History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1015
image
<​February 6​> Here he entered into some explanations, which were so brief that I could not perfectly comprehend him. But the idea seemed to be, that the Soul of Man, the Spirit, had existed from Eternity in the bosom of Divinity, and so far as he was intelligible to me, must ultimately return from whence it came— He said very little of rewards and punishments. but one conclusion, from what he did say was irresistible. He contended throughout that every thing which had a beginning must have an ending; and consequently if the punishment of man commenced in the next world, it must, according to his logic and belief have anend. During the whole of his address, and it occupied more than two hours, there was no opinion or belief that he expressed, that was calculated in the slightest degree, to impair the morals of Society, or in any manner to degrade and brutalize the human species. There was much in his precepts, if they were followed, that would soften the asperities of man towards man, and that would tend to make him a more rational being than he is generally found to be. There was no violence, no fury, no denunciation. His religion appears to be the religion of meekness, lowliness and mild persuasion. Towards the close of his address, he remarked, that he had been represented, as pretending to be a Savior, a worker of miracles, &c, all this was false. He made no such pretensions. He was but a man, he said, a plain untutored man; seeking what he should do to be saved. He performed no miracles, He did not pretend to possess any such power— He closed by referring to the Mormon Bible, which, he said, contained nothing inconsistent or conflicting with the Christian Bible, and he again repeated that all who would follow the precepts of the Bible, whether Mormon or not, would assuredly be saved. Throughout his whole address he displayed strongly, a Spirit of Charity and Forbearance— The Mormon Bible, he said, was communicated to him direct from Heaven. If there was such a thing on Earth, as the author of it, then he (Smith) was the author; but the idea that he wished to impress was, that he had penned it, as dictated by God. I have taken some pains to explain this man’s belief, as he himself explained it, I have done so, because, it might satisfy your curiosity, and might be interesting to you, and some of your friends. I have changed my opinion of the Mormons. They are an injured and much abused people. of matters of Faith, you know I express no opinion. I have [HC 4:79] only room to add— let William, if you cannot do it, acknowledge the receipt of this, with the enclosure. Remember me to Sarah and the Boys— Kiss the dear Baby for me— Affectionately your Husband I omitted to say, he does not believe in Infant baptism, Sprinkling, but in immersion, aftereight years of age—” “To Mrs. Matthew L. Davis, 107 Henry Street —”
During my stay I had <​an​> interview with , the President [p. 1015]
February 6 Here he entered into some explanations, which were so brief that I could not perfectly comprehend him. But the idea seemed to be, that the Soul of Man, the Spirit, had existed from Eternity in the bosom of Divinity, and so far as he was intelligible to me, must ultimately return from whence it came— He said very little of rewards and punishments. but one conclusion, from what he did say was irresistible. He contended throughout that every thing which had a beginning must have an ending; and consequently if the punishment of man commenced in the next world, it must, according to his logic and belief have anend. During the whole of his address, and it occupied more than two hours, there was no opinion or belief that he expressed, that was calculated in the slightest degree, to impair the morals of Society, or in any manner to degrade and brutalize the human species. There was much in his precepts, if they were followed, that would soften the asperities of man towards man, and that would tend to make him a more rational being than he is generally found to be. There was no violence, no fury, no denunciation. His religion appears to be the religion of meekness, lowliness and mild persuasion. Towards the close of his address, he remarked, that he had been represented, as pretending to be a Savior, a worker of miracles, &c, all this was false. He made no such pretensions. He was but a man, he said, a plain untutored man; seeking what he should do to be saved. He performed no miracles, He did not pretend to possess any such power— He closed by referring to the Mormon Bible, which, he said, contained nothing inconsistent or conflicting with the Christian Bible, and he again repeated that all who would follow the precepts of the Bible, whether Mormon or not, would assuredly be saved. Throughout his whole address he displayed strongly, a Spirit of Charity and Forbearance— The Mormon Bible, he said, was communicated to him direct from Heaven. If there was such a thing on Earth, as the author of it, then he (Smith) was the author; but the idea that he wished to impress was, that he had penned it, as dictated by God. I have taken some pains to explain this man’s belief, as he himself explained it, I have done so, because, it might satisfy your curiosity, and might be interesting to you, and some of your friends. I have changed my opinion of the Mormons. They are an injured and much abused people. of matters of Faith, you know I express no opinion. I have [HC 4:79] only room to add— let William, if you cannot do it, acknowledge the receipt of this, with the enclosure. Remember me to Sarah and the Boys— Kiss the dear Baby for me— Affectionately your Husband — I omitted to say, he does not believe in Infant baptism, Sprinkling, but in immersion, aftereight years of age—” “To Mrs. Matthew L. Davis, 107 Henry Street —”
During my stay I had an interview with , the President [p. 1015]
Page 1015