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Miscellany: Joseph Smith--the Mormon Prophet

Miscellany: Joseph Smith--the Mormon Prophet image
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Naovoo. Nov 4, 1841. j Dtar Sir: - We were yestcrday enjoying the bospitdlity of Joseph Smith. tlie leading prophqt of the Laiter Day Saints, the Mormons. ' ' ] Al yourrequest, 1 give. though somewhat r tantly, I emítese, an ancnunt of my interview wiih ! him. As he pretended to discover and promptly : declare to me that I was wortby of no tnan's i trust, I can betray no confidence in this case, try i os I mny. The facts, as they lie t'resh in my t memory, are simply these: Yesterduy afternoon, ( . in company with a friend, I entered the house ol ' thisstrange man, intending to trespass but n lew i minutes on his hospitalices. I expected to have eeen a person of some dignity nnd reserve, and with at least an ouiside of ausiere pieiy. The prophet was asleep. in his rocking chair, when we enlered. His wife and children were busy about the room. ironing, &c, and one or two jMonnCr. yi-coohr-ro, l.ucly icturncd f'rom England, were sitting by the largo log lire. After having been introduced, the following talk ensued. ' A. You have the beginning of a great city here, Mr. Smith.' [Here came the more prominent objects of the city. The expenses of the temple. Mr. Smith tbrught. would be 2 or $300,000. ' The temple is 127 leet siJe. by 88 feet front; and by its plan, which was kindly shown us, will fall short of Bome of our public buildings. As yct, only the foundations tre l.iid. Mr Smith ihen spoke of the 'false' repons eurrent about himsélf, and supposed we have heard enough of 'hem.' A. 'You know, sir, periecution sometimes drives' 'the man mad.' ' Mr. S. [lauging.] 'Ah, 6Ïr, you must not put mo atnong the wisc men; my ptace is not theie. I mako no pretensions to piety ei ther. Ifyou give me credit for any thing, let it be for being a gond manager. A good manager, I o claim to bo.' A. 'You have great influence here, Mr. Bmith. Mr. S. Yes; I have. I bought 930 acres, a few years ngo, and they all have their lands ol ïne. My influence, however, is ecclesiasMcal only; in civil affaire, I am but a common citizen. - To be sure, I am u niember of the City Council, nnd Lieat. General of ihe Nauvoo Legión, lean command a thousand men to the field, at any moment, to support the lawt. I had hard work to make them turn out and form the 'I egion,' ttntil I ehouldered my musket, and entered the tanks myself. Now they have nearly all provied themselve3 with a good uniform, poor ns they ars. By the W3y, we had a regular 'set to' tip Jiere, a day or two since. The Ciiy Council ordered a liq ior selier to leave the place, when his ♦imewas up; and he siill remained, they directd that his house should be pulled down about his enrs. They gave me n hand in the ecrape; JJ? 1 had occasion to knock a man down moie an nce. They muslered so strong an opposi"o.thnt it was either 'knock down,' or 'be Knociwtf down.' We bent him ofl'. nt last; and SuVSnSjn!íave no more srog shPs in or íTíífi!?"00 nwed on Pleasantly. urtil Si SüfflS si && '"'■ A. My creed, sir, is thev.w Testament.' Mr. S. 'Then, sir. we shah ,oe Uu,h nlJke. for the scripture says, 'They shaï,gec c,,e ,tQ eye.' A II who are true men, must rt tilc g_ ble ahko. must they not? A. 'True, Mr. Smith; and yet I doubt itKey will eee it precisely alike. If no two blades f. gra88 are precisely alikc. for a higher reason, t ■eem8 that no two intellecls are.' l Mr. S. (getting warm.) 'There- I told yon o. . You don't come here to seek truth. You begin with taking the place of oppoeition. Now, ay what I may, you have but to nnswer, 'No two men ean eee alike.' A 'Mr. Sroith, I said not that no two couldsee aliJtc; but that no two could see, on the whole, precisely' alike.' Mr. b. 'Does not the scripture say, 'They shall see eye toeyc?' ' A. 'Granted. air, hut bc good enough to take a case; the words 'all' and 'all things,' were brought up as menning, at one time, universal creation. And again: 'One bclieveth that we may eat all things,' i. e. 'any thing, or, as we say, etery thing.' ' JWr. S. 'You may explainaway iheBiblc. sir, as much as you please, I ask you, have you ever been baptised?' Ar 'Yes eir, I think I havo.' Mr. S. 'Can you prophesy?' A. 'Well, eir. that depends on the meaning you give the word. I grant that it generally means to foretell; but I believe that it often means to preach tic gjspsï. In this sense, sir, I can prophesy.' Mr. S. 'You He, sir; and you know it.' A. 'it is as easy íór me to impugn your motives, Mr. Sroith, as for you to impugn mine.' Mr. S. 'I teil you yon dont seek to know the ruth. You are a hypocrite; I eaw it when you irst began to speek.' A. 'It is plain. Mr. Smith, thnt we diner in opinión. Now, one man's opinión is as good as another's.until some third party comes in to strike a balance beuyeen thom.' Mr. S. 'I want no third party, sir. You are a fooi, air, to talk as you do. Have I not seen twice the years that you have? (Joseph tíniith s 36 years old; the speaker, A., was ten years pounger.) I say, sir, you are no gentleman. J would'nt trust you with my purse across the street.' [Hcre my friend interposed, eaying; 'I don' believe. Mr. Smith, that this gentleman carne to your house to insult you. He had he.ird all sorts óf accounts of your people, and came simply to see with his own eyes.'] 'Mr. S. 'I hnve no ill teelings townrds the gentleman, He is welcome to my house; bu what I see to be trutli, I must speak out; I flatte no man. I teil you, sir, that man is a hypocrite You'U find him out, if you' re long enough wit] him. I teil you I would'nt trust him as lar as could see him. What right hat he to speak so to me? Am I not the leader of a great people? He, himself, wül not blame me for speaking the truth plainly.' [Here kind expressions passed on both sid:s, and we were risine to go,] Mr. S. 'Don't be going, gentlemen. Do take bread and salt with us. Our tea is on the table.' We staid accordingly, and made up around his smoking and weli piled table. I have been careful especially towards the close of this talk, to givu the words that were used, omitting noihing but conversational hy play, and some ol the killing up. The skil '.ton is complete. So much for this man at his own iieesidc.


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