctrine and Covenants,” Sec. 27, is brought forward by this lying deciever, but he could not make nonsense of it without altering it for the worse in three places. “Let my servant, Sidney Gilbert plant himself in the HOUSE (the revelation reads, “in this place,” instead of house,) and establish a Store, that he may sell goods without fraud, that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints.” This provision for colonizing the poor has become “nonsense and blasphemy.”—Although the Lord could once send Peter to catch a fish in order to get a little money to pay taxes, without blaspheming; but perhaps Mr. S. would say, that was in the days of humility and simplicity, when he was poor, and had not where to lay his head, but since he had got in possession of so many fine Temples, Chapels, Livings, Honours, Titles, Salaries, &c., his mind could not stoop to hear the cries of the poor. But he quotes still further: “Let my servant, W. W. Phelps, be planted in the house, (the Revelation reads, “in this place,” instead of the house,) and let him be established as a Printer to the Church, and let all the world receive his writings.” Surely this would be nonsense; for all the world cannot read—all the world have not conveyances by mail, and all the world includes more than three thousand languages and dialects; and all the world would keep our Printing Establishment very busy to print faur or five hundred millions of a monthly paper, [28] in the several thousand different tongues. But it is Mr. S. who makes nonsense, by his lying, (the passage reads thus, “and inasmuch as the world receive his writings, let him obtain all he can obtain in righteousness, for the good of the Saints.” ) The truth of the matter is this, that we planted a Colony in Missouri, and to that Colony was attached a Mercantile and Printing Establishment, the profits of which, were to be devoted to the purchase of lands, for the purpose of Colonizing the poor, who were unable to buy lands for themselves. The fact is, this speculating, lying hypocrite, not only falsifies almost every passage he quotes, but is continually converting the most benevolent institutions among the Saints, into nonsense, blasphemy, and money making, whereas, it is his own Order, and not Ours, that is guilty of moneyed plans, and priestcraft. Indeed, I have often heard the members of the Methodist Church complain, that the great cry of their Priests, was money, money, give, give. Indeed, whoever will read their Discipline, will find it abounding with moneyed plans; making a regular provision for the support of their hireling Priests. And whoever will read our book of “Doctrine and Covenants,” will find no provision for the support of Preachers, except to go forth without Purse or Scrip, or Two Coats, taking no thought for the morrow; freely giving and freely receiving such things as the people see fit to give. Indeed, I have preached in this city more than six months, many times a week, besides visiting the poor, the sick, &c.; and I have not mentioneed money, money, nor give, give, for the support of the Gospel; neither has such a thing ever been named in any of our meetings, except by way of condemnation. But the Gospel I preach has power to fill those who receive it with charity, and it opens their hearts, so that my necessities are supplied. But nature’s wants are few, I dispense with those extravagances most of the Priests are guilty of. I have preached the Gospel from Maine to Missouri, for near eight years, and all I ever received, during my whole ministry, would not amount to the yearly salary of [29] one of the lazy, extravagant loungers, who under the name of Priests, are a nuisance to the whole country.

But to return to another specimen of “nonsense and blasphemy,” “Behold I command you [Hiram Smith] that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are.”

This “nonsense and blasphemy,” if put in practice in all christendom, would rid the world of Popes, Right Reverend Fathers in God, Lord Bishops, D. D’s. Rabbies, &c.

Which ever were a curse to it: yes, it would rid the world of all the hirelings, and of all the uninspired men, which have so long been a burden to society.

He next complains of Mrs. Smith, being called an “elect lady.” The ignorant clown, verily thinks the term “lady” in America, amounts to a title of nobility, paramount with “lord,” and intimates, that we shall soon have “Lord Joseph.” Why, Mr. Sunderland, if ever you had been in good society in this country, you would have perceived that ALL females of respectability are called “ladies,” as a matter of common courtesy; that it does not imply a title of nobility; however, you are to be pardoned for this stupid blunder, for I judge it was through ignorance you committed it; but the female part of the community will think you rather clownish. But this “nonsense and blasphemy,” becomes sublime truth, the moment John makes use of the same term in the Bible, or perhaps John was so much of a pope, in your estimation, that he had power to confer titles of nobility.

Mr.S’s next specimen of “nonsense and blasphemy,” is quoted from the book of “doctrine and covenants,” sect. 66, giving the word of the Lord to J. Smith, Jun. And S. Rigden, appointing them a mission to Missouri; yet, he says “the Scriptures are for our rule of faith and practice.” Well, Mr. S if this is “nonsense and blasphemy;” then of course, the word of the Lord to Philip, that he should go towards the desert, and to the chariot of the Ethiopian, is condemned by the same rule; and also the word of the Lord to Paul, directing him in his [30] mission: or, have the Scriptnres ceased to be a rule or pattern for us to follow? Come, Mr. Sunderland, throw off the cloak of religion— come out open infidel, for surely you have as good reason to condemn the Former Day Saints, as the Latter Day Saints, in this respect, unless you worship a changeable God: who condescended to speak in old times; but has now become dumb, from misdemeanor or through old age! For shame, why worship a God who has no ears, mouth, nor eyes, whose arm is shortened that he cannot save, and has no power to deliver? It is true, I am not much in the habit of ridiculing, but really, if Isaiah, or Elijah where here, they would hold you in derision, and your God too. And I am sure, the living God would laugh at as well as mock both you and your God. It seems at last, I have discovered what Mr. S. means by our revelations being blasphemy. Who ever will read the first article of religion in the doctrines and “discipline” of the Methodist Episcopal Church, will find a description of their God: a God without body of parts, or course then he has neither eyes, ears, or mouth, and can neither see, hear, nor speak. Well now, Mr. Sunderland, we acknowledge that all the revelations we have ever received from Israel’s God, was direct blasphemy against yours. But let it be understood distinctly, that we do not love, serve, not fear your God; and if he has been blasphemed, let him speak and plead his own cause: but this he cannot do, seeing he has no mouth. And how he ever revealed his choice of La Roy Sunderland, as a “Watchman” for his Zion, I am at a loss to determine. But we worship a God, who has both body and parts; who has eyes, mouth, and ears, and who speaks when he pleases—to whom he pleases, and sends them where he leases. And he always did blaspheme other Gods, and hold them up to ridicule, and contempt; and so did his followers: and as Mr. Sunderland is unacquainted with our God, and has been worshiping an imaginary God all his days, I take this opportunity of declaring the true God to him; and I hope if ever he is brought to a knowledge of [31] Him, he will become a man of truth; for our God is a God of truth.

Mr. S. quotes numerous typographical errors in the Book of Mormon, many of which are corrected in the second edition; but he takes advantage of these errors of language, by saying the Book was PRINTED under Infallible Inspiration. By this we are to understand that Mr. Grandin, a Job Printer, at Palmyra; a man who makes no pretentions to religion, is inspired to set his type all just right. This is too ridiculous to come from a man of common sense; and deserves no reply, only a remark, that Mr. S.’s skull must be rather thick, or he is partially deranged.

Mr. S. proceeds to quote numerous phrases from the Book of Mormon, which are found in the other Scriptures, and thinks it strange and incredible, that God who is the Author of both, should have made use of the same phrases in both countries. Or that he knew some truths a little too early. He seems to think, that all who can believe that the Spirit of God is acquainted with modern phrases, or phrases which his spirit selected, and made use of in another country or ages, must be prepared to believe any thing, however shocking or absurd. He seems to think, the Spirit of God in America, has been guilty of literary theft, in imitating its own likeness, as manifested in other writings, and in other ages and countries. He says, “a very large proportion of this Book, (the Book of Mormon,) is made up of base, and bungling attempts to imitate the Scripture style; and to quote ONE of a HUNDRED of these attempts, we should have to transcribe SEVERAL HUNDRED pages.” Astonishing!!! The Book of Mormon, according to this statement, would consist of at least, TWENTY THOUSAND pages. Surely this would compare with the mammoth. One would suppose of a truth, as he has said, it would take three years to write and print a book so large. But this statement is about as near the truth as he is in the habit of speaking. [32]


Under this head, Mr. Sunderland says, “in the Book of Mormon, page 149, and throughout the Book, the Plates on which is said to have been engraved, were Brass. But the eight witnesses say they had the appearance of Gold.” This is Mr. S.’s BLUNDER, and NOT a contradiction in the Book. The Plates on which the Book of Mormon was written, are nowhere called Brass, but the Plates brought from Jerusalem to America, containing the writings of Moses and the Jewish Prophets, are called Brass; and the distinction is kept so plain throughout the whole Record, that a blunder or mistake on this point, on the part of Mr. S., is inexcusable. And from his general proceedings in this matter, we feel justified in calling it a lie. Mr. S. also says, “it speaks of a Compass, five or six hundred years before Christ.” But he does not tell us the fact, as the Book does, in relation to the invention of this Compass. The Book says it was prepared by the hand of the Lord; but perhaps Mr. S. thinks the Lord could not have invented a Compass in that early age of Arts and Sciences: but some scientific men profess to trace the knowledge of the Compass back to very early ages. Indeed, some show reasons for believing it was invented in Egypt, in the days of her glory—but be this as it may; our God is just as good at mechanical inventions, architecture, tayloring, smithing, stone working, &c. &c., as at any other business. For proof of this, we refer the reader to the Tables of Stone, not only written on by the finger of God, but the first tables were made by him.—Also, the plans of the Tabernacle, Temple, Aaron’s Garments, &c.; as well as the workers in Gold and Silver, &c., were all inspired of God, according to Moses.

Again, he says, “on page 440, it is said the Sun does not move at all.”—This is another lie. It only speaks of the principle of lengthening out the day, and gives us to understand that the Earth rolls back on its Axes, to cause this phenomena, instead of the Sun moving for this purpose. He further says, page 431, ten years [33] before Christ, a writer pretends to quote the following passage: “they that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall everlasting damnation:” but he adds, “no such Scripture was written at that time.” I reply, no such scripture is now written, except in the Nephite Records, of which the Book of Mormon is not one hundredth part, and Sunderland knows not what was written among them; therefore, he cannot judge; he knows not but the Scriptures referred to, was written 40 times over, in some of their former Records; therefore, he has made a presumptuous assertion.

He quotes, Book of Mormon, page 65: “Adam fell that man might have joy.” This does not read so, but says, “Men are, that they might have joy.” But I am tired of noticing his lies. he says, “The Voice of Warning, page 37, says the Nile now has Seven Mouths.” but the “Voice of Warning,” page 37, says no such thing, not even naming the Nile, its streams or mouths. Mr. S. proceeds to reject the 11th Chapter of Isaiah, because from the construction of the Lion’s Jaws.—He cannot chew the cud like the ox. Now, Mr. Sunderland, you begin to come out like a man; you no longer act under a cloak of religion, you have turned Infidel at last, and cannot believe the Bible one whit sooner than the “Book of Mormon.” And the “Book of Mormon” says, if we believe one we will believe the other. But he pleads an excuse for his unbelief, by saying, the passage referred to cannot be taken literally. Pray, Mr. S., permit me to suggest a rule of interpretation, that will just suit your views of this passage. That little N—O—T, which the tempter made use of, in his quoting Scripture to Eve, then it would read thus: “The Lion shall N—O—T eat straw like the ox.” You further say, “according to the representation on page 540 of the Book of Mormon, there was an insect called in the reformed Egyptian language, a Honey Bee.” This is another falsehood; the original language, there calls it “Deseret,” which is by interpretation, a Honey Bee. Again, you find fault with [34] page 542, for speaking of windows so long before the invention of glass. But here you are at war with the Bible, which mentions windows as early as Noah’s Ark, and the Flood. You complain of a certain book being written among the Josephites, in the language of their Fathers (Hebrew,) and yet the book professes to be reformed Egyptian. Well, what contradiction in all this? The Brass Plates brought from Jerusalem were in Hebrew; and the abridgement that Mormon made [now called the “Book of Mormon,”] was written in the “Reformed Egyptian.” But you say, “the Reformed Egyptian was never spoken by any person.” but how do you know what was done in America? The writers in the “Book of Mormon,” say it was called among them, “Reformed Egyptian,” being handed down and altered by them, according to their manner of speech.

One would certainly judge you to be acquainted in ancient America, when you make an assertion like the foregoing. But again; you say, “Let any ‘Mormonite’ produce a specimen of such a language if he can.” This I agree to do, when you produce a man acquainted with all the ancient languages. Again, you say, “a hero in the Book of Mormon, page 529, is made to say, that his ten thousand warriors, whom he was leading into battle, were killed. But in the very next page he is represented as leading them in the front of batttle again, after they were hewn down.” I say boldly, this is a gross misrepresentation: and now, let the public read the two pages, and judge for themselves.

Again; you say the “Book of Mormon,” page 48, mentions the Mariners’ Compass. I say it does not mention the Mariners’ Compass; but a Compass prepared by the hand of God, as you may read particularly in the “Book of Mormon.”

Mr. S. says, “The Book of Mormon purports to have been originally engraven on Brass Plates.” Now, Mr. La Roy Sunderland, why do you lie again? Why continue to add lie to lie, to make the “Book of Mormon” appear fales? The “Book of Mormon” no-[35] where purports to have originally been engraven on “Brass Plates:” [I am more, and more, ashamed of the living lie; whose falsehoods I am unveiling;] the Book says “Gold Plates.”

But you say, “Now, admitting there were as many plates as there are pages in the Book; and that each plate weighed not less than one pound each; these plates must have weighed not less than five hundred and fifty pounds.” Here we see another mark of a confused and shattered brain. Why! Mr. S., there is only half as many leaves in a book as there are pages, for one leaf makes two pages; as you may learn by examining Mr. Webster’s Spelling Book. Besides, a thin gold plate, about 7 by 8 inches, and about the thickness of tin, would not weigh a pound: and you should know that the “Egyptian” is a much shorter language than the English. You say, “probably Smith knew very well that the traditions of the Natives would not countenance the “Book of Mormon.” In answer to this, I will quote a few of their Traditions.

First, says Mr. Boudinot, “It is said among their principal or beloved men, that they have it handed down from their ancestors, that the Book which the whilte people have, was once theirs: that while they had it they prospered exceedingly, &c. They also say, that their fathers were possessed of an extraordinary Divine Spirit, by which they foretold future events, and controlled the common course of Nature; and this they transmitted to their offspring, on condition of their obeying the sacred laws; that they did by these means, bring down showers of blessings upon their beloved people; but that this power for a long time past had entirely ceased.” Colonel James Smith, in his Journal, while a prisoner among the Natives, says, “They have a tradition, that in the beginning of this Continent, the angels, or Heavenly Inhabitants, as they call them, frequently visited the people, and talked with their forefathers, and gave directions how to pray.”

Mr. Boudinot, in his able work, remarks concerning their language: “Their language in its roots, idiom, [36] and particular construction, appears to have the whole genius of the Hebrew, and what is very remarkable, and well worthy of serious attention, has most of the peculiarities of that language; especially those in which it differs from most other languages.” There is a tradition related by an aged Indian, of the Stockbridge Tribe, that their fathers were once in possession of a “Sacred Book,” which was handed down from generation to generation; and at last hid in the Earth, since which time they had been under the feet of their enemies. But these Oracles were to be restored to them again; and then they would triumph over their enemies, and regain their ancient country, together with their rights and privileges. Mr. Boudinot, after recording many traditions similar to the above, at length remarks; “Can any man read this short account of Indian Traditions, drawn from Tribes of various Nations; from the West to the East, and from the South to the North, wholly separated from each other, written by different authors of the best character, both for knowledge and integrity, possessing the best means of information, at various and distant times, without any possible communication with each other; and yet suppose, that all this is the effect of chance, accident, or design, from a love of the marvellous, or a premeditated intention of deceiving, and thereby ruining their well established reputation? Can any one carefully, and with deep reflection, consider and compare these traditions with the Ten Tribes of Israel, without at least, drawing some presumptive inferences in favour of these wandering Natives being decsended from the Ten Tribes of Israel?”

Mr. S. says, “In the Book of Mormon, page 550, a man is spoken of who was the Father of 32 children!” I reply, this was almost half as many as Ahab had sons.—2d Kings, c. x: v. 6; where his 70 sons are mentioned, and no doubt he had some daughters.

But this Bible statement can be spiritualized and so avoid the marvellous.

But, says Mr. S., “it speaks of ‘Church’ five or six hundred years before Christ.” I reply, the Bible speaks of “Church” as early as Moses. But, says, he, “this Book speaks of the Paradise of God, 500 years before Christ; “ but I ask, (if there was no such place till invented by modern Priests,) where did Adam dwell, when first created? and did the Saviour add a new term, as well as idea, to the Hebrew, when he told the Thief on the Cross concerning Paradise?

Mr. S. says, “the Jews never kept any of their records on Plates of Brass.” But I inquire, how does he know? In fact, he seems to be perfectly acquainted with every thing that ever transpired in every age and country. Pray, Mr. S., who are you? “This Book,” says Mr. S., “countenances murder for opinions’ sake; it also countenances deception and theft; page 12 and 13.” I say it does not countenance murder for opinions’ sake; the circumstances recorded on these pages, was the slay-[37] ing of Laban who had robbed them, and sought their lives. Therefore, this is another lie, Mr. S. And as to deception and theft, it was taking a record from a robber, who had robbed them of an immense property.

But Mr. S., why not condemn the Bible? look at Moses slaying the Egyptian, and concealing him in the sand, and running away to escape justice. Look at the Israelites, borrowing of the Egyptians and not paying them. Look at Jacob’s deception of his Father, Isaac; and his deception of his Father-in-law, with the pealed rods. And at Rachel, stealing the Images; and of Samuel slaying Agag; and at David’s deception, feigning himself crazy, by letting his spittle run down on his beard. And when you have looked at all these, you shall have as many more.—But yet, in your estimation, the Bible is unerring truth, and the “Book of Mormon,” a deception. Oh! what an impartial judge.

You say, “it speaks of the Lamb of God; and of the Gospel of the Lamb; the Apostles of the Lamb; the Holy Ghost; the Mother of God; of Priestcraft; of the Crucifixion of Christ; and his Baptism by John; of the Roman Catholic Church; and of immersion:—long before the advent of Messiah.” I reply, it does not use the term “Roman Catholic,” nor “Christians,” nor “immersion,” in the place to which you refer; and only speaks of the other events, as some thing future, shown to Nephi in a Vision, and made known to him by an Angel; and if this is a mark of “fraud,” then it is a mark of fraud for Christ to be as a Lamb, slain from the foundation of the World: or for God to have foreknowledge; or for Isa to speak of the Mother of God—“Behold, a Virgin shall conceive.” You say, “on page 236, Christ is represented as the grandson of God, he is called ‘The Son of the only begotten of the Father.’” Here, Mr. S., you have taken advantage of a Typographical error; the word of being inserted where it should not, and is corrected in the second edition. Are you so foolish as to think, this was really the sentiment of any people? No: you know better.—It was through malice, you did it. You say the Book admits, that men are liable to mistakes; so it does, and you admit it too; why then take advantage of men’s mistakes? But you say, on page 538, we are commanded to give thanks to God, that he hath made manifest its imperfections.—This, sir, is not so.

But Moroni exhorts, rather than commands, that we would give thanks unto God, that he had made manifest his (not its,) imperfections and the imperfections of those who had written before, him, that we might learn to be more wise than that which they had been.

Now, if you take advantage of such humble acknowledgements, then why not take advantage of David’s imperfections, so clearly made manifest in the Psalms, and in his history? Why not take advantage of all wise and good men? for they have all been guilty of some imderfections. And I highly esteem those who are most willing [38] to acknowledge their own, and to forgive those of others, when they are acknowledged in an humble manner: and God loves them too. Yes, Mr. Sunderland, I could take even you, by the hand, and forgive you of your lies, mistakes, blunders, and hard speeches, if you would humbly acknowledge them, and repent: and I am sure God would forgive you too.

Your Seventh Number on “Mormonism,” is not worthy of any reply, being made up of all manner of evil spoken against us falsely, because of the word of our testimony; and this too, taken from a book falsely called, “Mormonism Unveiled:”—a work got up no only by a most determined enemy, but by one, whose character is so disgusting to every decent, respectable person who knows him, that the Book never had any weight at all in the West, where it was published.—However, I will gather much from your last number in favour of “Mormonism.” The Saviour says, “blessed are you when men shall revile you, and cast you out of their company, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for Christ’s sake; rejoice ye in that hour, and be exceeding glad; for so persecuted their Fathers, the Prophets, which were before you.” Now we will see how much it falls short of all manner of evil.

Fortune telling, money digging, juggling, wicked, cheat, liar, profane, intemperate, quarrelsome, not good character, gold bible company, indolent, lying, notoriously bad, wife whipper, destitute of moral character, visionary, addicted to vicious habits; and add to this catalogue, the ridiculous stories that went the rounds of the religious papers concerning the “Angel Caught;” and the walking on the water story; and the murder story; together with “Adultery,” and the love tale of Mr. Smith’s stealing his wife; and then the all things common; together with doing away with matrimony; and then the Treason against Government; the stiring up of the Slaves against their Masters; the instigating of the Indians to war and bloodshed; together with driving the inhabitants of Jackson County, Missouri, from their houses and lands, and the taking possession of them by force.—And if it does not amount to all manner of evil, then the imagination of the Priests, and the Devil combined, is not fertile enough to fulfil the prediction of the Saviour, for I am sure they have tortured their thinking powers.—Perhaps they might have added the story of eating their own children; and of their having hairy throats, and but one eye, and that in the middle of their foreheads, &c.; as was said concerning the Waldenses, in the North of France; and of the Primitive Christians. But, however, we are willing to give our enemies the Priests, and others, together with his Satanic Majesty; great credit, for inventive and fertile imaginations, as well as for great credulity; more especially when we remember that, “Mormonism Unveiled,” which is now credited by religious editors in this city, was got up by one D. P. Hulburt, (who [39] was cut off from our society for Adultery, and afterwards put under bonds for threatening the life of Brother Smith,) who was assisted by one Deacon Clapp, who, by the by, became so familiar with Hulburt’s wife, that he had some hundred dollars to pay; besides endangering his Deaconship.

However, Hulburt being so notorious a character, it was thought best, (even after he had advertised in the papers, that he was about to publish “Mormonism Unveiled,”) to change authors, and publish under the name of Howe, (a printer in Painesville, Ohio,) whose mind had been somewhat chafed, because his own wife and sister belonged to the church of the Saints; so Howe became the adopted father of “Mormonism Unveiled.”

But that ridiculous story, (concerning Solomon Spalding’s Manuscript Found, converted, Sidney Rigdon, into the “Book of Mormon,”) published at first as a probability, without a shadow of truth; a lie, which never had any credit among the honest and intelligent part of community in the West, has at last been published in the “New-York Evangelist,” “Zion’s Watchman,” and other religious papers, as an established fact beyond the possibility of a doubt. Yes, S. Spalding is like to be set down as the author of the “Book of Mormon,” and S. Rigdon as the impostor who palmed S. Spalding’s Novel upon the World as a “Religious Work.” And many are as willing to believe this lie, as the Jews were, that the disciples had come and stolen the body of Jesus, in order to palm a deception upon that age. Thus they have “strong delusion, that they may believe a lie, that they may all be damned, who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.” All this I am willing they should enjoy, because the Scriptures must be fulfilled. But for the sake of the honest in heart, who love the truth, I here offer my testimony on this subject; as I was a personal actor in the scenes which brought S. Rigdon into an acquaintance with the “Book of Mormon,” and into connection with the Church of Latter Day Saints.

About A. D. 1827, Messrs. A. Campbell, W. Scott, and S. Rigdon, with some others, residing in Virginia, Ohio, &c., came off from the Baptists, and established a new Order, under the name of Reformed Baptists, or Disciples; and they were termed by their enemies, Campbellites, Rigdonites, &c. This reformation, as to its Doctrine, consisted principally, of the Baptism of Repentance, for Remission of Sins, &c. And Mr. Rigdon, in particular, held to a literal fulfilment and application of the written word; and by this means he was an instrument to turn many from the false notions of Sectarian Traditions, to an understanding of the Prophecies, touching the great restoration of Israel, and the mighty revolutions of the last days. Many hundred disciples were gathered by his ministry, throughout the Lake Country of Ohio; and many [40] other preachers stood in connection with him in those principles. I was then pursuing an agricultural life, and mostly occupied in converting the wilderness into a fruitful field; but being a member of the Baptist Church, and a lover of truth, I became acquainted with Mr. Rigdon, and a believer in, and a teacher of the same doctrine. After proclaiming those principles in my own neighborhood and the adjoining country, I at length took a journey to the State of New-York, partly on a visit to Columbia Co., N. Y., my native place: and partly for the purpose of ministering the word. This journey was undertaken in August, 1830. I had no sooner reached Ontario Co. N. Y., than I came in contact with the “Book of Mormon,” which had then been published about six months, and had gathered about fifty disciples, which were all that then constituted the Church of the Latter Day Saints. I was greatly prejudiced against the book; but remembering the caution of Paul, “Prove all things and hold fast that which is good,” I sat down to read it; and after carefully comparing it with the other Scriptures, and praying to God, He gave me the knowledge of its truth, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and what was I, that I should withstand God? I accordingly obeyed the Ordinances, and was commissioned by Revelation; and the laying on of hands to preach the fulness of the Gospel. Then, after finishing my visit to Columbia Co., I returned to the brethren in Ontario Co., where for the first time, I saw Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., who had just returned from Pennsylvania, to his father’s house, in Manchester. About the 15th of Oct., 1830, I took my journey, in company with Elder O. Cowdery, and Peter Whitmer, to Ohio. We called on Elder S. Ringdon, and then for the first time, his eyes beheld the “Book of Mormon;” I, myself, had the happiness to present it to him in person.

He was much surprised, and it was with much persuasion and argument, that he was prevailed on to read it, and after he had read it, he had a great struggle of mind, before he fully believed and embraced it; and when finally convinced of its truth, he called together a large congregation of his friends, neighbors, and brethren, and then addressed them very affectionately, for near two hours, during most of which time, both himself and nearly all the congregation were melted into tears. He asked forgiveness of every body who might have had occasion to be offended with any part of his former life; he forgave all who had persecuted or injured him, in any manner; and the next morning, himself and wife, were baptised by elder O. Cowdery. I was present, it was a solemn scene, most of the people were greatly affected: they came out of the water overwhelmed in tears many others were baptised by us in that vicinity, both before and after his baptism—insomuch, that during the fall of 1830, and the follow-winter and spring, the number of disciples were increased to about 1000; the Holy Ghost was mightily poured out, and the [41] word of God grew and multiplied; and many priests were obedient to the Faith. Early in 1831, Mr. Rigdon having been ordained, under our hands, visited elder J. Smith, Jr. in the state of New-York, for the first time; and from that time forth, rumor began to circulate, that he (Rigdon) was the author of the Book of Mormon. The Spaulding story never was dreamed of until several years afterwards, when it appeared in Mormonism Unveiled—a base forgery, by D. P. Hulburt, and others of similar character, who had long strove to account for the Book of Mormon, in some other way beside the truth. In the west, whole neighborhoods embraced Mormonism, after this fable of the Spaulding story, had been circulated among them; indeed, we never conceived it worthy of an answer, until it was converted by the ignorant and impudent dupes or knaves, in this city, who stand at the head of certain religious papers, into something said to be positive, certain, and not to be disputed! Now I testify, that the forgers of the Spaulding lie, (concerning S. Rigdon and others,) are of the same description as those who forged the lie against the disciples of old—accusing them of stealing the body of Jesus, &c. And those who love this lie, are no better. I mean the editors of the N. Y. Evangelist, the Zion’s Watchman, and all others who are equally guilty, including all who read and believe such a thing. And except they repent they will have their part with drunkards, whoremongers, socerers, thieves, murderers, &c., for being guilty of loving or making a lie; and in that day when the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest: then shall they know, that these things and many others were base falsehoods, put in circulation by the devil and his servants; and that the Book of Mormon, is a record of eternal truth, which speaks from the dust, as a voice from the dead, bearing record of the Gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer, reproving the sins of the world, and warning them of the things which must shortly come to pass; therefore, repent, all ye ends of the earth, and be baptised for remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and signs shall follow those that believe; and this Gospel of the kingdom shall first be preached among all Nations, and then shall the Son of Man come. Amen. [42] . . .

MR. SUNDERLAND,— Sir: If you wish your readers to come at the truth; to read both sides of the question, and judge for themselves; you will doubtless publish my answer, to your papers on Mormonism in full, in the Zion’s Watchman; justice, truth and the common principles of humanity require it; not only does justice to an injured, persecuted and inoffensive people, require it—but your readers, who have been deceived and abused by your falsehoods, slanders and misrepresentations, have claims on you, as their editor, to undeceive them; and you will remember too, that there is a still higher authority, to which all men are amenable, and that these things will stare you in the face, in the day of final retribution, if you repent not. Not only is your own welfare at stake, in time and in eternity, but the souls of thousands who read your paper, and who have not our books to compare with your quotations. With these considerations, I hope to see my answer in your paper, should it not appear, I shall conclude that you prefer the dark rather than the light, and that you dare not lay before your readers a statement of facts, and therefore, shall notice it in my next edition.

I am, respectfully, P. P. PRATT.


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