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 Biblical scholars have searched for many decades for collateral proof that the person Jesus Christ actually existed.  The Book of Mormon provides that proof.  It gives a history of one part of the House of Israel led by a Prophet of God to the Western Hemisphere about 600 years before Jesus.  When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, it was not even known that such an advanced civilization existed.  Several of the books of Scripture were brought with them providing evidence of the truth of those books.  The people soon divided into one group that followed the Prophets of God and were generally a righteous people.  The other group was rebellious and sought to kill the other.  It tells of Jesus’ mission among the righteous people—the “other sheep” that he had told the Jews.  “16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10)  About 400 years after Jesus’ mission, the people turned wicked and were destroyed down the last man, a Prophet of God, who hid their records to be recovered at a future time—by Joseph Smith.  This page includes three sections: (1) Essay on the Book of Mormon by Wingfield Watson in 1899, (2) 31 questions for anyone that questions the authenticity of the Book of Mormon to answer, and (3) evidences of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon by Apostle John E. Page in 1848 and 1849; but, never completed.  Those who are called of God (Eph. 1:5), open their heart, earnestly seek the kingdom of God, and pray for such understanding will have their minds opened to the truth.

“We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.  [“3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down unto the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Moroni 10:3-5]

“Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.” (Introduction, Book of Mormon)

“14 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!” (2 Nephi 27:12)

1. Essay on the Book of Mormon (Below).
2. 33 questions (click here if you want to go directly to that page).
3. Collateral Testimony of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon by Apostle John E. Page (click here if you want to go directly to that page).

  THE BOOK OF MORMON

AN ESSAY ON ITS CLAIMS AND PROPHECIES,
BY WINGFIELD WATSON,
AN ELDER IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS

Among the many remarkable discoveries of this very remarkable and productive generation, the Book of Mormon occupies no very ordinary place. There is no book in the Eng­lish language, or perhaps in any other, that has received so wide­spread and bitter denunciation from both press and pulpit, as the Book of Mormon; nor is there anything, look­ing at it from our Mormon standpoint, having well investigated and tested its claims, that is, we feel, more unjust and undeserved.
     Briefly, it claims to be an abridgment of the sacred records kept by the forefathers of the aborigines of this American Continent, very much as the Bible is such a record of the Israelites, on the Eastern Continent.

It claims that the American Indi­ans, as we call them, are but a remnant of a once great and powerful nation, which sprang from a few families of the lineage of the Patriarch Joseph, who were brought to this land under the immediate direction of God, a little previous to the Babylonish Captivity. This history ex­tends over a period of about one thousand year, ending about the close of the fourth century of the Christian era. This book informs us that this colony brought with them the Five Books of Moses, written up­on brass plates, and the prophecies of the Holy Prophets given from the days of Adam down to the time of their departure from the Land of Palestine ; and includes some of the prophecies of Jeremiah. That this people sometime after their coming here divided into two peoples; the one called Nephites, being led by prophets, who led them by the counsels of God, warned them of judgments, and often led them successfully in battle against the other people, who were called Lamanites, who became regardless of God, and his counsels, and were cruel, revengeful, and terrible; delight­ing in wars, robbery, and bloodshed, seeking continually to utterly destroy their brethren, the Nephites, from the face of the earth.

These prophets, we are informed, pre­dicted many great national events; foretold the coming ministry, persecution, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; pointed out signs that would be given on this land, both of his birth and of his death, and finally, that he should after his resurrection appear to and manifest himself to the righteous in this land; that he should greatly bless them, and establish his church among them, and that it would continue for some four hundred years afterward. That at the time of the crucifixion of Christ, there were great darkness all over this land; that the earth groaned and the rocks rent; that nanny cities were sunk, and waters came up in their stead; that others took fire and burned up, and that mountains were carried up upon others, and that so great were the judgments over all [Page 2] this land because of the wickedness of a great part of the people, that the whole face of this Northern Continent of America was changed from its usual and natural appearance. That it was while in the act of weeping and mourning for the loss of their kindred and people after the darkness had receded, and the quaking of the earth had ceased, that Jesus stood in their midst, in his glory, and ministered unto them as he had ministered to the saints in Jerusalem. Now, it was the desire and the prayer of the righteous upon this land, that the gospel of Jesus Christ, as had here among them, in its purity should be preserved, and come by way of the Gentiles to their posterity in the lat­ter days; having full knowledge by the spirit of prophecy, that the Gen­tiles would in the future, be led to discover and inhabit this land. Accordingly a prophet of the name of Mormon, being the last one among them, was commanded of the Lord to make an abridgment of all the sacred writings had among them. Which he did, and put all in the hands of his son Moroni, who also by command of the Lord hid them up in a hill which he calls Cumorah, where they have lain from about the close of the fourth century till they were delivered, by the direction of an angel, into the hands of Joseph Smith, in 1829, who, we are informed, translated them by the gift and power of God, into the English language. This book is therefore called the Book of Mormon, because of its being an abridgment of sacred things by the Prophet Mormon. Here we must refer the reader who wishes to get a further knowledge of these things to the works of different other authors, who have given a more particular account of these matters, as Oliver Chowder’s Letters, Orson Pratt’s Visions of Joseph the Seer; A Voice of Warning to all Nations, by Parley P. Pratt, and others.

Not withstanding the ordeal of pious slander, and priestly and editorial denunciation, which the Book of Mormon has passed through, it still reminds one of one of those celebrated lighthouses, imbedded and bolted into the solid rock, against which the im­mense billows and mountain waves of ocean may foam and swell and dash themselves, but bass by to their own place, leaving it entirely unin­jured and still casting its cheering light to guide the tempest tossed mariner and send him on his way re­joicing. Again it would remind one of some grand hidden treasure, which the more it is tested the better one is satisfied of its golden genuineness. Or of a true witness at court who, the more he is buffeted, brow-beaten, and roughly handled by his opponent, the better are the court and an honest jury satisfied of his veracity.

Here we will say a few things which we feel we can say of the Book of Mormon, in truth, and without fear of successful contradiction.

1. That there is not a man, nor set of men, upon the face of the earth capable of proving the Book of Mormon an imposition.

2. That there is not a man, nor set of men, on earth, who can give any well-grounded reason for rejecting it, as a revelation from God.

3. That it is supported as a revela­tion from God by a number of wit­nesses, such as are sufficient to settle or decide any case in law or equity, anywhere under heaven, in a court of justice.

4. That it harmonizes with archeology, chronology, and history, and is not opposed in any way to science.

5. That the more thoroughly it is investigated, examined, and tested by the unerring laws of truth, the better one is satisfied of its claim of being a divine record.

6. There is not a line in the Book of Mormon that opposes in any way the divine teachings of the Bible.

7. There is not a true Mormon on earth, man or woman, but will say that the perusal, study, and investi­gation of the contents and claims of the Book of Mormon, has given them at least double the regard for the Bible and its teachings, that they ever could have without that Book.

8. That the faith of the Mormons in the promises and decrees of God as set forth in the Bible, is at least [Page 3] doubled by means of the Book of Mormon.

9. That they are much better men and women in every way with the Book of Mormon, than they would ever have been without it.

10. That it is impossible that, as a people, they could ever have endured the persecution, the privations, want, and destitution consequent upon the whole people being several times robbed and driven from their homes, and accomplished the prodigious under­takings which their enemies give them the credit of accomplishing, in the same length of time, if they had no faith in the Book of Mormon.

11. That the temperance, chastity, hospitality, industry, cheerfulness, fair dealing, general devotion, and self-denial of the Mormon people which many distinguished Gentiles have given them credit for, is due in great measure to their faith in the Book of Mormon, and in Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.

12. That there are various conjectures and theories among the learned as to the origin and authorship of the Book of Mormon, each making war upon the other, and no two of them alike; the whole making a very grand bundle of contradictions.

To this we must add that the chief means resorted to as a weapon against the Book of Mormon, is the constant effort to blacken the character of Joseph Smith, and his early associates, in order to render them infamous, and their testimony worthless; relying upon slander and defamation instead of testing the book on its own merits and letting it stand or fall on that. In these matters, these reverend and learned gentlemen exhibit a skill in knavery, and the perversion of facts and history that is really so unblushing and surprising as to make it difficult to really find a parallel elsewhere.

Now then, we ask where is the sin of believing in the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God? The Almighty requires men to have a living faith in Him and in His promises, precepts and commandments, and that they be obedient, temperate, chaste, industrious, sober, kind, gentle, persevering, and, just; and our enemies being the judges, we know of no peo­ple on earth, where these good traits are possessed in so high a degree, as among the Mormons

But is this all that can he said of the Book of Mormon? Most assuredly it is not. The Book of Mormon, besides being correct in doctrine, and in perfect harmony with the New Testament, making many things in it of vital interest, but in dispute among the learned, very plain and easy to the understanding of the simplest ca­pacity, contains also many import­ant prophecies in relation to this present generation, many of which are fulfilled and are still fulfilling since it came forth in 1830; prophecies which, let us say, no human foresight, however sagacious, could have anticipated or expected.

And how that Joseph Smith, a mere youth, with but at common school education, and very meager at that, being very poorly able to write his own name or commit his thoughts to paper, could by his own unaided judgment have foretold such events as have taken place since the Book of Mormon was printed, with such ac­curacy and precision, is merely preposterous.

First, The Book of Mormon gives us to understand that after its publi­cation into the English—which took place in 1830—that “many will believe the words of the book,” “and the Jews which are scattered, shall begin to believe in Christ, and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land. And it shall cone 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.” (See 2nd Book of Nephi, chap. 12)

For such a youth, with such an ed­ucation, to predict such events with such remarkable certainty is certainly most extraordinary to say the least of it. To say nothing of the fulfillment of the saying that man should believe in the Book of Mormon after its publication—verified in so remarkable a manner, and still going on—the prediction that the Jews [Page 4] who had been scattered in all nations for over seventeen centuries, should begin to return to their own lands, was something that no man, unaided by inspiration, could have the least hope would take place. Yet this has actually taken place, and many thous­and Jews are now living in Palestine , though at the time of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon they were prevented from returning to that land by some of the severest enactments passed by the Turkish government against it. Enactments which, we understand, forbade any more than three hundred Jews to re­side there at any time.

Moreover upon the statute books of nearly all nations up to this time, there had been very illiberal and oppressive laws enacted against the Jews; but since then, these laws have been and still are being repealed one by one, till scarcely any of them now remain in force anywhere; and the Jews are now as free to exercise the rights of citizenship in nearly all na­tions, as any of the people of those nations themselves. Consequently they have not only returned in many thousands to the long sought lands of their fathers, but the way for the entire return of all the Jews from all lands, who wish to do so, has been, and is being constantly prepared, and every hindrance to it is being removed. Again, the number of Jews who have become believers in Jesus Christ as their long expected Messiah, since the Book of Mormon has been published, is very remarkable.

Second, The Book of Mormon tells us that the fullness of the gospel as it is contained in that Book, must first go to the nations of the Gentiles, and then it must go to all the House of Israel, who are scattered upon all the face of the earth, to gather them out of all countries, and establish them in their own lands, no more to be scattered for ever. (1st Book of Nephi, chap. 3, par. 46, 47; chap. 4-5.)

And now when we see the Gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon harmonizing and uniting as it does with the New Testament, and, as it were, making these two Books one, going into all nations, and bringing many thousands of the honest in heart out of all these countries year after year, till now it has gone into nearly all Europe and many other countries, we cannot hide it from ourselves if we would, that this very gospel will yet soon go to all Israel; and that by means of it, Israel will be gathered from all lands. That indeed shall hinder it from a accomplishing this great mission?

Nothing on earth is easier than to put forth predictions; but to predict a thing that will be truly fulfilled in every particular is altogether an­other and different thing.

The carrying of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament to the nations of the earth, without purse or scrip, is attended with a good deal of sacrifice upon the part of those who do it, and is most certainly no child’s play.

The sacrifice of home, family, friends, and the neglect of business for long periods of time to travel in a foreign country, meeting constantly the scorn, reproach, and buffetings of a fashionable clergy, and their fashionable and refined congregations, strangers in strange lands, without knowing from day to day where one was going to lay his head, or break the bread of life; and where countless impediments and opposition are laid in the way to prevent the spread of this gospel: where one has constantly to look to God, and him alone, to make provisions for one’s natural wants, is self evidently a state of mind that it takes much more to bring about than the mere misguided utterances or prophecies of a vain impostor.

Those who imagine such things natural to man give Joseph Smith greatly more credit for foresight and natural ability, than any Mormon can give him credit for, we most em­phatically assure the reader.

The orthodox clergy of the present day are oft at their wits ends to know how to get up revivals and make converts, but many times ut­terly fail. Yet they say that Mor­monism spreads and increases its converts with rapidity unequalled [Page 5] by any other church or denomination. But why don’t those very shrewd clergymen who pretend they “know all about Jo Smith,” and “how Mormonism was conjured up,” originate some creditable and praiseworthy plan of reviving their tottering churches, if it is a matter which a “vile impostor,” such as they imagine Joseph Smith to be, can ac­complish so easily?

Third, The Book of Mormon, in various places in it, teaches that every man in every age, and of all condi­tions, from the days of Adam down to the present day, and onward to the second coming of Christ in the latter days, who is honestly seeking the kingdom of God, to know the will of God, and the way of salva­tion, that he may be saved, and avoid being deceived by the cunning craftiness of men or devils, has a right to receive revelation from God, and the manifestations of his Holy Spirit as it was enjoyed in the apostolic times and in the days of Moses; as for instance: “For he that diligently seeketh shall find, and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times (that is, in the sixth century before Christ) as in times of old; and as well in times of old, as in times to come;” assuring us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that “his course is one eternal round.” (1 Book of Nephi, chap. 3, par. 9) Again: “when ye shall receive these things,” that is, the Book of Mor­mon, “I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the eternal Father, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it, unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost: and by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” “And Christ truly said un­to our fathers, if ye have faith, ye can do all things which is expedient unto me. And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth, that if the day cometh, that the gifts and power of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And woe be unto the children of men, if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the gifts and power of God. And woe unto them that shall do these things away and die, for they shall die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God .” (See chap. 10, Book of Moroni , Book of Mormon)

While the leaders of the many churches of the present day have been denouncing the precious things of the Book of Mormon, as imposition and fraud, they have not been aware that many Latter Day Saints or Mormons have, through the prayer of faith in the name of Jesus Christ according to the above admonitions, and also many such admonitions of the New Testament, obtained for themselves a certain knowledge that the Book of Mormon and the revelations of Joseph Smith are true; a knowledge which makes their hearts glad and that gives them a peace, a courage, and a consolation that the world and the orthodox clergy know nothing about. And herein, we may truly say is the key to their success in building up that church under every known difficulty, adversity, and op­position. This is why the Mormon people increase in such a. ratio as it does, while the churches that denounce and oppose them constantly decay and go over to infidelity.

We have quoted the above sayings as prophetic; simply because neither Mormons nor any other people, know that they are true, till they search and compare them with the scriptures, and test them by the prayer of faith, as above admonished and re­quired; and we feel safe in saying that very few Mormons, if indeed there are any, have ever went out to preach the gospel, who could not say that they knew their faith was true by evidence that they could not possibly be mistaken in; for God has shown it to them by one or another of those various gifts, by which he manifested himself to men and women in days of old, who were faithful to his pre­cepts.

[Page 6] All these precious gifts of God as possessed by the Church of Christ in days of old are possessed by the Latter Day Saints, according as they follow the directions given in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament; while the orthodox are everywhere preaching that revelation ceased in John the revelator; and since his day no more revelation is to be expected; giving all to understand that “our wisdom and our knowledge is now so all-sufficient that we no longer need revelation to guide us.” O, fools and madmen! Pray where did these learned divines get this precious knowledge from? Most truly not from the scriptures; for these, even the revelations of St. John themselves, very gravely give the lie to all this. It is enough, how­ever, for us that the scriptures from beginning to end, uphold the Book of Mormon and the Mormons in this matter of continued revelation, and very clearly condemns the enemies of it, in all generations, learned, and unlearned.

Take for instance the following: Heb. 5: 4-5. “No man taketh this honor,” that is, the honor or office of the priesthood “unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron;” and here we are also informed that ev­en Jesus Christ did not glorify or mag­nify himself by taking this honor un­til he was called to it by the Almighty, who said to him, “Thou art my beloved son, this day have I begotten thee.” We contend then that, if no man can act in the name of God as a priest or minister, but he that is called of God as was Aaron, that is, by revelation, that all the so-called ministers and priests of God throughout christendom, are simply usurpers and impostors; for they every one, deny the necessity of revel­ation, for any purpose whatever. This is rather severe language we know; but they will have to charge it upon the Almighty, and not upon the Mormons.

But this is not all, by very great odds. This same Paul who wrote the above, has also told us, that God has set in his church apostles and prophets, evangelists [high priests], pastors [elders], and teachers with the various gifts of the Holy Ghost, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the minis­try, for the edifying of the body or church of Christ . Till we all come into the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the son of God, into a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph. 4, 8-13. See also 12-14 chapters of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinth­ians) Every reasonable man should know that if the church in Paul’s day could not be perfected, nor edified, nor kept in the unity of faith, and from being carried about by every wind of doctrine, and the cunning craftiness of deceivers without apostles, prophets, and evangelists called of God, as was Aaron, that is by revelation from God—for that was truly how Aaron was called (Ex. 28:1)—and possessed of the various gifts of the Holy Ghost to qualify them for their ministry, that surely such things cannot be done now without such officers, and gifts, in the church God.

The three chapters above referred to in 1 Cor. are occupied by Paul in showing the necessity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit of God, in the church, and at the conclusion he says, “If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write unto you, are the commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 14:27) That being the case, then it becomes a matter of the highest importance to all men to know whether the Almighty has ever abrogated these commandments or not. But not only do we find no evidence of the abrogation of these most important commandments, but we find throughout the scriptures that they remain in full force, and must till the consummation of all things. A mere glance at modern Christendom with its vast number of clashing and contradictory creeds, and contending priests and ministers, should convince anyone that there [Page 7] is no “unity of faith” among them and that men are carried about with every wind of doctrine, and misled upon nearly every principle of the faith of Jesus Christ, and that dark­ness everywhere covers the earth, and gross darkness the minds of all peo­ple, for want of revelation and the gifts of the Gospel, as set forth by Paul, and Jesus, and all the apostles. We find everywhere, the same need for all these precious things that there has been at any time in the his­tory of mankind. Nor is there the slightest hope that it will ever be any different among them until they begin to regard the Almighty as all prophets and apostles regarded him); that is, as “a revealer of secrets,” one “who revealeth the deep and secret things,” who knows what is in the darkness, the light being ever with him. (Dan. 2:19-22, 28, 29, 47)

Joseph in Egypt says: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” In other words, do not the revealing of all secrets of any importance to man, which cannot be settled by hu­man wisdom, belong to him? (Gen. 40:8.) Moses says, “Would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that God would put his spirit upon them.” (Num. 11:26-29) He did not teach men to trust to their own wisdom certainly.

Again he says, “The secret thins belong unto God;” that is, they be­long to God to reveal; “but the things that are revealed belong to us and our children for ever,” etc. (Deut. 29:29.)

Job says, “He (God) discovereth—revealeth—deep things out of darkness, and bringeth to light the shadow of death,” or the place of the departed dead. (Job 12:22 )

Paul says, “I would that ye all spake with tongues; but rather that ye prophesied; for greater is he that prophesieth, than he that speaketh in tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying, “that is enlightenment, strength, knowl­edge, wisdom and encouragement in righteousness. (1 Cor. 14, 5)

Solomon says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18) And again he says, “Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the Lord understand all things,” that is, they understand all that they enquire of God in rela­tion to (28:5). “I said not,” says the Almighty, “to the House of Israel, seek ye me in vain.” This shows very plainly that God has not only commanded men to seek knowledge from him, but that they will not seek it in vain. (Is. 45:19) Saul’s father once lost some asses, and sending his son to look for them, the latter failing to find them, was simple minded enough to go and enquire of God for them through Samuel the prophet. Samuel did not scold him nor call him superstitious or anything of that kind; but seemed to be well pleased with the young man for so doing. (1 Sam. 9 chap)

Says Jesus, “what man is there of you who if his son ask for bread will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:7-11)

Not withstanding all this, the clergy of all denominations, actually be­lieve where an innocent young man, like Joseph Smith, who was suffering much in his mind in consequence of not knowing which of all the clashing systems of faith now on the earth was the true one, and was encouraged by various scriptures to enquire of God that he might know this most important thing, that God actually gave him a serpent when he asked for a fish;--simply deceived and bewildered him, when he asked to be enlightened upon the most important question that was ever presented to man. And when God answered him in a most glorious vision that none of them were right, and that they were all following erroneous and abominable creeds, it is no wonder that they all, with here and there a rare exception, persecuted him with a most bitter persecution, as their fathers of old persecuted the prophets, for telling them the truth.

The scriptures are full of evidence that “God is a revealer of secrets” to [Page 8] all mankind in every age, in every country, and to every people who call upon him faithfully, and even more; that he is actually well pleased with men and women and children, who seek knowledge and wisdom from him. Moreover, as the apostle James tells us he will not only not upbraid any man for asking him, but he will give him liberally of the things asked. (James 1:5)

Most unquestionably then, the Book of Mormon is right in contending for, and teaching the necessity of continued revelation from God; for the scriptures, when we once get the scales of sectarianism removed from our eyes, most truly condemn the priests and divines of all ages, who contend against revelation from God looking at all these things in the light of revelation we may truly say that all the gross delusions, deceptions, and frauds, that have in the shape of religion in all the past, curs­ed, blinded, oppressed, and deluded mankind, have been palmed upon them, and have been fostered and built up among men because they either would not enquire of God, or else knew not that it was their privi­lege so to do. In modern times it is this same disregard of revelation that has fostered, and fastened a hundred clashing and nonsensical creeds upon mankind, and led their advocates to contend one with another, and to so grossly pervert the written things of God, that almost every thinking man turns away from them in disgust and despair of finding that good way wherein if a man walk, he shall not stumble, but find rest to his soul.

Here we shall leave this matter with the reader to decide with him­self whether God will not or ought not to give knowledge by revelation to the honest seeker after truth; and whether the Book of Mormon is right or wrong upon this subject.

To this we could have added a very considerable array of prophecy from the Bible showing unmistakably that God will in the near future reveal great things to the House of Israel, who are now scattered in all lands; preparatory to their being gathered to their own lands; but will not now.

The next point which we shall test on the veracity of the Book of Mormon is that it accuses the old mother church of Rome of suppressing and taking away “many plain and precious parts” from the Bible; or the sacred writings of the prophets and apostles; so that after these writings came down through that church to the time of the Reformation, there are many precious things and covenants, which God had previously revealed and made with his people, entirely lacking; and that the object of this great and abominable church, as she is here called, in taking away these precious things, was that “she might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.” (See 1st Book of Nephi, chap. 3:43)

This raises another very serious question between the Book of Mor­mon and all those divines who say that “the canon of scripture is full, and we need no more revelation,” etc. We are quite willing that the scriptures themselves shall decide this great point, either against the Book of Mormon, or against modern divines. We shall first examine Acts 3:18 to 24. “But these things which God hath spewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” It is here plain then that all the prophets of God, before Jesus Christ came into the world, had said at least something in reference to the sufferings, trials, persecutions, and death that Jesus was to die, but in looking over the prophecies of the Old Testament, we find it very sadly lacking in any such prophecies.

1st. In some eleven of the sixteen prophets now remaining in the Bible, there is not one word in reference to either the sufferings, death or coming of Jesus Christ; or in any way refer­ring to him whatever; and 2d, there is so little of anything definite as to time or place referring to him in the five or six other prophets that re­main, we feel at a loss—yes greatly at a loss—to know how the greater part of it could be applied to Christ, anyway.

Verse 22, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the [Page 9] Lord our God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you;” etc.

True, we find these words in Deuteronomy; but how anyone in the days of Christ could apply them unto him, without something more in the connection, clearly pointing to Christ, is anything but easy to see. At any rate if the Mormons should pick up a prophecy so indefinite in itself as to time, place, or tribe, and apply them to Joseph Smith for in­stance as proof that he was some great prophet promised in these days, we should expect that the whole christian world would laugh at us; and indeed who could blame them? The words as they now stand in the text no more point to Christ than they do to any other prophet before him.

Verse 24, “Yea and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, AS MANY AS HAVE SPOKEN, have LIKEWISE foretold OF THESE DAYS.”

Now you may begin with the prophet Samuel—great a prophet as he was—and you cannot find a line in all his writings, that alludes to Christ in the most distant manner whatever. Then go through the prophets Jeremiah, and Ezekiel—two other great prophets—and not a line is there in them that alludes to Christ or his times. Then turn to Hosea, Jonah, Amos, Nahum, Habakuk, Obadiah, Zephaniah and Haggai, and nothing in relation to Christ what­ever is found in their writings. And to these eleven prophets, all following Samuel, we may add some five other noted prophets, who also fol­lowed Samuel, whose works are wholly and entirely lost, and who according to our text must have spoken of the days of Christ: as the Book of Nathan the Prophet, the Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chron. 29:29), the Book of the Prophecy of Ahijah, the Book of Iddo the Seer (2d. Chron. 9:29 ), and the Book of Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chron. 12:15 ).

So when we come to consider the little that is now remaining in reference to Christ in the other few Books, viz.: Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, Malachi and Psalms, we find a good deal of difficulty in applying most of them to Christ’s days at all; for a considerable part of even this, refers to the times of Christ’s second coming and not to the first.

In connection with all this, including the saying that “Oppolis mightily (powerfully and overwhelmingly) convinced the Jews and that publicly, showing by the scriptures, that Jesus was the Christ,” (Acts 18:28; 9:22) we are compelled to believe that a wholesale robbery and suppression of holy scriptures have taken place since the fathers of the New Testament fell asleep. Surely Peter, on the day of Pentecost, in the presence of a host of Jews from all quarters of the globe, all of whom were in possession of these prophecies, could not have had the effrontery to tell this people of prophecies in relation to Christ, written in all these books that had never had an existence. And surely also, if in the days of Paul there were only the few isolated sayings in the prophecies, in relation to Christ, that we now find there, neither Oppolis, nor anyone else, could mightily convince the Jews or any other people that Jesus was the Christ. Had he only lived in our day, we cannot but think that he would have an up-hill business in convincing the Jews of that fact, with just such means.

The Book of Mormon then, so far is a true witness in relation to “many plain and precious things” being tak­en away from the Holy Scriptures. Again: “To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall have remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43 )

Here again the same lack of testimony is found; eleven of these prophets having nothing whatever remaining in relation to Christ, and five being entirely lost. And by the way, this text includes all the prophets since the world began, as well as those from Samuel afterward. So far from testimony being found in all the prophets that whosoever believed in Jesus Christ should receive a re­mission of their sins, we cannot find [Page 10] such testimony in any definite shape in any of them, except about two; but most anyone who was a little particular would reject them as al­luding very definitely to Christ, or to any known person in particular.

Here again is evidence of wholesale robbery and suppression of sacred things. Yet the chief Priests and Scribes of modern times tell us very gravely that “the canon of scripture is full and we need no more revelation or prophets!” An awful comment is this surely upon their wisdom and learning!

In the Book of Mormon we read that Joseph when in Egypt, prophe­sied very pointedly in regard to the raising up of Moses to deliver the house of Israel out of bondage in that nation. (2d chap. Second Book of Nephi, par. 1) In Stephen’s apol­ogy (Acts 7), speaking of Moses when he had to flee out of Egypt , he says that “he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God, by his hand, would deliver them, but they understood not.” (5:25) Now if there had been nothing written by any prophet previous to Moses, in relation to Moses being their deliverer, we do not see why Moses should suppose that Israel should expect or hope that he should be their deliverer any more than anybody else. To expect them to understand anything of that kind, without being informed of it by revelation, would be very unreasonable indeed. Hence this saying of Stephen is evidence of still more loss of sacred things.

Paul, in his defense before King Agrippa, says, “Having therefore, obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing unto small and great, saying none other things than those which Moses and the prophets did say should come, that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead,” etc. (Acts, 26:22) Here again we find loss of sacred things. First, there is not a word in all the writ­ings of Moses that Christ should either suffer, or that he should be the first that should rise from the dead. Nor is there a line in all the prophets that he should be the first that should rise from the dead. Then again, Paul certainly taught some very important things in his preach­ing not now found in either Moses or the prophets; as baptism for the remission of sins, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament of the Lord’s supper—(Acts, 19:1 to 6; Rom. 6:1 to 6) Then again, he taught “baptism for the dead,”—an ordi­nance now unknown to all the divines of modern Christendom, and nowhere mentioned now in either Moses or the prophets; and yet he says he said nothing in his preaching but what “Moses and the prophets did say should come,” etc. This also indicates robbery—and suppression of Holy Scripture, plain and sacred. (1 Cor. 15:16) In another place, Paul reminds his followers that Israel were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Cor.10:1 to 5) Now the Book of Mormon teaches that the gospel as taught in the days of Jesus Christ and his apostles, is as old as Adam, and was preached among; the antediluvians, and in Abraham’s day, and that it was practiced by the saints in all ages; and that faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins: and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, was known to them all. But through Paul tells us that all Israel were baptized in the days of Moses, and all ate of the same spiritual meat, and drank of the same spiritual drink of the gospel of Jesus Christ, (Heb. 4:1), yet there is not a line in all the Books of Moses, nor in the prophets, that makes any mention of these ordinances being had among them from Adam to Christ. Here again is evidence of “plain and precious things” being robbed from the scriptures. In his writings we find two epistles of his also lost. (See Col. 4:16; 1 Cor. 5:9) If these thins were all necessary in the days of old to the [Page 11] welfare of God’s people, who will say that they are not necessary now? Who says that, “the canon of scripture is full?” God or man? Most certainly God has never said so.

On a certain occasion the Saducees came to Jesus with a question growing out of the Law of Moses in relation to marriage. That law required that as often as a man died, leaving a wife but no posterity that the next oldest brother should take her, and raise up posterity to his dead brother, “lest his name be lost in Israel .” (Deut. 25:5-10; Ruth 4:9-12)

Now said they, a certain case oc­curred where seven brothers had such a woman, one after the other, and all died leaving no posterity by her. “In the resurrection, therefore,” said they, “whose wife of the seven shall she be,” for they all had her. Jesus answers, “ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

Here, it would seem very plain that in the days of Jesus Christ there were scriptures in being, that would have very easily set those Saducees right if they had only searched them in regard to this question. Why should Jesus speak of the scriptures at all in this case if there had been nothing in them pointing directly to the solu­tion of this question? Again, why should the Saducees put such a question as this to Jesus or anybody else unless there had been something written showing that marriage concerned the life to come as well as this? But you may search the scriptures from beginning to end and you will not find a line that refers to this matter, in the most distant manner. Here again one may reasonably infer that very interesting scriptures are suppressed.

Paul again tells us that “the eye hath not seen, neither hath the ear hoard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” But said he again “God hath revealed them to us (his saints) by his spirit; for the spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” Paul meant of course that the natural or the unregenerate man knows nothing of these great things; but it was not so with the saints of God. By the spirit of God they were enabled to discern them in the inspired writings of the prophet”, and also by the manifestations of the spirit itself. But ask those divines who oppose the Book of Mormon and tell us that “the canon of scripture is full and want no more revelation,” to tell you anything definite in relation to “the things which God has pre­pared for them that love him,” and what can they tell you? Very much the same as nothing at all. A thinking man needs something more definite than mere allusions to ‘’the Shining River,” “the Mystic Shore,” “the Shining Shore,” “Jordan’s banks,” ‘’Canaan’s happy shore,” “Heaven and the realms of bliss,” and “the golden streets,” and “over there,” and “beyond the swelling flood,” “beyond the bounds of time and space,” and a hundred other pious nothings.

The apostle Jude tells us that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of the second coming of Christ in the Latter days, saying: “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14) But where now is this great and good Book of Enoch? Gone;--suppressed with all the rest. Indeed, we have come within a very little of losing even this prophecy; for when one considers that all we now have of so clear and forcible a writer as the apostle Jude, is one little scrap of a letter, we cannot but think that both prophecy and letter had a very narrow escape from being buried in the oblivion of all the rest.

Again we may very reasonably ask if it has been necessary to preserve the writings of some eight of the apostles why should not the writings of the other four be preserved? What has become of these great and holy men’s works? Did not all of the Twelve travel and preach and have the heavens opened to them, and receive [Page 12] revelation, and knowledge, and power, and suffer martyrdom, one as well as the others? Who will say that the writings of these remaining apostles might not occupy a very important place in the salvation of man, and might not settle some very important questions now in dispute among the orthodox sects, and parties of the present day? Saint Luke in the preface to his gospel says, “For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, ...it seem­ed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,” to write and to bear witness of the gospel of Christ. (See Luke 1:1-4)

Now there are only eight writers of what is now called the New Testament; Matt., Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. Luke is placed third in the order of these writers; yet for all we know, he might have been the first of the eight, yet he says that many had written an account of the works and claims of Jesus Christ before he commenced. But if his place among the eight is right, surely two are not many. These things all taken together show a loss of sacred writings that is at once apparent and alarming, and forces the conclusion that if the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants among the Latter Day Saints, are not revelations from God, most certainly they ought to be! As the Book of Mormon says, it is no great wonder, “that an exceeding great many do stumble, because of the many plain and precious parts taken away from the book of the Lamb of God.” Every reflecting man knows that infidelity in these days has taken very lengthy and rapid strides. We cannot but think that if they had had the many plain and precious things above referred to, and plainly shown to have been robbed from the scriptures that infidelity could not have taken the gigantic strides that it has.

Still we often hear the remark that “If God saw that we had need of any more scripture, he would no doubt have given it to us.” A very short­sighted and foolish remark indeed. God has frequently given commandments to men neither to add to nor diminish from his words, and all this implies that man—especially wicked men when they get into power—may and will do it, just as they do many other things forbidden. (Deut. 4:2, 12, 32; Pro. 30:6) Moreover he has frequently commanded that his word be written on monuments, that it might not only speak to the passerby, but that they might also preserve them from generation to generation; but the hand of time and barbarism, destroys almost the best monuments, and unless well protected from the elements, they must be renewed from time to time, or else eventually go to ruin and decay.

Thus was Joshua and all Israel , and their prophets commanded to preserve them. (Deut. 27:1-8; Hab. 2:2) The remains of many such monuments are still in existence; but time has so preyed upon their testimony that they are anything but complete. But aside from all this, we have the precious promise that God will, in spite of all the efforts of wicked men to destroy them, pre­serve all his words from generation to generation, for ever and ever, as “choice silver tried in a furnace of earth, and purified seven times.” (Ps. 12:6, 7; Pro. 2:7; Is. 55:11; Math. 5:18) Now in all the above reference we find the decree that God will pre­serve his word and that it shall accomplish the thing for which it was sent, and that none of it shall be lost though the heavens and the earth pass away; yet all this furnishes no argument that it will be found al­ways among those who oppose and disregard it, and seek to destroy it. We may rest assured that when the Romish power “cast down the truth to the ground,” as foretold by Dan­iel, and destroyed the “mighty and the holy people,” the almighty had his eye upon this matter, and measures were taken by him to hide up and preserve his holy words to come forth again, in his own good time in the Latter Days to build up his church again, and establish his Kingdom no [Page 13] more to be thrown down forever. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon in these days is the very vast evidence that God thus preserves his words forever and ever; and that they will accomplish that which he pleases, and prosper in that which he has sent it to do.

Speaking of the blinding, fool­ish, conflicting, and false teachings of the present day, and the corruption and pride of religious leaders, it goes on to say, “Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false, and vain, and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord, and their works shall be in the dark; and the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.” (12 chap., 2 Book of Nephi, par. L)

The reader will bear in mind that the time alluded to, is that following the coming forth of the Book of Mormon it 1830; and the saints whose blood would cry to heaven against their murderers are those who believe in the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God, and Joseph Smith, the chosen instrument in the hands of God to bring it to light. The Book of Mormon recognizes none others in this generation as saints. In less than eight years from the publication of the Book of Mormon, many of the saints were literally slaughtered, shot down in cold blood for no other reason than that they were Mormons, and this too by mobs led and harangued into the maddest fury and violence by reverend divines and ministers of various religious de­nominations, in Missouri, and afterward in Illinois. The prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, and different others even since that time, have all been murdered for their faith in the Book of Mormon and in the Almighty as a God of revelation.

In a country like the United States where but a short tune before, a new system of government had been established, based principally upon the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, he must be a very shrewd and foresighted young man, who, as the founder of a system of religion, could predict that his followers would be martyred in the coarse of a single generation for their faith in that system; and by the very class of men too of whom it was prophesied it would be done, all this has been done.

Again we are told in the Book of Mormon that the period or generation immediately following the coming forth of that book would he a period of great wickedness, and that calamities, storms, tempests, earthquakes, accompanied by great noise from the bowels of the earth, thunder and lightning, great fires, and famines and pestilences, and bloodshed or wars, would be upon the face of the earth in consequence of such wickedness. (See 2d Book of Nephi, chap. 5, par. 4; chap. 11, par 13) Moreover it informs us in various places that we are now living in that generation which Jesus said would be like that in the days of Noah, that would precede his second coming at the end of the world when he would blot all wickedness from the face of all the earth, in flaming fire; when all the righteous will come with him, and the saints who are on the earth and in their graves, shall be caught up to meet him in the air, and dwell with him on the earth, in its purified state, a. thousand years in rest and peace, and again, for ever and ever.

When one considers that crime, since the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, has greatly increased instead of lessened; and again, of the vast wars, earthquakes, storms, tempests, and tornadoes: the fires, famines, pestilences, and destructions by fierce and vivid lightning; to say nothing of many other judgments that have taken place and are still increasing in the earth in this generation, he can only conclude that the knowledge necessary to predict all this with such marvelous accuracy must neces­sarily have been given by inspiration of God; for the wisdom of man never pointed it out.

The Book of Mormon comes forth in this generation in fulfillment of many prophecies of scripture, notably the following: “And THIS gospel of [Page 14] the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations” that the end is drawing near, and then shall the end come. In days long gone by I have been much perplexed to understand this passage in its true light, as all the orthodox churches were, it was claimed, preaching what they understood as the gospel whether anyone of them was preaching it, or they all were preach­ing it, or whether none of them were preaching it, was the question. But when Jesus said, “and THIS gospel of the kingdom shall be preached,” etc., the little word THIS” in the saying settles it, and settles it beyond dis­pute too. What could he mean then only that the very gospel that he was then preaching, with all that pertained to it, its faith, its repen­tance, its baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, its laying on of the hands of its ministers for the gifts of the holy Ghost, its healing of the sick, its miracles, its gifts of prophecy, its power to cast out devils, its tongues, dreams, and visions, and revelations, and the ministry of angels; these and various other things, as well as the keeping of all the commandments of God, all taken together, are what constituted “THIS gospel,” which the Savior and his Apostles were then preaching. (Matt. 24:14)

And now this is the gospel that is contained in the Book of Mormon, and the Latter Day Saints are preaching it in all the world, and these promised signs follow the honest be­lievers in it. And such a gospel is not preached by any other of the modern orthodox sects; but Jesus and his apostles never authorized any other gospel, and never preached any other. But he has both himself and his apostles solemnly charged us saying: “Though we or an angel from heaven preaches any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto yon, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:6-12)

“’Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard lest at anytime we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast (fixed and certain) how shall are escape if we neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by our lord Jesus Christ, and was afterward confirmed unto us by them that heard him: God also bearing them witness with signs and wonders,” etc. (Heb. 2:1-4)

“Now brethren, I beseech you, mark then who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them, for they that: are such serve not our lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, and with good words and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple “ (Rom. 16:17, 18)

“Moreover brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you etc.” (1 Cor. 15:1, 2)

“Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the begin­ning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Father and in the Son.” (1 John 2:24 )

“Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9)

“Beloved when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to invite unto you, and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude)

“He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word which I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’.” (John 12:47-50)

These are the warnings, admonitions and charges which we find throughout the New Testament, and they show very clearly that the gospel of Jesus Christ does not change with time; hence when he said THIS gospel of the kingdom shall be preach­ed in all the world, in the latter days, for a testimony to all nations that his coming is close at hand, and that [Page 15] all who will be saved must prepare to meet him at his coming by receiving and obeying it, we may rest fully assured that it means just what it says; that the very principles that he and his apostles laid before men in their day, with all its promises gifts, and requirements, are all included in “THIS gospel” that is to be preached in the latter days. No one can reasonably or justly argue anything else.

The Book of Mormon also heralds to us the glad news that this is the generation in which the eleventh chapter of Isaiah is to he fulfilled, the 12th verse of which reads thus: “And he (God) shall set up an ensign to the nations, and shall assemble the out­casts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.”

Indeed the Book of Mormon itself is the principle part of that ensign; for as an army follows its ensign, so the honest in heart follow the Book of Mormon to the gathering places of Zion, and all this because of its harmony with the Bible.

It comes moreover to herald or proclaim the precious news that the 20th chapter of Ezekiel, and verses 33 to 38 are about, or close at hand to be fulfilled. They read thus: “As I live saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and an out stretched arm, and with fury poured out will I rule over you. And I will bring you out from the people, and I will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt , so will I plead with you saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and will bring you into the bond of covenant.”

Men, learned men, the clergy of this generation tell us that revelation and the raising up of prophets ceased in John, the revelator. But in the above chapter we have a very grand contradiction of all this mere clerical, human wisdom.

How God can plead with all Israel face to face when he gathers them out from all nations as he pleaded with their fathers in the wilderness, in the days of Moses, without raising them up such a “RULER and DELIVERER” as Moses was, some one skilled in making the Almighty say one thing and mean another, and very different thing, must tell, we can’t. Yes, and at the same time, he is going to “bring them into the land of the covenant,” and this without doubt is the fulfilling of the words of Paul and Jeremiah, who say: “Behold the days come when I will make n new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah .” (See Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-11) Yes, surely great things are promised, and to be done for Israel , in this very gener­ation.

Although Israel has sinned, yes greatly sinned, and transgressed in the past ages, and God has scattered and given them into the hands of their enemies many times, and hid his face from them, the promise of God is that he will never be wroth with them any more, that they will never be scattered any more, and that they will be made no more a reproach among the heathen; but are going to be made as God promised them, a nation of kings and priests to the nations of the earth; literally the head of the nations.

And surely this present, generation is the time for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 36, 37 and 38 chapters. According to these Israel is to be gathered from all lands where he has been scattered, (Chap. 26:4), and placed in their own lands which, though it had long been desolate, it shall become as the garden of Eden. Because of the multitudes of men it will be “a land of unwalled villages.” And because of its riches in gold and silver and cattle and wealth of all lands, the king of the North, the Emperor of Russia, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, or Moscow and Tobolsk, with other nations, tempted with avarice and jealous of the growing greatness of Israel will confederate their forces, [Page 16] and will come up “like a cloud to cover the land,” to crush, to spoil, to rob, and to carry away great wealth, hoping to subject Israel and prevent them from ever becoming a nation again. But they know not that it is the God of their fathers whose hand has gathered them in fulfillment of his promises and decrees; and they will think it an easy matter to accomplish their hellish designs. But surely as the prophet says, when they get already into that land and are about to accomplish their unholy work, they will find themselves entrapped by the judgments of God, in such a manner as perhaps has never had a parallel in the history of man, since the days of the flood. “And it shall come to pass at the same time, when Gog—this Russian Prince—shall come against the land of Israel , saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in the fire of my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. ...And I will plead against him with pestilence and blood, and I will rain upon him and upon his bands, an over flowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself; and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezek. 28:18-23)

If any man supposes when these mighty judgments fall upon these wicked nations that there will be no mighty prophet there like unto Moses, or like Elijah, to whom God will speak and counsel Israel , he will find himself very gravely mistaken! For it is written touching Israel in these last days: “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning; afterward thou ( Jerusalem ) shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:21-27)

Now if God restores Israel’s judges AS AT THE FIRST, and their officers as at the beginning, then surely there will be a mighty prophet among them, such as Moses was, who chose ‘’able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties and rulers of tens; and they judged the people at all seasons; the hard causes they brought unto Moses but every small matter they judged themselves. (Ex.18:25, 26) “And I charged your judges at that time saying: Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of him, for the judgment is God’s; and the cause which is too hard for you, bring it unto me and I will hear it. (Deut. 1:9-17)

So then when the Almighty does this; when He restores Israel’s judges, AS AT THE FIRST, and their COUNSELORS AS AT THE BEGINNING­ that is, in Moses’ time, when Moses and Aaron were raised up to be Israel’s counselors, immediately under the instruction of God, it is safe enough to assume that a mighty prophet like unto Moses will be there when these wicked nations invade the land of Israel in these latter days, through whom the Almighty will speak and work these judgments upon these wicked men, and it will not be long after this till Jerusalem becomes “the city of righteousness, the faithful city,”  as the prophet says.

And now as they have already begun to gather in great numbers to the land of Palestine, according to the predictions of the true and faithful Book of Mormon, some of the nations are already beginning to speculate as to what kind of a government, Israel is going to have; whether a monarchy, all aristocracy, or a republican form of government; but they need not trouble themselves about it, for the Almighty himself [Page 17] will fulfill his covenant made with their fathers, and will raise them up one of the house of David to be their kin; and protector: “For Lo! I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall to the ground. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say the evil shall not overtake nor come nigh unto us, in that day.” That is, in the day when God commands and sifts Israel in all nations for the purpose of re­storing them again to the land of their fathers, and to his favor—in that day I will raise up the taberna­cle or house of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen who are called by my name.

In the dispute upon circumcision in the days of the Apostles, James says: “Simeon hath declared how God at the first, did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name; and to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, AFTER this,” that is, after God finishes the work of taking out of the Gen­tiles a people for his name. “After this,” I will return and build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and set it up that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord that doeth all these things. (Acts 15:12-17)

Now what we gather from all these things is, first, that Israel , after he has been scattered in ALL nations, the American nations as well as all others—God is both to “command” and “sift” them among all these na­tions for the purpose of gathering them out of all nations to their own lands. Second, that God is first to finish the work of taking out of the Gentiles a people for his name; before he commands and sifts Israel among the nations. Third, that when the commanding and sifting of Israel among the nations takes place, God will set up the throne of David over Israel to be their ruler and protector and defender. And, fourth, that all the people who have been taken out of the Gentiles in the finishing up of the work of taking out of them a people for his name will all finally come under the throne or kingdom of David.

But there is a large class of men among the Jews, who will say to those sent to warn them, “’The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us,” who care nothing for the land of their fathers, whose god is their wealth, and who quiet their consciences as the antediluvians by treating the message or the command to gather out with indifference and even contempt, who will as surely perish by the sword as the former did by water; for that God who has revealed the Book of Mormon, has informed us that there will be a time in this generation when the Latter Day Saints will be the only people on the earth, that shall not be at war one with another, and that “all who will not take up the sword against their neighbors must needs flee unto Zion (or the Latter Duty Saints) for safety.” “Hard to believe that,” says one. Certainly it is hard for some, but nevertheless as Joseph Smith, the instrument which God has chosen to bring forth the Book of Mormon, has predicted so many other things equally hard to believe, many of which have already come to pass, notably the Civil War of the United States, and the very place or state where it would begin, with all its leading features, and also the desolating wars of other nations that immediately followed, we are fully confident that this almost uni­versal war will follow, before all the people who were living in 1832 will have passed away. And these unbelieving Jews will no doubt, perish by the sword, as God hath said.

To these things we might add many others of a similar character; and yet we are told that God has shut his mouth and will reveal nothing more till the day of final judgment! And yet there are but two reasons given between the lids of the Bible why [Page 18] God reveals nothing to man, and these two reasons are simply sin and unbelief. We know of no other reason written.

In this little work we have shown not only that God was, in all the past, a revealer of secrets, and that such is his character yet, but that he will also reveal mighty and wondrous things yet in the very near future to his people of Israel. But not withstanding all this and much more we are fully assured that none of the wicked will be able to understand; for, as Daniel says: “the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10) Who are they? In the first place, they are those who wish to understand. “Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he will destroy them and not build them up.” (Ps. 28:5)

“The Bereans were more noble than they of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readi­ness of mind, and searched the Scrip­tures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed,” etc. (Acts 17: 11, 12) A disposition to “prove all things which God sends as a dispensation by any man whom he calls and sends and to hold fast that which is good,” is another trait in a man’s character well calculated to lead him to be a wise man. (1 Thess. 5:21)

A desire to know what God wishes us to do is pretty certain to lead a man to salvation, or to obey the true gospel.

It is written: “Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that putteth darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” (Is. 5:20) The man who is careful in these matters, careful that he does not call evil good, or good evil, etc., these are the traits that eventually will lead to be wise.

Just such men will eventually be led to see the dispensation that God has revealed in this generation. But the man who says, “the religion of my father and mother is good enough for me,” and the man that takes everything for granted that the popular preachers set before him, and never opens his Bible to see whether it is true or false, takes no pains to seek after the truth or to find out what God would have him to do to be saved, will certainly be found among the wicked in the day of God’s righteous judgment, and although God will fulfill all his words given in the past in reference to this generation in mighty power and demonstration of truth, none of that class of men will be enabled to see it.

Do not forget, reader, also, these words: “Behold, I will send you”— ­Zion and Jerusalem- “Elijah before the coming of the GREAT AND DREADFUL day of the Lord, and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers lest I come and smite the [whole] earth with a curse.” (Mal. 4:5) The great and dreadful day of the Lord is the day of the coming of the Lord Jesus.

“Repent and receive the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and be thereby prepared to meet him at his coming” is the voice of the Lord to all the people of this generation.

Truly and Sincerely,

WINGFIELD WATSON

Spring prairie, Wis., March 24, 1899

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