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Parley P. (Parley Parker) Pratt.

A voice of warning and instruction to all people or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints online

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A VOICE OF WARNING

AND

INSTRUCTION TO ALL PEOPLE ;

OR, AN INTRODUCTION TO

THE FAITH AND DOCTKINE



CHUKCH OF JESUS CHKIST OF
LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

y9^"^

BY PARLEY P^ PRATT. / fr '



- Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare :
before they spring forth I tell you of them." Isaiah xlii. <>.

" Produce your cause, saith the Lord : bring forth your strong reasons.
tsaith the King of Jacob." Isaiah xli. 21.



NINTH EDITION.



LIVERPOOL :

PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE BY BRIGHAM YOUNG, JUN..
42, ISLINGTON.

LONDON :

SAINTS' BOOK DEPOT, 30, FLORENCE STREET,
ISLINGTON.

1866.




ENTERED AT STATIONERS HALL.



Bancroft Library







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CLAXTON MAR. 10*1



CONTENTS.



PAGE

Preface to the Second European Edition . . v
Ditto First American ditto . . ix

CHAPTER I.

On Prophecy already Fulfilled . . . . 1

CHAPTER II.

On the Fulfilment of Prophecy yet future . . 34

CHAPTER III.
The Kingdom of God 65

CHAPTER IV.

The Book of Mormon Origin of the

American Indians, etc. . . . . . . 91

CHAPTER V.

The Resurrection of the Saints, and the
Restoration of all things spoken by
the Prophets 132



CONTENTS.

CHAPTEK VI.

PAGE

The Dealings of God with all Nations, in

regard to Kevelation 176

CHAPTEK VII.

A Contrast between the Doctrine of
Christ, and the False Doctrines of
the nineteenth century . . . . . . 186



PEE FACE

TO THE SECOND EUROPEAN EDITION.



WHEN the following Work was first published
in America, in 1837, it was but little known,
and seemed to meet with little or no encourage-
ment. Months passed away, and very few
copies were sold or read. But, to the astonish-
ment of the author, it worked itself into notice
more and more, by the blessing of God, and
by virtue of its own real merits ; till, in two
years, the first edition, consisting of three
thousand copies, was all sold, and many more
were called for. A new edition was published
in 1839, consisting of two thousand five
hundred copies : these were also disposed of.
Other three editions have since been published,
making in all thirteen thousand copies now
disposed of, and the demand is still increasing
both in America and Europe.

It has already found its way into most of



VI EUROPEAN PREFACE.

the American States, and into the provinces of
the Canadas, as well as many parts of England,
Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. It has visited
the cottages of the humble, and the parlours
of the great; and, from the best information
we have on the subject, very few have risen
from its perusal without a deep and settled
conviction of the truth of its principles.

The author has now in possession the testi-
mony of hundreds of people, from different
states and nations, all bearing witness that this
Work has been a means, in the hands of God,
of saving them from infidelity, from sectarian
error and delusion, and of guiding them into
the light of TRUTH.

All these considerations, and an intense de-
sire to impart the truth to mankind as widely
as possible, have induced the author to send
forth this new edition ; which he greatly de-
sires may prove a blessing to thousands who
are yet grovelling in darkness and superstition,
and lead them to the true fold of Grod.

If there be anything to admire, or anything
praiseworthy, in this Work, the author has no



EUEOPEAN PREFACE. v

claim to the honour or the praise ; it is justly
due to him who is the Source and Fountain
of all TRUTH. The author was a husbandman,
inured to the plough unpolished by educa-
tion, untaught in the schools of modern Sec-
tarianism, (falsely called " Divinity") reared
in the wilds of America, with a mind indepen-
dent, untrammelled and free. He drank of
the pure fountain of Truth, unsullied and un-
mixed, as it unfolded in majesty of light and
splendour from the opening heavens in all the
simplicity of its nature. As such it has flowed
from his pen in the following volume ; not
veiled in mystery; not dressed in the pomp
of high sounding names, and titles, and learned
terms ; not adorned in the gay attire of elo-
quence flowing from the imagination and the
passions ; but standing forth in the undress of
its own native modesty, as if conscious of the
purity and innocence of its nature.

He is indebted not only to the Spirit of
Truth for the principles contained in this
Work, but also to several men, who have been
made the instruments in the hands of God to



Vlll EUROPEAN PREFACE,

reveal the knowledge of God to this gene-
ration, and to be the founders and leaders of
the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Among the foremost of these, he would
make honourable mention of President Joseph
Smith, by whose instrumentality most of these
glorious truths (so well known to the ancients)
have been restored to the knowledge of the
world and whose zeal, labours, sufferings,
and subsequent murder will stand forth as a
bright memorial to all succeeding ages, and
be celebrated by happy millions yet unborn.

With an assurance that the principles of
this Work will yet prevail over the whole
earth, this new edition of the VOICE OF WARN-
ING is now sent forth ; and should the author
be called to sacrifice his life for the cause of
truth, he will have the consolation that it will
be said of him, as it was said of Abel, viz.,

" HE, BEING DEAD, YET SPEAKETH."



PARLEY P. PRATT.



Manchester, England .
Dec. 4, 184^,



PEE FACE

TO THE FIKST AMERICAN EDITION.



DURING the last nine years, the public mind
has been constantly agitated, more or less,
through all parts of our country, with the cry
of "Mormonism, Mormonism, Delusion, Im-
posture, Fanaticism," &c., chiefly through the
instrumentality of the press. Many of the
newspapers of the day have been constantly
teeming with misrepresentations and slanders
of the foulest kind, in order to destroy the in-
fluence and character of an innocent society
in its very infancy ; a society of whose real
principles many of them know nothing at all.
Every species of wickedness has been resorted
to, and all manner of evil has been spoken
against them falsely ; insomuch that in many
places houses and ears are closed against them,
without the possibility of being heard for a
moment. Were this the only evil, we might



X AMERICAN PEEFAOE.

have less cause of complaint ; but in conse-
quence of this, we have been assaulted by
mobs, some of our houses have been torn down
or burned, our goods destroyed, and fields of
grain laid waste. Yea, more some of us have
been stoned, whipped, and shot ; our blood has
been caused to flow, and still smokes to
heaven, because of our religious principles, in
this our native land, the boasted land of liberty
and equal laws ! while we have sought in vain
for redress. Officers of state have been deaf to
the voice of Innocence, imploring at their feet
for justice and protection in the enjoyment of
their rights as American citizens.

Under these circumstances, what could be
done ? How were we to correct the public
mind ? We were few in number, and our
means of giving information very limited ; the
columns of most of the papers were closed
against us, their popularity being at stake the
moment our principles were admitted. It is
true we published a monthly paper, in which
our principles were clearly set forth : but its
circulation was limited to a few thousands.



AMEEICAN PREFACE. XI

Under these circumstances, had we the tongue
of angels, and the zeal of apostles, with our
hearts expanded wide as eternity, with the in-
telligence of heaven and the love of God
burning in our bosoms, and commissioned to
bear as joyful tidings as ever were borne by
Michael, the Archangel, from the regions of
glory; yet it would have been as impossible
for us to have communicated the same to the
public, as it was for Paul, when he stood in
the midst of Ephesus, to declare the glad tidings
of a crucified and risen Redeemer, when his
voice was lost amid the universal cry of ' ' Great
is Diana of the Ephesians." Go, lift your voice
to the tumultuous waves of the ocean, or try to
reason amid the roar of cannon while the tumult
of war is gathering thick around, or speak to
the howling tempest while it pours a deluge
over the plains : let your voice be heard amid
the roar of chariots rushing suddenly over the
pavements ; or, what is still less useful, converse
with a man who is lost in slumbers, or reason
with a drunkard while he reels to and fro under
the influence of the intoxicating poison, and



Xll AMERICAN PKEFACE.

these will convince you of the impossibility of
communicating truth to that soul who is wil-
ling to make up his judgment upon popular
rumour, or to be wafted gently down the current
of public opinion, without stopping for a
moment to listen, to weigh, to hear both sides
of the question, and judge for himself.

One of the greatest obstacles in the way of
the spread of the truth, in every age, is the tide
of public opinion. Let one ray of light burst
upon the world in any age, and it is sure to
come in contact with the traditions and long-
established usages of men, and their opinions ;
or with some religious craft, so that, like the
Ephesians, they counsel together what shall be
done ; their great goddess will be spoken against,
her magnificence despised, her temple deserted ;
or, what is still worse, their craft is in danger,
for by this they have their wealth. Call to
mind the Apostles, in contact with the Jewish
Rabbis, or with G-entile superstitions ; in short,
at war with every religious establishment on
the earth. Witness the popular clamour ;
" If we let them thus alone, all men will be-



AMERICAN PREFACE. Xlll

lieve on them, and the Romans will come and
take away our place and nation." "These
men that turn the world upside down have
.come hither also." " What new doctrine is
this ? for thou bringest certain strange things
to our ears." " These men do exceedingly
trouble our city, and teach customs which are
not lawful for us to receive, being Romans."
" What will this babbler say ? he seems to be
a setter forth of strange gods." And many
other such like sayings.

Or, let us for a moment contemplate the
events of later date ; for instance, the Mother
Church against the reformers of various ages ;
see them belied, slandered, degraded, whipped,
stoned, imprisoned, burned, and destroyed in
various ways, while the ignorant multitude
were made to believe they were the very worst
of men. Again, think for a moment of the
struggles of Columbus, an obscure individual
of limited education, but blessed with a large-
ness of heart, a noble genius, a mind which
disdained to confine itself to the old beaten
track; accustomed to think for itself, it burst



XIV AMERICAN PREFACE.

the chains which, in ages past, had held in
bondage the nations of the earth ; it soared aloft,
as it were on eagle's wings ; it outstripped and
left far behind the boasted genius of Greece
and Rome ; it penetrated the dark mysteries
which lay concealed amid the western waters.
Behold him struggling for eight years against
the learned ignorance of the courts aud councils
of Europe, while the sneer of contempt, the
finger of scorn, and the hiss of derision were
the solid arguments opposed to his theory.
But what was the result, when, after many a
fruitless struggle, an expedition was fitted out
consisting of three small vessels ? A new
world presented itself to the wondering nations
of the East, destined at no distant period to
become the theatre of the most glorious and
astonishing events of the last days. This fact
was no sooner demonstrated than their philo-
sophical, geographical, and religious objections
vanished in a moment ; haughty ignorance and
bigotry were for once constrained to cast their
honours in the dust, and bow their reverend
heads at the feet of real worth, and learn, in



AMEKICAN PREFACE. XV

humble silence, that one fact, clearly demon-
strated, was worth ten thousand theories and
opinions of men.

Having said so much to impress upon the
human mind the necessity of hearing, and then
judging, I would only add, that the object of
this publication is to give the public correct
information concerning a religious system,
which has penetrated every State from Maine
to Missouri, as well as the Canadas, in the
short space of nine years ; organizing Churches
and Conferences in every region, and gathering
in its progress from fifty to a hundred thousand
disciples ; having, at the same time, to sustain
the shock of an overwhelming religious influ-
ence, opposed to it by the combined powers
of every sect in America. What but the arm
of Omnipotence could have moved it forward
amid the rage of mobs ? having to contend
with the prejudice of the ignorant and the pen
of the learned ; at war with every creed and craft
in Christendom; while the combined powers of
earth and hell were hurling a storm of persecu-
tion, unparalleled in the history of our country.



XVI AMERICAN PREFACE.

This Work is also intended as a warning
voice, or proclamation of truth, to all people
into whose hands it may fall, that they may
understand, and be prepared for the great day
of the Lord. Opinion and guess-work in the
things of God are worse than useless ; facts,
well demonstrated, can aione be of service to
mankind. And as the Holy Ghost can alone
guide us into all truth, we pray God the Eter-
nal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ His
Son, that the Spirit of Truth may inspire our
heart in inditing this matter ; that we may be
able to write the truth in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power, that it may be the word
of God, the everlasting Gospel, the power of
God unto salvation, to the Gentile first, and
also to the Jew.



A VOICE OF WAENING

AND

INSTKUCTION TO ALL PEOPLE,



CHAPTER I.

ON PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED.

" We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye
do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark
place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts :
knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
private interpretation ; for the prophecy came not in old time
by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost." PETER.

IN order to prove anything from Scripture, it is
highly necessary in the first place to .lay down
some certain, definite, infallible rule of interpre-
tation, without which the mind is lost in uncer-
tainty and doubt, ever learning, and never able
to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The neglect of such a rule has thrown mankind
into the utmost confusion and uncertainty in all
their biblical researches. Indeed, while mankind
are left at liberty to transform, spiritualize, or
give any uncertain or private interpretation to the
word of God, all is uncertainty.

" Whatsoever was written aforetime was
written for our profit and learning, that we
though patience and comfort of the Scriptures,
might have hope. Now, suppose a Mend from

B



2 PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED.

a distance should write us a letter, making certain
promises to us on certain conditions, which, if
obtained, would be greatly to our profit and
advantage ; of course it might be said the letter
was written for our profit and learning, that
through patience and comfort of the letter we
might have hope to obtain the things promised.
Now, if we clearly understood the letter, and
knew what to expect, then it would afford us
comfort and hope; whereas, if there was any
doubt or uncertainty on our minds in the under-
standing of the same, then could we derive no
certain comfort or hope from the things written,
not knowing what to hope for ; consequently the
letter would not profit us at all. And so it is
with the Scriptures. No prophecy or promise
will profit the reader, or produce patience,,
comfort, or hope in his mind, until clearly
understood, that he may know precisely what to
hope for. Now, the predictions of the Prophets
can be clearly understood, as much so as the
almanac, when it foretells an eclipse, or else
the Bible of all books is of most doubtful useful-
ness. Far better would it have been for mankind,
if the great Author of our existence had revealed
nothing to his fallen creatures, than to have
revealed a book which would leave them in
doubt and uncertainty, to contend with one
another, from age to age, respecting the meaning
of its contents. That such uncertainty and
contention have existed for ages, none will deny.
The wise and learned have differed, and do still



PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED. 8

widely differ, from each other, in the understand-
ing of prophecy. Whence then this difference?
Either Revelation itself is deficient, or else the
fault is in mankind. But to say Revelation is
deficient would he to charge God foolishly ; God
forbid; the fault must be in man. There are
two great causes for this blindness, w T hich I will
now show :

First, mankind have supposed that direct in-
spiration by the Holy Ghost was not intended
for all ages of the Church, but confined to
primitive tunes ; the "Canon of Scripture being
full," and all things necessary being revealed,
the Spirit which guides into all truth was no
longer for the people; therefore they sought to
understand, by their own wisdom, and by their
own learning, what could never be clearly under-
stood, except by the Spirit of truth, for the things
of God knoweth no man, except by the Spirit
of God.

Secondly, having lost the Spirit of Inspiration,
they began to institute their own opinions,
traditions, and commandments ; giving construc-
tions and private interpretations to the written
word, instead of believing the things written.
And the moment they departed from its literal
meaning, one man's opinion, or interpretation,
was just as good as another's; all were clothed
with equal authority, and from thence arose all
the darkness and misunderstanding on these
points, which have agitated the world for the last
seventeen hundred years.



4 PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED.

Among the variety of commodities which
attract the attention of mankind, there is one
thing of more value than all others. A principle
which, if once possessed, would greatly assist in
obtaining all other things worth possessing,
whether it were power, wealth, riches, honours,
thrones, or dominions. Comparatively few have
ever possessed it, although it was within the
reach of many others, but they were either not
aware of it, or did not know its value. It has
worked wonders for the few who have possessed
it. Some it enabled to escape from drowning,
while every soul who did not possess it was lost
in the mighty deep. Others it saved from
famine, while thousands perished all around
them; by it men have often been raised to
dignit}^ in the state ; yea, more, some have been
raised to the throne of empires. The possession
of it has sometimes raised men from the dungeon
to a palace; and there are instances in which
those that possessed it were delivered from
the flames, while cities were consumed, and
every soul, themselves excepted, perished.
Frequently, when a famine or the sword has
destroyed a city or nation, they alone who pos-
sessed it escaped unhurt. By this time the reader
inquires, What can that thing be? Inform me,
and I will purchase it, even at the sacrifice of all
I possess on earth. Well, kind reader, this trea-
sure is FOREKNOWLEDGE; a knowledge of things
future! Let a book be published, entitled, "A
Knowledge of the Future," and let mankind be



PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED. 5

really convinced that it did give a certain, definite
knowledge of future events, so that its pages un-
folded the future history of the nations, and of
many great events, as the history of Greece or
Rome unfolds the past, and a large edition would
immediately sell at a great sum per copy ; indeed,
they would be above all price. Now, kind
reader, the books of the Prophets and the spirit
of prophecy were intended for this very purpose.
Well did the Apostle say, " Covet earnestly the
best gifts ; but rather that ye prophesy."

Having said so much, we will now enter into
the wide expanded field which lies before us, and
search out the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
which have been shining for ages like a light in
a dark place. We will explore regions unknown
to many we will gaze upon the opening glories
which present themselves on every side, and
feast our souls with knowledge which is calcu-
lated in its nature to enlarge the heart, to exalt
the mind, and to raise the affections above the
little, mean, grovelling things of the world, and
to make one wise unto salvation.

But, first, for the definite rule of interpretation.
For this we will not depend on any man or com-
mentary, for the Holy Grhost has given it by the
mouth of Peter. " Knowing this first, that no
prophecy of the Scripture is of any private inter-
pretation." 2 Peter i. 20.

There is one grand division to be kept con-
stantly in view in the study of prophecy, namely,
the distinction between the past and the future.



H PROPHECY ALREADY FULFILLED.

The reader should be careful to ascertain what
portion has been fulfilled, and what remains to
be fulfilled ; always remembering Peter's rule of
interpretation will apply to both. Now, if we
should find in our researches that every prophecy
which has been fulfilled to this present year has
been literally fulfilled, then it follows of necessity
that every prophecy which is yet future will not
fail of -a literal fulfilment. Let us commence
with the days of Noah. Gen. vi. 17. "And
behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon
the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the
breath of life, from under heaven; and every
thing that is in the earth shall die."

In the verses which follow the above, the Lord
commands Noah to enter the ark, and take with
him animals of every land, &c. And in the
22nd verse it is written, " Thus did Noah ; ac-
cording to all that God commanded him, so did
he." It was well for Noah that he was not well
versed in the spiritualizing systems of modern
divinity ; for, under their benighted influence, he
would never have believed that so marvellous a
prophecy would have had a literal meaning and
accomplishment. No ; he would have been told
that the flood meant a spiritual flood, and the
Ark a spiritual Ark, and the moment he thought
otherwise, he would have been set down for a
fanatic, knave, or fool; but it was so, that he
was just simple enough to believe the prophecy
literally. Here, then, is a fair sample of fore-
knowledge; for all the world, who did not possess
it, perished by the flood.



PROPHECY ALRKADY FULFILLED. 7

The next prediction we will notice is Gen. xv.
13 16. "And he said unto Abraham, know of
a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a
land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and
they shall afflict them four hundred years. And
also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I
judge ; and afterwards shall they come out with
great substance. And thou shalt go to thy
fathers in peace; thou shalt be" buried in a
good old age ; but in the fourth generation they
shall come hither again, for the iniquity of the
Amorites is not yet full."

The evil-entreating of the children of Israel
four hundred years, together with their coming
out with great substance, and the judgments of
God upon Egypt, as well as the death of Abra-
ham in a good old age, are all facts too. well
known to need comment here ; suffice it to say,
that it is a stiildng example of the exact fulfil-
ment of prophecy, uttered more than four hundred
years before it had its ace mplishment. From
this we gather that none of those ancient men
knew anything of the modern system of spiritual-
izing. Our next is Gen. xix. 12, 13. " And
the men said unto Lot, Hast thou hsre any


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Online LibraryParley P. (Parley Parker) PrattA voice of warning and instruction to all people or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints → online text (page 1 of 14)