Patriotic Poetry: The Cry From the Dust Poetry Collection
New Books: The Mormon Religion is Still True
The old Catholic church traditions are worth more than all you have said. Here is a principle of logic that most men have no more sense than to adopt. I will illustrate it by an old apple tree. Here jumps off a branch and says, I am the true tree, and you are corrupt. If the whole tree Is corrupt, are not its branches corrupt? If the Catholic religion is a false religion, how can any true religion come out of it? If the Catholic church is bad, how can any good thing come out of it? The character of the old churches have always been slandered by all apostates since the world began.
Sermon by the prophet - The Christian Godhead - Plurality of Gods
Meeting in the Grove, east of the Temple, June 16, 1844:
President Joseph Smith read the 3rd chapter of Revelation, and took for his text 1st chapter. 6th verse-"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
It is altogether correct in the translation. Now, you know that of late sonic malicious and corrupt men have sprung up and apostatized from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they declare that the Prophet believes in a plurality of Gods, and, to and behold! we have discovered a very great secret, they cry-"The Prophet says there are many Gods, and this proves that he has fallen."
It has been my intention for a long tune to take up this subject and lay it clearly before the people, and show what my faith is in relation to this interesting matter. I have contemplated the saying of Jesus (Luke 17th chapter, 26th verse)- "And. as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." And If it does rain, I’ll preach this doctrine, for the truth shall be preached.
Plurality of Gods
I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity. it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.
I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it?
Our text says, "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father." The Apostles have discovered that there were Gods above, for John says God was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. My object was to preach the scriptures, and preach the doctrine they contain, there being a God above, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am bold to declare I have taught all the strong doctrines publicly, and always teach stronger doctrines in public than in private.
John was one of the men, and apostles declare they were made kings and priests unto God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It reads just so in the Revelation,. Hence the doctrine of a plurality of Gods Is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It Is all over the face of the Bible. It stands beyond the power of controversy. A wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.
Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many. I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; but to us there is but one God- that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all. But if Joseph Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry. "Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him!"
Mankind verily say that the Scriptures are with them. Search the Scriptures, for they testify of things that these apostates would gravely pronounce blasphemy. Paul, if Joseph Smith is a blasphemer, you are. I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in subjection to that one, and no man can limit the bounds or the eternal existence of eternal time. Hath he beheld the eternal world, and is he authorized to say that there is only one God? He makes himself a fool if he thinks or says so, and there is an end of his career or progress in knowledge. He cannot obtain all knowledge, for he has sealed up the gate to it.
Some say I do not interpret the Scripture the same as they do. They say it means the heathen’s gods. Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many; and that makes a plurality of Gods, in spite of the whims of all men. Without a revelation, I am not going to give them the knowledge of the God of heaven. You know and I testify that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods. I have it from God, and get over it if you can. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the text. I will show from the Hebrew Bible that I am correct, and the first word shows a plurality of Gods; and I want the apostates and learned men to come here and prove to the contrary, if they can, An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew. Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits, rendered by King James’
translators, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." I want to analyze the word Berosheit. Rosh, the head; Sheit, a ‘grammatical termination; the Baith was not originally put there when the inspired man wrote it, but It has been since added by an old Jew. Baurau signifies to bring forth; Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God, In the singular number; and by adding the word heim, it renders it Gods. It read first, "In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods." or, as others have translated it, "The head of the Gods called the Gods together." I want to show a little learning as well as other fools. * **
The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me. In the beginning the heads of the Gods organized the heavens and the earth. Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing. if we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, "The head one of the Gods said. Let us make a man in our own image." I once asked a learned Jew, If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?" He replied. "That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible." He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves: and if you go away satisfied, well and good.
In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through-Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us: and when you take [that] view of the subject. it sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.
Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son the .Holy Ghost are only one God I say that is a strange God anyhow-three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. Father. I pray not for the world, but I pray for them which thou hast given me." "Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are." All are to be crammed into one God according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God - he would be a giant or a monster. I want to read the text to you myself - I am agreed with the Father and the Father is agreed with me, and we are agreed as one." The Greek shows that it should be agreed. "Father, I pray for them which Thou hast given out of the world, and not for those alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. that they all may be agreed, as Thou, Father, are with me, and I with Thee, that they also may be agreed with us," and all come to dwell in unity, and in all the glory and everlasting burnings of the Gods; and then we shall see as we are seen, and be as our God and He as His Father. I want to reason a little on this subject. I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house.
I learned a testimony concerning Abraham, and he reasoned concerning the God of heaven. "In order to do that," said he. "suppose we have two facts: that supposes another fact may exist - two men on the earth, one wiser than the other, would logically show that another who is wiser than the wisest may exist. Intelligences exist one above another, so that there is no end to them."
If Abraham reasoned thus - If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly. Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.
I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him. As the Father had done before? He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys. I know it is good reasoning.
The Church Being Purged
I have reason to think that the Church is being purged. I saw Satan fall from heaven, and the way they ran was a caution All these are wonders and marvels in our eyes in these last days. So long as men are under the law of God, they have no fears -they do not scare themselves.
His Excellency Governor Ford:
Sir: I wrote you a long communication at 12 last night, expressive of my views of your Excellency’s communication of yesterday. I thought your letter rather severe, but one of my friends has just come to me with an explanation from the captain of your posse which softened the subject matter of your communication, and gives us greater assurance of protection, and that your Excellency has succeeded in bringing in subjection the spirits which surround your Excellency to some extent. And I declare again the only objection I ever had or ever made on trial by my country at any time, was what I have made in my last letter -on account of assassins, and the reason I have to fear deathly consequences from their hands.
But from the explanation, I now offer to come to you at Carthage on the morrow, as early as shall be convenient for your posse to escort us into headquarters, provided we can have a fair trial, not be abused nor have my witnesses abused. and have all things done in due form of law, without partiality, and you may depend on my honor without the show of a great armed force to produce excitement in the minds of the timid.
We will meet your posse, if this letter is satisfactory, (if not, inform me) at or near the Mound, at or about two o’clock tomorrow afternoon, which will be as soon as we can get our witnesses and prepare for trial. We shall expect to take our witnesses with us, and not have to wait a subpoena or part at least, so as not to detain the proceedings, although we may want time for counsel.
We remain most respectfully, your Excellency’s humble servants,
(June 23, 1844.) D. H. C. 6:550,
The Start for Carthage
Joseph paused when they got to the Temple, and looked with admiration first on that, and then on the city, and remarked, "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them." As he passed out of the city, he called on Daniel H. Wells, Esq., who was unwell, and on parting he said, "Squire Wells, I wish you to cherish my memory, and not think me the worst man in the world either."
At ten minutes to 10 a.m. they arrived at Albert G. Fellows’ farm, four miles west of Carthage, where they met Captain Dunn with a company of about sixty mounted militia, on seeing which Joseph said, "Do not be alarmed, brethren, for they cannot do more to you than the enemies of truth did to the ancient Saints -they can only kill the body." The company made a halt, when Joseph, Hyrum and several others went into Fellows’ house with Captain Dunn, who presented an order from Governor Ford for all the state arms in possession of the Nauvoo Legion, which Joseph immediately counter-signed.
Like a Lamb to the Slaughter
Henry G. Sherwood went up to Joseph and said, "Brother Joseph, shall I return to Nauvoo and regulate about getting the arms and get the receipts for them?" Joseph inquired if he was under arrest, or expected to be arrested. Sherwood answered "No," when Joseph directed him to return ahead of the company, gather the arms and do as well as he could in all things. Joseph then said to the company who were with him, ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me, ‘He was murdered in cold blood!’" He then said to Father Sherwood, "Go, and God bless you." Sherwood then rode as swiftly as he could to Nauvoo. (June 24. 1844,)
D. H. C, 6:554-555.
Joseph Smith to Governor Ford-Explaining His Return to Nauvoo
-Four Miles West of Carthage Mound
Hancock County, IIlinois
Monday. 10 o’clock
His Excellency Governor Ford:
Dear Sir:-On my way to Carthage to answer your request this morning, I here met Captain Dunn, who has here made known to me your orders to surrender the state arms in possession of the Nauvoo Legion, which command I shall comply with: and that the same may be done properly an without trouble to the state, I shall return with Captain Dunn to Nauvoo, see that the arms are put into his possession, and shall then return to headquarters in his company, when I shall most cheerfully submit to any requisition of the Governor or our state.
With all due respect to your Excellency, I remain your obedient servant.
(June 24,1844) D.H.C. 6:556.
On the Way to Carthage
The company (about fifteen) then started again for Carthage, and when opposite to the Masonic Hall. Joseph said, "Boys. if I don’t come back, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter." When they passed his farm he took a good look at it and after they had passed it he turned round several times to look again, at which some of the company made remarks, when Joseph said: "If some of you had got such a farm and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time." When they got to the edge of the woods near Nauvoo, they met A. C. Hodge returning from Carthage. He reported to Hyrum what he had heard in Carthage, told him what his feelings were and said, "Brother Hyrum. you are now clear and if it was my duty to counsel you, I would say. do not go another foot. for they say they will kill you. if you go to Carthage." but as other persons gathered around, nothing further was said. (June 24, 1844,) D. H. C. 6:558.
The Prophet’s Interview with Militia Officers
Several of the officers of the troops in Carthage, and other gentlemen, curious to see the Prophet, visited Joseph in his room. General Smith asked them if there was anything in his appearance that indicated he was the desperate character his enemies represented him to be, and he asked them to give him their honest opinion on the subject. The reply was, "No, sir, your appearance would indicate the very contrary, General Smith; but we cannot see what is in your heart, neither can we tell what are your intentions." To which Joseph replied, "Very true, gentlemen. you cannot see what is in my heart, and you are therefore unable to judge me or my intentions: but I can see what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see that you thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. It is not for crime of any description that I and my brethren are thus continually persecuted and harassed by our enemies, but there are other motives, and some of them I have expressed, so far as relates to myself; and inasmuch as you and the people thirst for blood, I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present shall have an opportunity to face the cannon’s mouth from sources you think not of; and those people that desire this great evil upon me and my brethren, shall be filled with regret and sorrow because of the scenes of desolation and distress that await them. They shall seek for peace. and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen, you will find what I have told you to be true." (June 25, 1844.) D. H. C. 6:566.