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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

THE MORMON ORIGIN

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



The Everlasting Gospel








Having presented the evidence which shows that the historical
part of the Mormon Bible was supplied by the Spaulding
manuscript, we may now pay attention to other evidence, which
indicates that the entire conception of a revelation of golden
plates by an angel was not even original, and also that its
suggestor was Rigdon. This is a subject which has been overlooked
by investigators of the Mormon Bible.

That the idea of the revelation as described by Smith in his
autobiography was not original is shown by the fact that a
similar divine message, engraved on plates, was announced to have
been received from an angel nearly six hundred years before the
alleged visit of an angel to Smith. These original plates were
described as of copper, and the recipient was a monk named Cyril,
from whom their contents passed into the possession of the Abbot
Joachim, whose "Everlasting Gospel," founded thereon, was offered
to the church as supplanting the New Testament, just as the New
Testament had supplanted the Old, and caused so serious a schism
that Pope Alexander IV took the severest measures against it.*

* Draper's "Intellectual Development of Europe," Vol. II, Chap.
III. For an exhaustive essay on the "Everlasting Gospel," by
Renan, see Revue des Deux Mondes, June, 1866. For John of Parma's
part in the Gospel, see "Histoire Litteraire de la France"
(1842), Vol. XX, p. 24.


The evidence that the history of the "Everlasting Gospel" of the
thirteenth century supplied the idea of the Mormon Bible lies not
only in the resemblance between the celestial announcement of
both, but in the fact that both were declared to have the same
important purport--as a forerunner of the end of the world --and
that the name "Everlasting Gospel" was adopted and constantly
used in connection with their message by the original leaders in
the Mormon church.

If it is asked, How could Rigdon become acquainted with the story
of the original "Everlasting Gospel," the answer is that it was
just such subjects that would most attract his attention, and
that his studies had led him into directions where the story of
Cyril's plates would probably have been mentioned. He was a
student of every subject out of which he could evolve a sect,
from the time of his Pittsburg pastorate. Hepworth Dixon said,
"He knew the writings of Maham, Gates, and Boyle, writings in
which love and marriage are considered in relation to Gospel
liberty and the future life."* H. H. Bancroft, noting his
appointment as Professor of Church History in Nauvoo University,
speaks of him as "versed in history, belles-lettres, and
oratory."** Mrs. James A. Garfield told Mrs. Dickenson that
Rigdon taught her father Latin and Greek.*** David Whitmer, who
was so intimately acquainted with the early history of the
church, testified: "Rigdon was a thorough biblical scholar, a man
of fine education and a powerful orator."**** A writer,
describing Rigdon while the church was at Nauvoo, said, "There is
no divine in the West more learned in biblical literature and the
history of the world than he."***** All this indicates that a
knowledge of the earlier "Everlasting Gospel" was easily within
Rigdon's reach. We may even surmise the exact source of this
knowledge. Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern"
was at his disposal. Editions of it had appeared in London in
1765, 1768, 1774, 1782, 1790, 1806, 1810, and 1826, and among the
abridgments was one published in Philadelphia in 1812. In this
work he could have read as follows:--

"About the commencement of this [the thirteenth] century there
were handed about in Italy several pretended prophecies of the
famous Joachim, abbot of Sora in Calabria, whom the multitude
revered as a person divinely inspired, and equal to the most
illustrious prophets of ancient times. The greatest part of these
predictions were contained in a certain book entitled, 'The
Everlasting Gospel,' and which was also commonly called the Book
of Joachim. This Joachim, whether a real or fictitious person we
shall not pretend to determine, among many other future events,
foretold the destruction of the Church of Rome, whose corruptions
he censured with the greatest severity, and the promulgation of a
new and more perfect gospel in the age of the Holy Ghost, by a
set of poor and austere ministers, whom God was to raise up and
employ for that purpose."

* "Spiritual Wives," p. 62.

** "Utah," p. 146.

*** Scribner's Magazine, October, 1881.

**** "Address to All Believers in Christ;" p. 35.

***** Letter in the New York Herald.


Here is a perfect outline of the scheme presented by the original
Mormons, with Joseph as the divinely inspired prophet, and an
"Everlasting Gospel," the gift of an angel, promulgated by poor
men like the travelling Mormon elders.

The original suggestion of an "Everlasting Gospel" is found in
Revelation xiv. 6 and 7:--

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth,
and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, "Saying
with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour
of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and
earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water."** "Bisping
(after Gerlach) takes Rev. xiv. 6-11 to foretell that three great
events at the end of the last world-week are immediately to
precede Christ's second advent (1) the announcement of the
'eternal' Gospel to the whole world (Matt. xxiv. 14); (2)the Fall
of Babylon; (3)a warning to all who worship the beast.... Burger
says this vision can denote nothing but a last admonition and
summons to conversion shortly before the end."--Note in
"Commentary by Bishops and Other Clergy of the Anglican Church."

This was the angel of Cyril; this the announcement of those
"latter days" from which the Mormon church, on Rigdon's motion,
soon took its name.

That Rigdon's attention had been attracted to an "Everlasting
Gospel" is proved by the constant references made to it in
writings of which he had at least the supervision, from the very
beginning of the church. Thus, when he preached his first sermon
before a Mormon audience--on the occasion of his visit to Smith
at Palmyra in 1830--he took as his text a part of the version of
Revelation xiv. which he had put into the Mormon Bible (1 Nephi
xiii. 40), and in his sermon, as reported by Tucker, who heard
it, holding the Scriptures in one hand and the Mormon Bible in
the other, he said, "that they were inseparably necessary to
complete the everlasting gospel of the Saviour Jesus Christ." In
the account, in Smith's autobiography, of the first description
of the buried book given to Smith by the angel, its two features
are named separately, first, "an account of the former
inhabitants of this continent," and then "the fulness of the
Everlasting Gospel. "That Rigdon never lost sight of the
importance, in his view, of an "Everlasting Gospel" may be seen
from the following quotation from one of his articles in his
Pittsburg organ, the Messenger and Advocate, of June 15, 1845,
after his expulsion from Nauvoo: "It is a strict observance of
the principles of the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus
Christ, as contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of
Covenants, which alone will insure a man an inheritance in the
kingdom of our God."

The importance attached to the "Everlasting Gospel" by the
founders of the church is seen further in the references to it in
the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants," which it is not necessary
to cite,* and further in a pamphlet by Elder Moses of New York
(1842), entitled "A Treatise on the Fulness of the Everlasting
Gospel, setting forth its First Principles, Promises, and
Blessings," in which he argued that the appearance of the angel
to Smith was in direct line with the Scriptural teaching, and
that the last days were near.

* For examples see Sec. 68, 1; Sec. 101, 22; Sec. 124, 88.





Next: The Witnesses To The Plates

Previous: Sidney Rigdon



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