History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1560
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<​May 24​> that all was clean in Heaven, and that Jesus was going to make the place of his feet glorious, and if the Mormons did not keep their feet out of the ashes they could not stand with him on Mount Zion.
I had no thought before but that dirty people could get to Heaven, as well as clean ones; and that if the priests offered sacrifice with polluted hands, the fire would cleanse both the offering and the hands that offered it. I cannot say how much there may be in Scripture to contradict my views, neither can I vouch for it that the churches of the day believe any such doctrine, for I never belonged to any of them, but have rather been called an infidel. As to that I have not altered much. I like consistency find it where I may.
With all these curious notions, I fell into the Mormon Settlement, and saw the Prophet, but having never heard a Mormon preach, you can imagine me not quite ready to receive all the impressions incident to an interview with such a distinguished personage, but I will give it as I find it, hit or miss, the faith or feelings of any one
I have had an interview since my last, and found any thing but the truth of current reports. “The prophet Joseph” (as he is called among his people) said in a conversation with a gentleman present, that he no more professed to be a Prophet, than every man must, who professes to be a preacher of righteousness, or a minister of the New Testament. To be a minister of Jesus, a man must testify of Jesus, and to testify of Jesus a man must have the spirit of prophecy; for, according to John, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.— If a man professes to be a minister of Jesus, and has not the spirit of prophecy, he must be a false witness, for he is not in possession of that gift which qualifies him for his office; and the difference between himself and the clergy of this generation is, he claims to be in possession of [HC 5:407] that Spirit of prophecy which qualifies him to testify of Jesus and the Gospel of salvation; while the clergy deny that Spirit, even the Spirit of prophecy, which alone could constitute them true witnesses or testators of the Lord Jesus, and yet claim to be the true ministers of salvation.
In this, said he, I am honest, and they are dishonest, and that is the difference between us. Were they true and honest witnesses of Jesus Christ, they would acknowledge they have the testimony of him, and that is the spirit of prophecy, and every man who possesses that Spirit is a prophet I, said he, claim no more than what every Servant of Christ must possess, to qualify him for his office; while the clergy of the 19th century deny that, which alone could constitute them what they profess to be. He said he did not profess to be a very good man, but acknowledged himself a sinner like other men, or as all men are imperfect; and it is necessary for all men to grow into the stature of manhood in the Gospel.
I could not help noticing that he dressed, talked, and acted like other men, and in every respect the perfect counterpart of what I had conjured up in my imagination for a Prophet.
The Mormons have not yet completed their great , and have no commodious place of worship, but the apostles and elders preach in private houses on the [p. 1560]
May 24 that all was clean in Heaven, and that Jesus was going to make the place of his feet glorious, and if the Mormons did not keep their feet out of the ashes they could not stand with him on Mount Zion.
I had no thought before but that dirty people could get to Heaven, as well as clean ones; and that if the priests offered sacrifice with polluted hands, the fire would cleanse both the offering and the hands that offered it. I cannot say how much there may be in Scripture to contradict my views, neither can I vouch for it that the churches of the day believe any such doctrine, for I never belonged to any of them, but have rather been called an infidel. As to that I have not altered much. I like consistency find it where I may.
With all these curious notions, I fell into the Mormon Settlement, and saw the Prophet, but having never heard a Mormon preach, you can imagine me not quite ready to receive all the impressions incident to an interview with such a distinguished personage, but I will give it as I find it, hit or miss, the faith or feelings of any one
I have had an interview since my last, and found any thing but the truth of current reports. “The prophet Joseph” (as he is called among his people) said in a conversation with a gentleman present, that he no more professed to be a Prophet, than every man must, who professes to be a preacher of righteousness, or a minister of the New Testament. To be a minister of Jesus, a man must testify of Jesus, and to testify of Jesus a man must have the spirit of prophecy; for, according to John, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.— If a man professes to be a minister of Jesus, and has not the spirit of prophecy, he must be a false witness, for he is not in possession of that gift which qualifies him for his office; and the difference between himself and the clergy of this generation is, he claims to be in possession of [HC 5:407] that Spirit of prophecy which qualifies him to testify of Jesus and the Gospel of salvation; while the clergy deny that Spirit, even the Spirit of prophecy, which alone could constitute them true witnesses or testators of the Lord Jesus, and yet claim to be the true ministers of salvation.
In this, said he, I am honest, and they are dishonest, and that is the difference between us. Were they true and honest witnesses of Jesus Christ, they would acknowledge they have the testimony of him, and that is the spirit of prophecy, and every man who possesses that Spirit is a prophet I, said he, claim no more than what every Servant of Christ must possess, to qualify him for his office; while the clergy of the 19th century deny that, which alone could constitute them what they profess to be. He said he did not profess to be a very good man, but acknowledged himself a sinner like other men, or as all men are imperfect; and it is necessary for all men to grow into the stature of manhood in the Gospel.
I could not help noticing that he dressed, talked, and acted like other men, and in every respect the perfect counterpart of what I had conjured up in my imagination for a Prophet.
The Mormons have not yet completed their great , and have no commodious place of worship, but the apostles and elders preach in private houses on the [p. 1560]
Page 1560