A Great Delusion
When individuals come to your door and offer you literature which, you are told, represents the only true religion in the world, outside of which there is no salvation, it is surely a wise precaution to test such claims by the Word of God. The literature offered is usually expensive, and the colporteurs offering it for sale are generally marked by an overpowering flow of language. At least this is the writer’s experience of such people.
One such movement, professing to be the only true religion, outside of which there is no salvation, and originating in the United States of America, is known as THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
It is alternatively called Mormonism after their Book of Mormon, which they put on an equality with the Holy Scriptures of truth. We cannot put their claims to a better test than that laid down by our Lord, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).
Let them speak for themselves.
We begin our enquiry by asking, Who is God? What have the Mormons to say as to this? The late Brigham Young, one of their very ablest leaders, elected the second “First President” of their Church, answers,
“Adam is God, the Creator of the world, our God, and the only Creator with whom we have to do.”
The subtilty of this answer will be seen in all its nakedness later on in this pamphlet. At first sight one wondered if we had read correctly, for such an extraordinary statement might easily have emanated from a lunatic asylum.
Surely Brigham Young must have read at some time the story of creation as told in the Bible. There we read its opening words,
“In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
We also read,
“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
Looking at these two Scriptures a child of five would learn that GOD was the Creator, and Adam the created. This is amply confirmed in the New Testament,
“The first man Adam, was made a living soul; the first man is of the earth earthy” (1 Cor. 15:45, 57).
Moreover Adam died. If he had been God, he would have been deathless. Yet we read,
“All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; AND HE DIED” (Gen. 5:5).
Brigham Young went still further in reckless statements without any warrant whatsoever. He asserted that God was a polygamist. Here are his words,
“When our Father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives.”
For purely wicked imagination this would be hard to beat. Adam did not come into the garden of Eden as God. He was created by God as a creature. We read,
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed” (Gen. 2:8).
Moreover, Eve could not have come into the garden with Adam, for the obvious reason that Adam was created before Eve came upon the scene. Adam, we read, was put into a deep sleep by God, from his side a rib was taken, and from it a woman formed. Thus was Eve presented to Adam by God to be his “help meet.” This is a most beautiful account of how man and woman came into this world by the creatorial act of God, full of deep and wonderful meaning for all of Adam’s descendants, and also full of rich typical teaching concerning Christ and the Church. Compare Genesis 2:24 with Ephesians 5:31.
Mormonism does not hesitate to put forth its hand, and besmirch the life and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. We read,
“We say it was Jesus Christ who was married (at Cana to the Marys and Martha), whereby He could see His seed before He was crucified” (Apostle O.Hyde).
It is surely a very left-handed compliment to Scripture, when evil teachers endeavour to lend weight and prestige to their propaganda by seeking to build lies and concoctions on a perverted framework of Holy Scripture. Here we have imagination run riot. If there had been the slightest truth in this assertion, there would have been of necessity many allusions to it in the life of our Lord. Of these there is not the slightest trace. An Old Testament prophecy, seven centuries old when our Lord was crucified, gives the lie to this Mormon assertion. We read,
“He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken” (Isa. 53:8).
The question, Who shall declare His generation? constitutes a strong assertion that there was no earthly posterity, coupled, as it is, by the explanation that He was cut off from the land of the living; in short, that He was crucified. A little further down the chapter we read,
“Yet, it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand” (Isa. 53:10).
Yes, thank God, our Lord shall see His seed, but it is AFTER crucifixion, a spiritual seed of sinners saved by grace, “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9), the result of His atoning death on the cross of Calvary. Thank God for this again and again.
Seeing that Mormonism makes such blasphemous statements as to God and the Lord Jesus, it is no surprise that they should teach evil things concerning the Holy Spirit. Parley P. Pratt in his Key to Theology tells us that,
“The purest, most refined, and subtle of all is that substance called the Holy Spirit. This substance, like all others, is one of the elements of material or physical existence, and therefore subject to the necessary laws which govern all matter. … It is widely diffused among all the elements of space. … In short it is the attributes of the eternal power and Godhead.”
Never in all Scripture is there the slightest ground for saying that the Holy Spirit is an “element of material or physical existence,” but it uses language that can only apply to a Divine Person. We read in Hebrews 9:14 of “The ETERNAL Spirit.” The word, ETERNAL, in this connection, can only predicate Deity. God alone is eternal, a Being without beginning or end. Christians recognise the plain teaching of Scripture—God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Ghost; not three Gods, for in the nature of things there can be only One supreme, uncreated, self-sustained Being. Christians believe, as taught in the Scriptures, not in a trinity of Gods, but in the triune God—One in Three and Three in One, a mystery beyond the creature’s comprehension, but not beyond the grasp of faith.
In the Scriptures we read of the Holy Spirit in language that plainly points to Deity. We read,
“The Holy Ghost said, Separate ME Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them… So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus” (Acts 13:2, 4).
Does “one of the elements of material or physical existence” speak and give orders, not even claiming a higher power as its authorisation, but as from and of itself? Such Language can only point to a Person, and that a Divine Person.
Here is another Scripture, which asserts sovereignty in relation to the Holy Spirit. Sovereignty in the absolute sense of the word is an attribute only possessed by God. We read,
“All these works that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally AS HE WILL” (1 Cor. 12:11).
Right-minded Christians seek to do God’s will, not their own. God alone is supreme, acting according to His own will.
The well-known benediction,
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14),
presents to us God the Father, God the Son, and shall it be said it needs “an element of material or physical existence,” whatever that may mean, to complete this beautiful benediction? Such an idea is absurd and childish, and worse than all, blasphemous. It is surely the communion of One in Three, and Three in One—Father, Son and Holy Ghost—united in one glorious benediction.
Then take the baptismal formula, given by our Lord to His disciples,
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28:19)
Note, in this verse it does not say “names,” but “name”—one name covering the three Persons of the triune God, ONE God. How utterly foolish to suggest that it needed “an element of material or physical existence” to complete the formula, dignified and balanced as it is.
As we have considered Mormon teaching relative to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and found them most unscriptural and revolting, we are not surprised at an attack being made on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Talmadge’s Articles of Faith, p. 120, reads,
“The sectarian doctrine of justification by faith alone has exercised an influence for evil since the early days of Christianity.”
We find a complete contradiction of this statement in the glorious Epistle to the Romans, that magnificent exposition of the great Charter of the grace of God to a perishing world. Language could not be more explicit.
“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay; but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW” (Rom. 3:27-28).
We infinitely prefer the conclusion of the Divine mind to the Mormon attempt to discredit the grand doctrine of justification by faith.
We remember the story of Martin Luther, as a young monk, deeply burdened with a sense of his sin before God, and marked by an earnest but mistaken zeal, seeking justification BY WORKS. Engaged in this hopeless task, he was seen climbing the so-called Holy Stairs of the Lateran Church of Rome. To all those who climb these stairs in what the Romanists call a suited and penitential frame of mind, is falsely offered the reward of the remission of their sins for so many years. Halfway up this toilsome climb the words of Scripture, JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, came in such light and arresting power to Luther’s soul, that he rose to his feet, walked to the foot of the stairs, the burden of his sins removed, the superstitious shackles of Rome broken for ever, to enter upon his life’s work of helping multitudes into the light. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was indeed a mighty work of God’s Spirit. The blessings and fruits thereof we are enjoying to this day in the great mercy of God.
Mormonism teaches that every person, who is not of their persuasion, is outside the pale of God’s grace. Here is an extract from their Catechism:
Q. Will all people be damned, who are not Latter-Day saints?
A. Yes, and a great many of them [Latter-Day Saints] except they repent speedily
(Journal of Discourses, I. 339).
Orson Pratt, a very leading Mormon, said, “All the churches preach false doctrine, and are under the curse of God.” How happy it is that the gospel is in truth to be preached to “whosoever will.” What chance had the world of the mercy of God the long centuries before ever Mormonism was heard of; and even today, in many parts of the world, where their propaganda has not reached?
ARTICLE 8 of the Mormon summary of faith reads thus:
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God, so far as it is rightly translated; WE ALSO BELIEVE THE BOOK OF MORMON TO BE THE WORD OF GOD.”
But more. Apostle J.W.Taylor, Conference, Salt Lake, April 5th, 1897, said, “Wilford Woodruff [4th President] is a prophet. … He can make Scriptures as good as those in the Bible.” Apostle M.W.Merrill, Conference, Salt Lake, October, 1897, said, “The Living Oracles [pretended priestly revelations] are worth more to the Latter-Day Saints than all the Bibles.”
We have already seen what unpardonable liberties the Mormon teachers take with the Holy Scriptures, undermining the very fundamentals of the Christian faith, and substituting for them their own blasphemous and unclean teaching. Not only are they guilty of this, but they put the Book of Mormon, a religious novel with no foundation in fact, on an equality with the Bible. Nay, still further, they put the words of a President, and of writings of Mormon origin, as of equal value with the Holy Scriptures. Surely such statements as these should be sufficient to open the eyes of those blinded by this emanation of the bottomless pit.
We have purposely refrained from quoting at length Mormon teaching. The little we have extracted is more than sufficient to condemn Mormonism out of the mouths of its accredited leaders and teachers. They stand utterly condemned by what they themselves say.
We now give an account of how this delusion arose, and was carried on in subsequent years. Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Mormon religion, was born on December 23rd, 1805, at Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, U.S.A. We read,
“The Smith family was popularly regarded as illiterate, whisky-drinking and irreligious; Joseph Smith, Jr., voted the laziest and most worthless of the generation. He could utter the most palpable exaggeration, or marvellous absurdity, with the utmost gravity” (Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism).
When young Joseph was fourteen years old, the family moved to Manchester, New York State. At that time a great religious revival was sweeping the country, especially strong in the part where he lived. Amid such an exciting atmosphere, in which good and bad were mixed up, Joseph claimed to have a vision according to The Official History of the Church. On September 23rd, 1823, whilst in prayer, he affirmed, the darkness of the room gave way to a blaze of glory. A radiant personage stood by his bedside, declaring himself to be an angel of God, Moroni by name. He told this lad of seventeen that the Lord had a great work for him to do, and through God’s power Christ’s Kingdom would be restored to the earth. His name, too, would be had for good or evil in all nations.
The angel then went on to inform Joseph of a book, hidden in the Hill Comorah, twenty-five miles south-west of Rochester, New York State. This book was written on golden plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of America; and that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Saviour. Also there were two stones in silver bows, fastened to a breastplate, representing what is called Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and that the possession and use of them constituted seers in ancient times, and that God had prepared them for the translation of the book. The next day, we are told, Joseph repaired to the Hill Comorah, and found the plates, as indicated by the angel Moroni. About to lift the plates out of the box in which they were placed, the angel Moroni appeared by his side, telling him four years must elapse before he could take possession of the plates, and translate the message engraved upon them. At this time Joseph was verging on eighteen years of age. When he was barely twenty-one, he married Emma Hale, who eloped with him because of her parents’ opposition to the marriage. Four years to the day that Joseph first tried to take away the plates, he repaired to the Hill Comorah, and took possession of them. The angel Moroni appeared once again, warning him to shield the plates from profane sight or touch, and that if he allowed them to be stolen or destroyed, he would be “destroyed and cut off.” Joseph affirmed that on his road home he was attacked three times by unknown men, seeking to get possession of the golden plates. He reached home happy but bruised, the golden plates intact.
Joseph affirmed that the hieroglyphics inscribed on the plates were in characters of “reformed Egyptian, the language of the Jews, and the writings of the Egyptians.” He claimed that looking at these strange characters through the medium of the Urim and Thummim, they resolved themselves into plain English. He would then read them to his wife, who, sitting behind a curtain, would write the words down. Later on, Oliver Cowdery, an unemployed school-teacher, assisted him.
The Book of Mormon consisted of three parts:
1. THE PLATES OF NEPHI.
2. THE PLATES OF MORMON.
3. THE PLATES OF ETHER.
From No. 2 originated the name, Mormon, giving a name to the movement.
But now we come to a sad story of trickery and deceit. The Revd. Samuel Spaulding, a retired Presbyterian minister, had fallen on lean times. Wishing to make money, he conceived the notion of writing a historical novel, purporting to be the origin and history of the Red Indians, the original inhabitants of America. The plot of the novel centred round a colony of the Lost Tribes, who travelled from Jerusalem landing in America B.C. 600. They consisted of two parties, the Nephites, who were captained by one Lehi; and the Jaredites, who were led by “the Lord.” The Nephites, we are told, journeyed first to the Red Sea, constructing there eight barges in which they crossed the Indian and South Pacific Oceans, landing them in three hundred and forty-four days somewhere about the Gulf of California. This were an impossible feat, beside which the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus was a very tame affair, a mere bagatelle. The Nephites and Jaredites fought a good deal; all recorded in this novel is pure imagination.
This piece of fiction remained unpublished. The manuscript continued in the custody of Messrs. Patterson and Lambdin, printers of Pittsburg. Years after Spaulding’s death the manuscript fell into the hands of the Revd. Sidney Rigdon, an intimate friend of Lambdin. He was an erratic character, an ex-Baptist minister, notorious for giving out eccentric and strange notions. He got into touch with Joseph Smith, Jr., and had become an ardent Mormon. Together they concocted the story of the golden plates.
The true origin of the plates (not gold, but copper) was told by W.Fulgate of Mount Station, Brown Country, Illinois. On June 30th, 1879, he swore on affidavit before J.Brown, Justice of the Peace, that the plates were all humbug, that they were got up by Robert Wiley, Bridge Whitton and himself. Whitton was a blacksmith, who cut the plates out of pieces of copper. Wiley and Fulgate made the hieroglyphics on beeswax, filling the impressions with acid. Fulgate also described the burial of the plates. Joseph needed no angel to tell him where these plates were buried, for either he or his confederates had buried them. Rigdon had edited the manuscript, adding liberally what he imagined were suitable texts and portions of Scripture, and even whole chapters to give it a more religious tone.
Mormonism was first organized into a Church on April 6th, 1830, in Fayette, Seneca County, New York State. This was composed of six members—Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith (Joseph’s brother), Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer. Of these, two were murdered in gaol, two apostatised, one became an anti-Brighamite and one died of over-exertion. Joseph was acclaimed the Prophet, who, laying his hands on Cowdery, ordained him to be an Elder of the infant Church. Cowdery then laid his hands on the Prophet, and ordained him to be an Elder. Joseph was twenty-two years old when this solemn farce took place.
One can only give a very brief sketch of the subsequent years, or else this small pamphlet would become a very large volume. In course of time a church of considerable size was formed at Kirtland, Ohio, near the City of Cleveland. According to the Mormon’s own story, John the Baptist appeared as sent by the Apostles Peter, James and John, and conferred on the Church the Aaronic priesthood, promising that higher honour, that of the Meichizedec priesthood, would be conferred on them later. Not long after, the Mormons affirmed, that the three Apostles, Peter, James and John, appeared to them, conferring on them this higher honour, stating that they themselves held this priesthood when in the flesh. Of this there is not the slightest trace in the Scriptures.
The Kirtland “saints” built a temple costing £8,000, and appointed twelve apostles, of whom Brigham Young was the most remarkable, and who became subsequently the second President of the Mormon Church. The Revelations of Joseph Smith, Jr., were published at this time, entitled, Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
The prejudice against the Mormons was so great that Joseph began to see that he must seek adherents from other lands. The feeling in the United States was on every hand against the movement. In August, 1839, a mission was sent to England under the leadership of Brigham Young, which met with brilliant success from their point of view. A thousand converts were added to Zion. These missionaries had to deal craftily. They did not proclaim the blasphemous doctrines, we have been examining, but put forth that which would not shock the public. The writer remembers listening to two young Mormon missionaries in Ireland years ago. The crowd were evidently impressed by what they heard. But when it was known what they were, Mormons and Polygamists, the crowd melted away in disgust. In 1912, it is stated, more than a thousand missionaries went to England, distributing annually five million tracts, and between one and two hundred thousand books. The writer has lying before him a fifteen-paged pamphlet, purporting to be written by Joseph Smith, Jr., himself, with his portrait on the cover, printed in Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
The Mormons had not been long in Kirtland before anti-Mormon feelings were aroused to such an extent that they felt they must seek fresh quarters. The Mormons were again on the move. They found a resting place, and as it turned out, a very temporary one, in the small village of Commerce on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. The ground was marshy, the climate was unhealthy, the place was ill-chosen.
Nevertheless a new start was made. Joseph took up his residence in a log hut on the banks of the river. The “saints” flocked in in their thousands. A city arose almost in a night. Joseph called the place Nauvoo, meaning beauty and rest. It proved far otherwise. Nauvoo grew to twenty thousand people. The U.S. Legislature granted it a favourable charter.
About this time Joseph Smith on July 12th, 1843, issued his famous revelation, entitled Revelation of the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including the Plurality of Wives, authorising polygamy as the commandment of God. It was common knowledge that polygamy was practised, especially by the leaders, and this manifesto was to give license to it, blasphemously invoking it as God’s command. The manifesto consisted of sixty-six paragraphs, ending with the words, “Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.” Less than a year after these boastful words were written, Joseph Smith died at the hands of men infuriated by his wickedness, and that of his followers. This is how it happened.
Serious fighting had broken out, and as far as Joseph Smith was concerned, it ended with his being arrested, along with his brother Hyrum, John Taylor and Willard Richards. They were lodged in an upper room in the gaol at Carthage, Illinois on a charge of high treason, for which no bail was allowed. The angry Missourians, however, took the law into their own hands. An armed force of about one hundred men was seen approaching the prison, quickly overpowering the eight men on guard. They were soon inside, the foremost of them, firing his pistol at random, mortally wounding Hyrum Smith. Joseph tried to escape by an open window. When halfway out, he saw with terror the crowd in the prison yard below. The mob fired at him, and he fell wounded and unconscious to the ground below. The attackers made sure work of him. Propping the unconscious man in a sitting attitude against the kerb of a well, four men fired point-blank at his chest. So died Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Thus ended the earthly history of the man, who, less than a year before, had boastfully described himself in the blasphemous words, “Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen,” dying at the early age of thirty-nine.
After his death a struggle ensued for the Presidency of the Mormon Church. Brigham Young was appointed. Meanwhile the U.S. Legislature revoked the charter it had granted to Nauvoo. With the powerful military power behind the Federal Government, resistance was out of the question. The Mormons knew the hour of their expulsion had arrived. The chief idea of their leaders was to reach some place outside the jurisdiction of the United States Government. Brigham Young had heard of the Salt Lake Valley, sparsely inhabited, belonging at that time to Mexico, not then under the jurisdiction of the United States. Afterwards it was incorporated in U.S.A. as Utah Territory. Thither Brigham Young turned his eyes. Some sixteen thousand Mormons set forth in search of a safe resting place. During the winter of 1845/46 timber was felled and boiled in brine to season it quickly. Thousands of wagons were built. The exiles had with them cattle, sheep, horses and mules.
The journey thither was accomplished largely in the most bitter weather, in conditions little fitted to enable the travellers to face the rigour of inclement wintry weather. Hundreds of men, women and children laid down their lives on that fateful march. Thousands arrived maimed and injured for life.
At last, ragged and tired, they reached the Salt Lake Valley, 4,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains more wonderful than those of the Swiss Alps. Travellers passing through the Valley shunned it as an inhospitable waste. Daniel Webster, the statesman, described it as “a vast worthless area.” At first the settlers had an amazingly difficult and uncomfortable time. Several times the whole community was faced with starvation. With tremendous effort, little by little the desert was made into a smiling, fruitful place of abode. Brigham Young stuck his stick into the ground, saying, “Here we shall build a temple,” but it took forty years before it was completed.
We may ask at this stage, What was the secret of the success of this strange religion? There are two attractions that stand out prominently. It was no question of appealing to purity and honesty, and the restraint of evil that marks the Christian faith. Here the appeal was to some of the worse features of sinful, fallen nature. First, there was the desire of the lawless to get to a place where they could gratify their wish to be rid of the grip of a Federal Government, and from the restrictions of civilization. An author writing on this subject has well expressed the second attraction: “Loose, questionable characters from all over the country joined the sect hoping to find a cover for their profligacy.” It was less than a year before Joseph Smith died, that he published his manifesto, giving out that plurality of wives was a mandate of God Himself to His people. One can trace in this the subtility of Satan. As soon as it was announced, Hyrum Smith took two extra wives, and Brigham Young also took two extra wives. When the latter died he left seventeen wives, sixteen sons and twenty-eight daughters, and a fortune of two or three million dollars. When Joseph Fielding Smith (nephew of Joseph Smith and fifth President) died, he left five wives and forty-two children. When any one dared to speak against this system of things, it was alarming to see how quickly they were put out of the way. Some were stabbed to death in the light of day, others suddenly disappeared, some fled into exile, where they were beyond the reach of this despotism. We believe the appeal to unrestrained lust accounts for large numbers of Latter-Day Saints, that went to swell this Mormon movement.
When the Territory of Utah applied to the Federal Government to be recognised as a State, the Legislature made one strong stipulation—that their application would be granted only on condition that polygamy should be strictly illegal, and that the practice should cease. President Woodruff put forth a manifesto agreeing with this demand. Polygamy became punishable by disfranchisement, a fine of not more than five hundred dollars and six months’ imprisonment. Polygamists could not act as jurors, nor hold any public office. Terrible scenes of grief and anger were seen when the Presidential acceptance of the Federal stipulation was made known. Was plurality of wives not announced as a revelation from God, and received as a command from Him? How then could President Woodruff declare that its abrogation was “the will of the Lord”?
It was easier to proclaim its abrogation, but not so easy to stop the practice. It was said that the Mormons “took the statehood and kept—polygamy.” It had a terrible story attached to it, a flood of unbridled lust on the one side, of utter misery on the other, ending often in madness, suicides, women dying of broken hearts. Instead of Christian teaching restraining these impulses, and keeping them within bounds of purity, and insisting on proper respect for virtuous womanhood, here was the withdrawal of all restraint, and in the name of religion rein given to passions, that feed more and more on illicit gratification.
It is sadly interesting to see the counterpart of this in the heathen world. Hindu temples have attached to them the Virgins of the Temple. In plain language they are simply prostitutes kept for the service of heathen priests. The celebrated Dohnavur Mission in South India is for the express purpose of caring for little girls, who would in the ordinary course of things be brought up for this life of shame. Many are thus saved from this horrible fate, and brought under Christian influence, and become earnest Christian women leading pure and virtuous lives.
Then again, in the Mohammedan religion plurality of wives is allowed. Mahomet was credited with having six. The great reward offered to his followers, who might be called to lay down their lives in one of their holy wars, was that they would go straight to Paradise, there to be welcomed by black-eyed houris (nymphs of the Mahomedan heaven), and enjoy perpetual virility.
So we see this bait of Satan offered to the heathen, as represented by Hinduism and Mahomedanism, and also to Mormonism, operating in a country highly civilized and up-to-date, and where the true Gospel of the grace of God is known.
Early in this pamphlet we saw that Brigham Young declared that Adam was God, and the remark was made of the subtility of his blasphemous statement, and that we should comment further on this more fully later on in the pamphlet. This promise is now fulfilled by quoting Parley P. Pratt’s Key to Theology:
“All men are potential Gods. Thus Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, for instance, are in eternity developing themselves swiftly so that they shall one day be Gods over all their progeny. … All Gods have wives, and become the fathers of the souls of men by Divine generation. The Gods are in the form of men, of the same substance, but more ‘refined’ Man, if faithful, will advance until he has the same creative and designing power as the present Gods, who will go higher in the scale, the end of which is beyond our finite comprehension. … Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet, stands next to Christ (Smith being now one of the Gods of his generation), and Christ stands next to Adam. Above the latter is Jehovah, and above Jehovah is Elohim, who is the highest God of whom we in this world have any knowledge.”
Much more of this senseless, blasphemous stuff could be quoted, but we forbear. It shows, however, in what direction Brigham Young’s mind was travelling when he said Adam was God. Was he preparing his followers to believe in his own, falsely-claimed Godhead? What a terrible disillusionment awaits these dupes of Satan. There are not words strong enough in the English language to denounce the childishness, the utter stupidity, the uncleanness, the blasphemy of such wicked vapourings.
With the increasing population of the States, it looks as if the strong hand of the Federal Government is being felt more and more. This tendency was seen thirty years ago, and by now it will be more noticeable. One hears less of the active propaganda of Mormonism in its original home, though its agents are active elsewhere. There is no doubt from Scripture we may look for the deification of man, the tendency of which the extract we have just quoted shows. It may not take the gross form that Mormonism in its early days presented, but it seems as if everything is more or less shaping in that direction. Surely we can hope that the coming of the Lord is near, to take His saints out of such a scene. Meanwhile it is the blessed portion of the believer to testify to the faith that is within him, and to glorify God in his daily life.
If this pamphlet is used to the deliverance of one soul from the Mormon delusion, the writing of it will have been well worth while. May many be delivered is the prayer of the writer. The exposure teaches us a fresh lesson, the depths of utter wickedness in the human heart, the subtility of Satan, and, thank God, on the other hand, the power of God to meet evil, and in the end to rejoice in the promise of the final triumph of good over evil. It is well that Christians know the power of the Gospel of the grace of God, that not only cleanses them from all sin by the precious blood of Christ, but gives them power over sin’s dominion. To God be the praise and the glory for ever and ever.