plates, and whether or not the narrative presented is true and
of any importance to the world, are subjects purely of faith.
It is claimed by the Mormon preachers that both Joseph
Smith and the Book of Mormon were objects of inspired pre-
diction about three thousand years ago. The unromantic name
of Smith is not said to be a biblical subject, nor is that of Mor-
mon stated ; but one of the Hebrew prophets,* relating his
vision of matters interesting to the scattered Israelites, narrates
that, while an angel talked with him, another angel came forth
and said : " Sun, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem
" shall be inhabited as towns without walls," etc., and another
inspired prophet f tells of something that " shall speak out of
" the ground .... and thy speech shall whisper out of the
" dust." Joseph Smith was a young man, and the golden
plates were taken out of the ground ; hence the argument.
* Zech. ii. 4.
f Isaiah xxix. 4.
Isaiah is the favourite prophet of the Mormons, and is said to have been
greatly gifted with comprehensive views of the Western continent, the mission of
Joseph Smith, the location of Salt Lake City, and the building of the Pacific Rail-
THE BOOK OF MORMON. 525
By referring to these passages of Scripture, and taking into
account the subjects occupying the attention of Zechariah and
Isaiah, the reader may have difficulty in seeing the relevancy
of the predictions to the Book of Mormon. These were, how-
ever, favourite passages in the dawn of the Mormon movement,
and served the excellent purpose of exercising the faith of the
young converts ! There is nothing so powerful in the found-
ing of a sect as large doses of obscure Scripture, and a plentiful
supply of mystery, and of the abundance of both the first Mor-
mons might well have proudly boasted.
Of the evidences of the " Divine Authenticity " of this book,
Orson Pratt furnishes the student with ninety-six octavo pages,
and with much satisfaction asserts that " the witnesses of the
" Book of Mormon are not only equal in number, but supe-
" rior in certainty to those which this generation have of
" Christ's resurrection." He concludes a long series of elab-
orate arguments with the statement that " this generation
" have more than one thousand times the amount of evidence
"to demonstrate and for ever establish the divine authenti-
" city of the Book of Mormon, than they have in favour of the
Elder Pratt has three grand sermons : the Fulfilment of
prophecy in the mission of Joseph Smith, Polygamy, and the
Book of Mormon, and, whenever he ascends the rostrum, he is
certain to launch out with one of the three. He ignores all
thought of opposition to the last named, and announces " that
" the Book of Mormon is a divine revelation, for the voice of
"the Lord hath declared it unto me." He further asserts that
there are " many thousands of witnesses to whom God has
" revealed the truth of the Book of Mormon by heavenly vis-
" ions, by angels, by the revelations of the Holy Ghost, by His
" own voice and by the miraculous gifts and powers of His
With the burden of such a revelation upon his soul, this
apostle bears his " humble testimony to all the nations of the
" earth," and warns " all mankind to repent," and enter into
the Mormon Church ; failing which they " shall be damned,"
and shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of God, for this
message shall condemn them at " the last day." In the mean
526 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
time there are terrible visitations to be looked for among those
who refuse to believe,, and no one is to escape.
The Book of Mormon forms a large-sized volume consisting
of between live and six hundred pages of closely printed mat-
ter. It is divided into fifteen books, some of which are again
divided into chapters. The Author has read most of the argu-
ments for and against the genuineness and authenticity of this
remarkable production. He does not desire to combat or sup-
port any theory, but as, of course, the reader will expect to
learn something of the groundwork of the Mormon faith, he
presents without unnecessary comment a brief abstract of the
whole work, together with a few quotations which will help the
truth-seeker to arrive at a correct conclusion of his own.
The plates from which the book is said to be " translated "
are stated by Nephi, the author of the first two books, to be
written " in the language of my father, which consists of the
" learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians "
[Nephi, p. i.]. Nephi possibly understood better than the
reader can be expected to, how " the learning of the Jews "
added to the " language of the Egyptians " could form the
speech of any people, and also how Nephi, himself a Hebrew,
came to call the tongue of the bitterly-hated Egyptian " the
" language of my father."
The whole work is supposed to contain, besides a large
amount of incidental doctrinal matter, the record of the ancient
inhabitants of the American continent.
According to the Book of Mormon, America was first peo-
pled by the family of one Jared, who after the confusion of
tongues at Babel set out for this hemisphere. Here they grew
and multiplied, but in course of time became sinful and finally
exterminated one another in battles, in one of which two mil-
lions of men are said to have been slain. This took place six
hundred years before Christ.
The second emigration consisted of the family of Lehi of
the tribe of Manasseh, who left Jerusalem during .the troubles
of Zedekiah's reign and came over in eight " barges." Here
they flourished and became exceedingly numerous, but, like
their predecessors, falling into evil ways, dissensions and exter-
minating wars ensued, ending tragically about A. D. 420.
JEWISH MIGRATIONS TO AMERICA. 527
Besides these a third migration is mentioned of certain
Jews who came over about eleven years after Lehi, with whose
descendants they mingled and whose fate they shared. The
period by these transactions, reckoning from Jared' s migration,
is about 2,500 years, or 1,000 years from the migration of Lehi
to the putting-up of the gold plates by Moroni in the hill Cu-
morali. The details of the immigration of Jared and that of
Lehi are both given in extenso, and are of an extraordinary de-
scription. A brief outline will interest the reader, as throw-
ing Mormon light upon that vexed question the original
peopling of America.
Jared, who lived just after the flood, left the Tower of Ba-
bel when the confusion of tongues took place, and made for
the sea-shore. The reader is told [p. 517] that " Jared and his
u brother were not confounded." Jared and his brethren with
their servants and followers remained near the coast about four
years, and, " at the end of four years, the Lord came again
" unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked
"with him" [p. 519].
The time at last arrived when the Jared family should
leave the Eastern Continent, and seek for homes in the ISTew
World, and they began to build a navy. They accordingly
made eight " barges," in which they proposed to cross the
ocean. The following is a description of the outfit " [pp. 519,
" And the Lord said, Go to work and build after the manner of barges
which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of
Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the
manner which they had built, after the instructions of the Lord. And
they were small, and they were light upon the water, like unto the light-
ness of a fowl upon the water ; and they were built like unto a manner
that they were exceeding tight, even that they would hold water like
unto a dish ; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish, and the
ends thereof were peaked ; and the top thereof was tight like unto a
dish ; and the length thereof was the length of a tree ; and the door thereof
when it was shut was tight like unto a dish. And it came to pass that
the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying : O Lord, I have per-
formed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the
barges according as thou hast directed me. And behold, O Lord, in them
is no light, whither shall we steer ? And also we shall perish, for in them
we cannot breathe, save it is the air that is in them ; therefore we shall
528 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
perish. And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, Behold thou shalt
make a hole in the top thereof, and also in the bottom thereof; and
when thou shalt suffer for air, thou shalt unstop the hole thereof and re-
ceive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold ye
shall stop the hole thereof, that ye may not perish in the flood. And it
came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord^ com-
The eight air-tight barges of the emigrants were totally des-
titute of light, a fact which it appears the Lord had as yet not
provided for. Jared stated the matter to him [p. 520], and the
Lord said, u What will ye that I should do that ye may have
" light in your vessels ? " at the same time informing Jared
that ordinary windows [!] would be dashed to pieces by the
waves. Jared does not appear to have continued the conversa-
tion, for, without making any reply to the Lord's question, he
" went forth into the mount " and " did moulten out of a rock
"sixteen small stones; and. they were white and clear even as
" transparent glass ; and he did carry them in his hands " to
the Lord, who " touched " " one- by one with his finger " [p.
521], and they miraculously gave forth light of themselves.
Jared then placed one at each end of every barge.
As the Lord was touching these wonderful stones, Jared
saw visibly the divine finger, and, not only so, but, after some
little preliminary conversation, was more highly privileged
than ever was seer before or since. Moses is recorded to have
seen the " back parts " of the Almighty, but might not see His
glory ; three Apostles saw Christ transfigured, and even Joseph
Smith saw " the Lord " in a vision. But Jared excelled them
all, for, although previous to his interview, it is said [p. 521],
" he knew jiot that the Lord had flesh and Hood" yet now the
Lord showed Himself unto him, saying at the same time, " I
" am Jesus Christ I am the Father AND the Son ! ! ! Behold
" this body which ye now behold is the body of my spirit : and
" even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear
" unto my people in the flesh " [p. 521].
In these " barges," after they " did also lay snares " to
catch fowl and wild beasts, they placed pairs of all created an-
imals, after the fashion of JSToah " all manner of that which
" was upon the face of the land " every kind of seed, with
THE BARGES TIGHT -LIKE UNTO A DISH. 529
" deseret " [winch by interpretation is a honey-bee], " swarms
" of bees," and "fish of the waters" and "flocks and herds "
[p. 525]. In addition to all these, food arid fodder were also
stored up for man and beast [including the wild ones] for near-
ly a year ! Yet, all this enormous burthen was placed, as be-
fore stated, in eight barges, " small" and " like unto the light-
" ness of a fowl upon the waters ! ! "
The dish-like barges were without sails or rigging, but
were miraculously driven through the sea by a " furious wind,"
which " did never cease to blow towards the promised land
" while they were upon the waters ; and thus they were driven
" forth before the wind " [p. 526], and " no monster of the sea
" could break them, neither whale could mar them." The
voyage occupied 344 days very nearly a year and when
they had reached the promised land, they bowed themselves in
worship before the Lord.
On the American Continent they grew and multiplied,
founded mighty cities, and became a great people ; but, be-
coming exceedingly sinful, great divisions and strife sprang up
among them, and they separated into various nations. Devas-
tating wars depopulated the country,* and finally the contend-
ing parties utterly exterminated each other.
The second migration occurred just about the time when
the descendants of the Jaredite emigrants were annihilated
i. e., 600 years before Christ. According to the Book of Mor-
mon, Lehi, an Israelite of the tribe of Manasseh, with his
family, left Jerusalem early in Zedekiah's reign. His son,
Nephi, a pious young man, according to his own testimony [p.
6], desired to possess certain plates of brass, upon which were
engraved the records of his family, the law of Moses, the
prophets, etc., which were in possession of Laban, his kinsman.
Laban refused to sell them and tried to obtain the property of
the emigrants without any transfer of the plates [p. Y]. Nephi
went up to Jerusalem to see what could be done in the matter,
* In one of these battles, in which the two millions of men were slain, we are told :
" And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were
Coriantumr and Shiz, behold Shiz had fainted with loss of blood. And it came to
pass when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote
off the head of Shiz. And it came to pass that, after he had smote off the head
of Shiz, that Shiz raised upon his hands and fell ; and after he had struggled for
breath, he died." " Book of Mormon," p. 549.
530 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
and found Laban in the street near his own house, where " he
" had fallen to the earth, for he was drunken with wine." The
good Nephi appears to have had some little compunction about
attacking his kinsman while he was in that helpless condition,
but after a little equivocation he resolved to seize the opportu-
nity, and "constrained by the Spirit" [p. 8], and arguing "it
"is better that one man should perish, than that a nation
" should dwindle and perish in unbelief," he " took Laban by
" the hair of his head, and smote off his head with his own
" sword." He then took Laban's sword, garments, and armour,
and, arrayed in them, set out for the dead man's " treasury."
On his way he met with Laban's servant, and, passing himself
off for his master, obtained the objects of his visit viz., the
plates, records, etc. and enticed the servant himself away to
the outside of the city, where he made him prisoner. For all
these exploits, Lehi and the emigrant party gave God thanks.
They then u did travel and wade through much affliction in
" the wilderness," and " did slay wild beasts," and in this man-
ner subsisted. " So great," says Nephi, " were the blessings
" of the Lord upon us, that, while we did live upon raw meat
" in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for
" their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto men."
Yet as they journeyed some of the brethren " did rebel against
" us ; yea, against I Nephi, and Sam ! " p. 12. [I. Neph. v.,
Regardless of all difficulties, JNephi and his brethren trav-
elled towards the sea-shore, but what sea it was can only be
conjectured, as he calls all the rivers, mountains, and other
prominent landmarks, which they passed, by other names than
those generally known either in ancient or modern geography.
On their way they made a great discovery, which Nephi thus
" It came to pass that as my father arose in the morning and went
forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the
ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass.
And within the ball were two spindles : and the one pointed the way
whither we should go into the wilderness."
This " ball " elsewhere described as a " compass " [p. 314]
did not point to the pole, but " if they had faith to believe that
NEPHI "CONSTKIJCTS" A SHIP. 531
" God could cause that those spindles should point the way
" they should go, behold it was done." This was a marvellous
and convenient ball ; it served alike to direct them to good
hunting-grounds and to indicate their way, and afterwards it
was their guide overland and across the ocean. It also had an-
other* quality and served as a divine instructor, for upon the
" pointers " were written from time to time, as their spiritual
necessities demanded, various divine counsels and directions.
One only of the pointers served as a guide : the use of the
other is not stated.
Nephi in course of time began to build a ship, and " did
" make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock ; "
and his brethren said : " Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh
" that he can build a ship : yea, he also thinketh that he can
" cross these great waters," and they said to him, " we knew
" that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were
" lacking in judgment, wherefore thou canst not accomplish so
" great a work " [p. 37]. Nephi, however, argued with them,
and " they were confounded." The Lord also promised to
" shock " them [p. 41], which he did so effectually that they
fell down before their brother and were about to worship him.
The " shock " greatly improved them, and they then assisted him
in the preparation of his ship, of which he says that he did not
build it " after the manner of men," but " after the manner
" which the Lord had shown unto me." Ill-feeling was for a
time forgotten ; they accomplished their task, took in ample
stores, and then set sail in Nephi's vessel, and in due course
arrived near the American coast.
The Jaredites had been driven to this country on the sur-
face and beneath the water propelled by the " furious wind "
which the Lord caused to blow upon their bare " barges ; " but
this was not the case with the Nephite migration. They had
sails, etc., and needed guidance which they obtained by means
of the before-mentioned interesting brass ball. After they
" had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many
" days," the brothers of Nephi went back to their old ways again
"and began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they be-
" gan to dance and sing and to speak with much rudeness." The
result was that when Nephi interrupted their merriment they
532 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
were angry with him, and he says : " It came to pass that
" Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords."
They kept him bound prisoner for four days, during which time
he states that they were " driven back " [p. 43], though how
he knew it, as " the. compass did cease to work," he does not
state. A tempest arose and the hard-hearted brethren released
Nephi, who says : " It came to pass that after they had loosed
"me, behold I took the compass, and it did work whither 1
" desired it" After this performance the emigrants arrived
safely in " the promised land," and there settled as their prede-
cessors had done before them.
As far as can be conjectured from the story of the Book of
Mormon, the journey of the emigrants, after travelling by land
along the coast of the Red Sea, was through the Gulf of Aden,
and by way of India and Australasia over the Pacific eastward
to America, landing a little north of what is now called the
Isthmus of Panama.
On reaching this " isle of the sea " [p. 78] they tilled the
ground and erected habitations. They also found in the for-
ests u both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and
" the goat and the wild goat, and all mariner of wild animals
" that were for the use of man" [p. 44]. In another place it
is stated [p. 533] of the Jaredites that they had " all manner
" of cattle, of oxen and cows, and of sheep and of swine, and
" of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were
" useful for the food of man ; and they had also horses and
" asses, and there were elephants and cnreloms and cumoms"
What the latter beasts were it is impossible to determine, but
scientific men are unanimously agreed that elephants never
existed on this continent, and that horses, asses, oxen, and
swine, were introduced by *the European settlers within the
last three hundred years. Had they existed at the times al-
luded to by the Mormon writer, some vestiges of them would
certainly ere this have been discovered. Theologians will
stand aghast at swine being spoken of among Hebrews as " use-
"fulfor the food of man." But in all things these wandering
Israelites appear to have had a taste for repudiating their na-
tionality. It has been already seen how they rejected their
beloved Hebrew tongue which they believed sacred, and
CHRISTIANS BEFORE CHRIST. 533
adopted the language of their detested Egyptian oppressors.
In one place they defile themselves with swine's flesh, and in
another place break the holiest commandments and commit
murder in God's service [p. 8], and elsewhere they are spoken
of as building temples and consecrating priests [p. 208], and
even in domestic affairs forgetting the weights and measures
of their fathers, the omer, the ephah, the hin, the bath, the cab,
and the shekel, and using the " seon, the senine, the senum,
" the onti, limnah, ezrom, shum, shiblon, shiblum, leah, antion,
" shublon, etc."
Soon after their arrival in this country they increased and
multiplied exceedingly and became a great nation. They
were, however, constantly divided among themselves and en-
gaged in fierce warfare with each other.
Like the Jews, they had their prophets and teachers to
whom they sometimes listened, but whom they more frequent-
ly persecuted and put to death. The great mission of these
prophets appears to have been to foretell the coining of Christ.
This they did, not in that shadowy and mystic fashion common
to the Hebrew prophets of Palestine, but in the plainest words
which could be used. On page 335, it is stated that " all those
" who were true believers in Christ took upon them gladly the
" name of Christ or Christians, as they were called, because of
" their belief in Christ who should come." This was a cen-
tury before the coming of Christ ! This, however, is not more
strange than another passage where an angel speaks of " the
u mouth of a Jew " when speaking of an Israelite of the ten
tribes, and that too before the Babylonish captivity when the
remnant of the Israelites were first called Jews, or on the other
hand to talk of the " Gospel " and " Churches " as long as 600
years before Christ ! These singular pre-historic American
Christians experienced much the same difficulties as the early
converts of Peter and Paul in Europe, and were persecuted
much after the fashion described in Fox's " Book of Martyrs"
At the time when Christ was born the people had " dwin-
" died away in unbelief " [a favourite expression in the Book
of Mormon, apparently meaning the reverse of what it says].
Many of them doubted whether Christ would ever really
534 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
come [p. 450.]. They were informed that " the kingdom of
"heaven was soon at hand," and on the plates which formed
their sacred records the exact time was minutely foretold.
Five years before the birth of Christ, it was predicted that
" the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness.
" There shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were
"one day, and there shall be no night" [p. 426]. And thus
it is represented to have been. On that night, the land being
full of unbelievers in the coming of Christ, and many saying,
" It is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come "
[p. 431], " Nephi cried mightily unto the Lord," and in return
was told, " On the morrow come I into the world." The
prophet announced this to his people, and " at the going down
" of the sun there was no darkness, and the people began to be
" astonished, because there was no darkness when the night
"came". . . . and "there was no darkness in all that night,
" but it was as light as though it was mid-day " [p. 434]. It
is to be regretted that all the ancient European historians of
those times, who must have known of such an extraordinary
occurrence, even if they did not witness the phenomenon them-
selves, have all without exception preserved a profound silence
As might be expected, the people were " so exceedingly
" astonished that they fell to the earth .... and began to
"fear because of their iniquity and unbelief" [p. 434]. "A
" new star also did appear." Nephi made the most of the oc-
casion, and preached and baptized, and many were " converted
" unto the Lord."
This good work, however, did not continue very peaceably,
and wars, disputes, and fightings, followed until the thirty-
fourth year [p. 450], when there arose a storm such as was
never heard of either in ancient or modern times. Cities were
swallowed up, mountains sunk, multitudes were carried away