Huom. Kappaleita on pilkottu lyhemmiksi lukemisen helpottamiseksi.
Olen merkinnyt tärkeimmät kohdat punaisella.
I have concluded not to request the Saints' Herald to publish
my epistle, as I will not enter into a newspaper controversy. Believing
that all the brethren who are prejudice, and desire the truth only
as Christ has given it to us in the two sacred books, will write
for my pamphlet, which will be sent to them free of charge. I thank
the Herald for publishing the letters of Bro. John C. Whitmer and
I desire to say a few words concerning some points wherein I have
been misunderstood in my letter in the Saints' Herald of February
5, 1887. I thought I had written very plainly, but I see some of
my meanings have been misconstrued. I think it best to answer these
things in this circular, outside of the pamphlet, for several reasons.
I make no replies to any individual in the pamphlet, but again at
the first and make a plain, simple statement of the truth.
In reply to the editorial, "Weighed in the Balance,"
recently printed in the Saints' Herald, I make the following brief
statements, not to strive for the mastery, but for the sake of the
honest in heart, So that they can see and understand the truth:
You say: "Now, if David Whitmer's statements are to be taken,
then the testimony of Oliver Cowdery (and John Whitmer) must be
set aside; and if it was false in one regard, does it not throw
suspicion upon what he may have stated in others, the Book of Mormon
included?" I will not say what I think of your construction
upon my statements in this regard.
I will now make this subject so plain that you cannot help but
understand me, if you did not before. I did not say that Oliver
Cowdery and John Whitmer had not endorsed the Doctrine and Covenants
in 1836. They did endorse it in 1836; I stated that they "came
out of their errors (discarded the Doctrine and Covenants), repented
of them, and died believing as I do to-day," and I have the
proof to verify my statement.
If anyone chooses to doubt my word, let them come to my home in
Richmond and be satisfied. In the winter of 1848, after Oliver Cowdery
had been baptized at Council Bluffs, he came back to Richmond to
live, and lived here until his death, March 3, 1850. John Whitmer,
when he left the Latter Day Saints in 1838, owned some land at Far
West, Mo. (adjoining this county), and lived upon it from 1839 until
his death at Far West, July 11, 1878. He came to Richmond very often.
Now, in 1849 the Lord saw fit to manifest unto John Whitmer, Oliver
Cowdery and myself nearly all the remaining errors in doctrine into
which he had been led by the heads of the old church. We were shown
that the Book of Doctrine and Covenants contained many errors, and
that it must be laid aside; also that when  God's own due time
came for building up the waste places of Zion, that the Church of
Christ must be established upon the teachings of Christ in the two
Now I hope you understand me on this point. There is no disagreement
between my testimony and the testimony of these brethren. They were
led out of their errors, and are upon the record to this effect,
rejecting the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. John Whitmer was clerk
of the Church of Christ, built upon the Book of Mormon and Bible
alone. I made this matter sufficiently plain in my former letter,
and I cannot exactly see how you have put the construction upon
my statements that you have.
The next point where you have misunderstood my meaning is this:
I did not say and did not mean that "all others who may have
held the authority during the establishing of the church at its
organization, and prior to his (my) being so called out had forfeited
their authority, and he (I) alone retained it." You misunderstand
me altogether. I said "I was called out to hold the authority"
- the authority that God gave to me. Others had the authority.
I was not judging as to whose authority was good or whose authority
was not good. I am not judging as to the authority of any man now
in the Church of Latter Day Saints, as I have told you in years
past, you doubtless have authority to act in your church. But the
Lord has made it known to me that the CHURCH OF CHRIST is another
church, and that no man has authority to officiate in ordinances
thereof, without coming into it according to the gospel of Christ.
You say, "He, (I) then and there laid down and voluntarily
surrendered his (my) authority by so withdrawing." - If this
be the case, then the three Nephites lost their authority by withdrawing
from the church which had gone into error and blindness. Likewise
Nephi, whom God commanded to withdraw from his brethren because
of their wickedness. But we see their authority was still good,
although they were commanded to come out and be separated from among
their brethren who were in transgression.
I withdrew from "THE CHURCH OF LATTER
DAY SAINTS;" I have been worshiping God in the CHURCH OF CHRIST
ever since. I objected when they changed the name of the church,
and always did hold to the name which Christ gave to us in 1829
- THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
The next matter I desire to notice is this: The reason why I quoted
from that letter, written by the heads of the church while in Liberty
Jail, was to show that the heads of the church had gone into error;
if the heads of the church had not gone into error I would not have
been called out from among them, but would have been commanded to
continue to work with them. This is the reason why I quoted from
that letter, and the reasons why I mentioned that matter at all.
It was necessary.
I did not say the whole church had gone
deep into error and blindness; I said many of them - the majority
- and it so proved, because, in a few years afterwards, the great
majority of them went from Nauvoo to Salt Lake, believing in the
doctrine of polygamy. Only a very few of those in Nauvoo rejected
the doctrine of polygamy.
You say that I, "in order to make an argument, assume what
is not claimed for section 17 in the Doctrine and Covenants by the
book itself, that it is a revelation in its entirety.." I said
it was a revelation - that it is in the Book of Commandments as
a revelation; and that paragraphs 16 and 17 are added to it in the
Doctrine and Covenants. I repeat that it is a revelation, and will
prove it to you.
You did not quote all the heading over this revelation as it is
in the Book of Commandments; and your book must be the same for
there was only one edition printed. I will quote it all; "The
Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ, given in Fayette,
New York, June, 1830." So you see it is a revelation, given
in Fayette, N. Y., June 1830.
I was present when Brother Joseph gave this revelation: and I
know that paragraphs 16 and 17 were added to it, after the High
Priests were introduced, to give their  duties and the duties
of other officers, that the church never knew or thought of until
almost two years after its beginning. What difference does it make
whether the Doctrine and Covenants claim it as a revelation in its
entirety or not? It is a revelation; and those two paragraphs have
been added, having been thrust into the middle part of it. Then
why should the Herald accuse me of assuming so and so "in order
to make an argument"?
I was present when Brother Joseph gave nearly
every revelation that is in the Book of Commandments, besides many
other revelations that were never printed, and I knew everything
that was in them, and when I tell you that I know they were changed
and added to, I know what I am saying.
One of the most important changes is in the very revelation that
was given to myself and Brother Oliver, to search out the Twelve.
This is the one about relying upon the Book of Mormon alone in building
up the Church. Many, many times have I read and studied it, and
I tell you I know that those seven words were added to it, reversing
the meaning entirely.
I was present when your father gave this revelation. What Oliver
Cowdery, F.G. Williams, and W.W. Phelps have written in the Messenger
and Advocate, and other publications does not conflict with my testimony
that these revelations were changed. They admit in their quotations
which you have published, that the revelations have been added to;
that a few items have been added from other revelations, etc. But
you have made it appear as if they have testified that no changes
were made. The errors that these men refer to are "typographical
and other errors."
Now do you suppose that the type-setters
in the printing office made the error, and added to that revelation
concerning Brother Joseph's gift, adding twenty-two words to one
paragraph, leaving room for Brother Joseph to take upon himself
the gift of seer to the church when God commanded him to pretend
to no other gift, for He would grant him no other gift, except to
translate the Book of Mormon?
And do you suppose those other changes are typographical errors?
Of course you must know that the important changes and additions
to these revelations did not happen by any errors or mistakes -
typographical, transcribing manuscript, or any other kind of mistakes.
How can you help but see and understand that these revelations
were wilfully changed and added to? You have the Book of Commandments
before you. There is only one hundred and sixty pages in it. You
have it all. You must remember that the Herald of December 25, 1886
has already admitted that these revelations were changed, claiming
that - "God had the same right to authorize his appointed Seer
to add to any of the revelations certain words and facts, that he
has to give him any revelations at all."
Now I think it would have been better for you not to have made
any reply whatever upon the subject of the revelations being changed.
Those who are spiritually blinded enough
to believe that God authorized those changes spoken of in my letter,
may have the right to believe that God works in that manner, but
I will not believe it, and thousands of others will never believe
it. When God gave his word, saying he would grant Brother Joseph
no other gift but to translate the Book, he meant what he said.
Brother Joseph giving the revelations of 1829 through the same stone
through which the Book was translated, was the same gift.
He then gave up the stone forever and told me and the rest of us
that he was through what the Lord had given him the gift to do.
In the pamphlet I explain how it was that Brother Joseph afterwards
took upon himself the great gift of leader of the church, and a
Seer, without the seer stone. The Lord had reference in this matter
to a great gift, and not the ordinary gifts of the Spirit. The Lord
also meant what he said in those other revelations which were changed
Since writing this article, I see in the Saint's Herald of March
12th, 1887, that you  now claim only one reason for these changes
and additions to the revelations; and that is, that they happened
by mistake in transcribing manuscript, or copying. Are you sure
you realize what you are claiming? Is it possible that any one can
believe that those changes could have happened by a mistake in copying
before the Book of Commandments was printed?
In the revelation to rely upon the Book of Mormon in building
up the church, there are seven words added in one paragraph which
changes the original meaning entirely; In the one concerning Brother
Joseph's gift, twenty-two words are added in one paragraph, which
reverse the original meaning entirely. In the one which gives the
duties of High Priests, etc., eighty-seven words are added. In other
revelations there are also words added, all of which shows too plainly
on the face of it, that these changes were wilfully made to cover
up errors into which they had drifted.
I made it plain in my letter that God would not work in that manner,
authorizing any one to add words or facts to revelations, changing
and reversing the original meaning, so you have abandoned
that idea; and now you have resorted to the idea and claim that
they happened by mistake before the Book of Commandments was printed.
I am sorry that there are any among you who are so blinded and prejudiced,
in their attempts to cover up the error of those who have introduced
doctrines which are not in the written word, that they will believe
these changes happened by a mistake in copying, before the Book
of Commandments was printed.
Those who make this claim, have to believe as follows: that those
seven words, those twenty-two words, and those eighty-seven words
were in the revelations when God first gave them, and were accidentally
overlooked and left out by those brethren who copied off the revelations
to have the Book of Commandments printed from. Do you not know that
this would have been utterly impossible?
Brethren, it is ridiculous for any one to attempt such a claim
as this, as an excuse for the important changes and additions to
these revelations. The facts are too plain. I will add no more.
I have thus spoken plainly, but in the spirit of meekness, so that
all the honest in heart may understand and be led out of error,
into the truth as it is in Christ.
The word "it" in my quotation in the Herald means the
same as the word "them"; it refers to the Book of Mormon;
the word "them" was used to refer to the plates - being
the same thing.
I stated in my letter that I was in Hiram, Ohio, when Brother
Joseph and those brethren arranged the revelations for the Book
of Commandments. I want to say again that I was there, and I am
an eye witness to what I have formerly stated. When you read the
pamphlet, you will know more concerning this matter and I think
you will be satisfied on this point.
You say I make a number of mistakes here, for the history of the
church, written in September, 1844, says that W.W. Phelps, Oliver
Cowdery and John Whitmer were the persons who arranged these revelations.
I say positively that I remember these things as if it was yesterday,
and know positively that W.W. Phelps was then in Independence, attending
to the printing office, and so was Oliver Cowdery. My Brother John
was then in Hiram, Ohio, but he was not one of the committee who
arranged those revelations. Brother Joseph had Brother John to wait
there for some time, until he (Joseph), Sydney Rigdon, Orson Hyde
and others got those revelations ready to send to Independence to
be printed. They had Brother John take them on horseback to Independence.
In the pamphlet I tell you of something that occurred in Hiram,
Ohio, at that time, when I told Brother Joseph and Sydney Rigdon
that those revelations should never be printed in a book; that it
was against the will of the Lord to do it. When you read it you
will be satisfied. The "church history," as you call it
- and article written to the church papers in Nauvoo, in September,
1844, a few years before nearly all those in Nauvoo went to 
Salt Lake - is not correct. Do you not know that many, many errors
in facts and dates are in articles written to the old church papers?
I know it.
Now, I want to tell you where you have made another mistake, and
the records which I have, and several men whom I know now living
who are eye-witnesses to the fact, as well as myself, being an eye-witness,
will bear me out in this.
You say the Book of Commandments was never printed complete. I
say it was printed complete (and copyrighted).
It was printed complete, and many copies distributed among the members
of the church, before the printing press owned by the church was
Brother Joseph and the brethren received it at first as being
printed correctly; but they soon decided to print the Doctrine and
Covenants. I have a copy of which was printed complete. Brother
Jacob Whitmer gave his copy to Brother John C. Whitmer, his son,
who now has it, and upon the title page of which is this in large
letters: "A BOOK OF COMMANDMENTS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
CHURCH OF CHRIST. ORGANIZED ACCORDING TO LAW ON THE 6TH OF APRIL,
1830. ZION. PUBLISHED BY W.W. PHELPS & CO., 1833."
These books were finished complete, and bound in paper covers.
I tell you I was in Jackson County at the time, and I know what
I am saying. I am an eye-witness to these facts, and there are other
witnesses yet living. I received my Book of Commandments, complete,
before the press was destroyed by the mob, as many other brethren.
The main reason why the press was destroyed
was because this book was printed and got into the hands of the
world. The people saw in the revelations that they were intruders
upon the land of Zion, as I will show in the pamphlet.
It displeased the Lord when they printed those revelations in a
book. I will prove this later on to your entire satisfaction from
what is in the revelations themselves. I objected from the first
to having those revelations printed.
Again you misconstrue my meaning in this. I did not say or mean
that the Saints' Herald was striving to defend the church as it
is today in Utah. I said that the people - the church - which the
Herald was striving to defend, was the people who afterward went
to Salt Lake; that these were the people who had gone deep into
error and blindness in 1838; that you were striving to defend the
actions of these people who, in 1838, pretended to cut me off from
the church. Is this not true?
Again, I did not say that the Reorganization was organized by
new converts. I said it was "built up principally of members
- not of the old church, but new converts." Of course I understand
it was organized by those of the old church, who rejected the doctrine
You misconstrue my meaning also, when you say I ask the people
to put their trust in me. I did not say this, or imply it, as all
my writing is against the sin of putting trust in an arm of flesh
- in any man. Here are my words: "May God help you to look
to Him, and not to any man (myself included) for the truth as it
is in Christ. Rely upon the teachings of Christ in the New Testament
and Book of Mormon, which come forth to us to settle all disputations
about doctrine, then you can not be led into error by any man."
Is this asking people to put their trust in me? I refer them to
God, in humble prayer, and to the two scared books of God, which
contain all the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only
leader and head of the church, according to all the teachings which
He has ever given us.
When you read the pamphlet, you will not think any longer that
I have a desire to lead, or any desire whatever to become conspicuous
or great. God, in whom I trust knows my heart and my motives, and
all that man can say about it matters very little to me. I am old,
and because I have a brother do my writing for me at my dictation,
the Herald has accused me of being led by others, saying of the
work that I am doing, that they are "pained to find him (me)
in any way comprised with others, in such unchristian,  wretched
work." Let God and the honest in heart judge, as to whether
or not I am engaged with others in an unchristian, wretched work.
Being reviled, I will not return it; being persecuted, I will suffer
it. I will say to the brethren that I am being led by none but Christ.
As to my being "so enfeebled in nerve-force that I can scarcely
sign my name legibly," I will say that though I am now past
eighty-two years of age, I am in good mental and bodily health for
one of my years. I had the misfortune, over forty years ago, to
lose the thumb on my right hand, and since that time I have not
been a very good writer.
I regret that the editors of the Herald have resorted to this
and other questionable means to cry me down, but TRUTH will stand,
even if contended for by an aged man soon to meet his God; for God
is the author of truth.
You have left out the date as to when these things were written
about John Whitmer, W.W. Phelps and myself to the Millennial Star.
I will venture to say that they were written to that paper by some
one in Nauvoo, just prior to the exodus to Salt Lake.
The idea of Brother John, W.W. Phelps, and myself trying to palm
ourselves off as Presidents of the Church after we had been cut
off. I made this matter sufficiently plain in my statements in the
letter to the Herald of Feb 5, 1887, and those who desire to doubt
my word may have the right and privilege to do so. There is no use
of repeating it here.
In regard to writing letters to Kirtland, Ohio, and to the High
Council, I repeat what I have formerly stated. Suppose that I had
signed the letter with Brother John and Brother Phelps that you
publish, is there anything insulting to the High Council in it?
If that letter was written by Brother John or Brother Phelps, one
of them may have signed my name to it.
Brethren, I tell you this: Beginning in 1835 grievous errors and
abominations were practiced by some persons in the church. I have
told you, but a small portion of what I know of my own personal
knowledge. I have read some things written from Nauvoo in the church
papers and other records which I know are not true. There were some
things published after Brother Joseph's death, claiming to have
been written by him, which I do not believe Brother Joseph wrote;
and I have told the Elders of the Reorganization so, when they have
been here to see me in years past. I will not mention the items,
as I do not want to multiply words. I hope this circular and the
pamphlet will be the last testimony that I will be obliged to send
forth in this cause of truth.
Again, you say, "Elder Whitmer, in defense of his statement,
etc., * * * * says a majority signifies nothing. He should read
the Book of Mormon, to which he calls our attention as being the
sole standard in the doctrine and organization of the church, more
closely before he goes too far."
It grieves me to see that the editors of the Herald are so blind
in understanding the Word of God. Of course you know that I was
speaking of a majority in the church, and in all your references
to the Book of Mormon, it is speaking of a majority of the people
of the nation. The vote of the people of the nation is a very different
thing from the vote of the people of the church. Why could you not
I will give you the passage you refer me to in your editorial,
and let the brethren judge. Anyone can see that it refers to the
voice of the people, and not the voice of the church (Alma i: 7),
"For they knew, that according to their law, that such things
(voting for a man to occupy a public office outside the church)
must be established by the voice of the people; therefore, if it
were possible that Amlici should gain the voice of the people, he
being a wicked man, would deprive them (the church) of the rights
and privileges of the church, etc., for it was his intent to destroy
the Church of God." There is as much difference between the
two questions, as there is between the State of Missouri voting
 for a governor, and the Latter Day Saints voting in a church
assembly upon a church question.
See also the two other references which give (Alma ii: 5, and
Mosiah xiii :3). All of them refer to the voice of the people of
the nation, and not the voice of the church, which is a very different
matter. Which was right, Abinidi, or the whole church that was against
him? Mormon, or the whole church that was against him? The small
church that numbered eight souls in the days of Noah, or the whole
I want to say this to the meek and the humble; and, brethren,
remember it! oh, remember it! Of course the editors of the Herald
may be conscientious, but in their blindness, by their wisdom and
learning and many words, they are perverting the truth. I will give
you a plain example of it.
They have written several columns to prove that Brother Joseph
was not persuaded by men; but God says in plain words that he was
persuaded by men. Now you can choose for yourselves and believe
God or the editors of the Herald, just as you like. The very time
when Brother Joseph should have been strongest, while he was translating,
God said to him these words: "Behold, how oft you have transgressed
the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions
of men." (Sec.2:3). But the editors of the Herald will not
take God's word for it. This is an example of the way they are perverting
the truth in their blindness, by their learning and many words.
I say I know that Brother Joseph was persuaded and led by Sydney
Rigdon for some time. Rigdon became Brother Joseph's most intimate
friend and brother after he came into the church, but this close
friendship did not last. What you have written to prove that Brother
Joseph was not persuaded by Sydney Rigdon, does not prove anything,
for Brother Joseph was persuaded and influenced by him during their
first and intimate acquaintance in Ohio, at which time many errors
were introduced into the Church of Christ through the direct influence
of Sydney Rigdon. If you prefer to be blinded by the Herald in this
matter, when God says that Brother Joseph was persuaded by men,
I cannot help it. I have performed my duty to show you the errors
in doctrine which you are in.
I pray to God continually that the brethren will look to Him only,
and to His word, and not to any man for the truth as Christ has
given it to us. We have the promise that the Holy Ghost will guide
us into all truth. Be sure you have the Holy Ghost. If you have
any doubt about having it, seek God in fasting and prayer until
you know you have the Spirit of God. When a man has the Holy Spirit
in his heart, he has all prejudice, malice, hatred (towards any
one, even an enemy) cast out of his heart; and his heart is filled
with the unbounded love of God, which reaches out and takes in all
Remember the words of Christ, "Love your enemies," "For
if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?" From
a few of the letters I have lately received, I
can see that some of the Latter Day Saints count me as their enemy,
because I have told them the truth in order to bring them
out of believing some doctrines which Christ never taught, so that
they may be established upon the two sacred books, and receive much
more of the Spirit of God than they now have. I thank my heavenly
Father that I can love even those who have written me abusive letters.
I pray for them, that they may in time find out their error and
repent. I stated in my letter that I loved Brother Joseph and his
father. I see from Brother Joseph's article, "Weighed in the
Balance," that he doubts this. I cannot help it. God knows
it is true. Brother Joseph may not be able to understand how it
is that I love his father and himself. All those who have the love
of God - charity - as they should have, can understand how it is,
and all such persons will believe me; but others will not, for they
cannot know and understand the things of God. I know it  is not
natural, but the natural man cannot understand some things of the
Spirit of God. They are spiritually discerned.
You call me an apostate, and say that an evil spirit has led me
to preach repentance and reformation to you before I go down to
the grave. In this manner was Abinidi sent alone of God to preach
to the church, when they had all gone into error. But his brethren
were in blindness and the great majority of them rejected the words
of Abinadi, telling him he was an evil spirit. But the Lord in time
brought destruction upon the church for rejecting the words of Abinadi.
King Noah had been annointed by his father, who was in authority;
he had many priests around him who thought certain they were not
in error, and needed no repentance; they believed they were the
only true and accepted people of God. Why was it they could not
see and understand? Because they were in spiritual blindness. I
want to ask you who is an apostate from the faith, he who stands
for the doctrine as Christ taught it to the "twelve" at
Jerusalem, and the "twelve" upon this land, or he who
teaches more or less and establishes it for his doctrine?
May the Lord be with you to guide you into the truth, is my prayer,
through the name of Christ. Amen.
Richmond, Mo., April 1, 1887.