| Persecution will always fare men to investigate the subject of religion, and since I and my friends have thus suffered, I cannot but hope that the candid will look for themselves.
(Oliver Cowdery, Jan. 1834, The Evening and Morning Star, 127)
PERSECUTION. IT is to be lamented by every thinking man, that from those who condemn the Jews for persecuting the Messiah and his disciples, we not infrequently see them manifest the same spirit toward those who are not of their faith.
The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, were, perhaps, equally zealous in their religious belief, and yet none of them agreed, except in this one thing, to persecute, even to death the Lord and his saints.
Was this the pure doctrine of heaven? How astonished must be those poor deluded beings when they are cast out of that Kingdom which they so warmly contended that they were heirs to, and see those whom they despised and put to death, crowned to enjoy it forever!
Does the religion of the Savior consist in persecution, or does it not?
-- [Ed. Star.]
(Oliver Cowdery, ed., Feb 1834, Evening and Morning Star, 134)
While looking at this church as it was four years since, or a few months previous to that time, the mind starts with astonishment, and the reflection arises in an instant, What will be its end?
If, in the short space of four years its numbers have increased to thousands; if, in the midst of unparalleled persecution and opposition (considering the form of government under which it exists) it has spread from one side of the continent to the other; if, where bigotry has walked undisturbed, and superstition held an unmolested sway; if, in an age when iniquity abounds, and the love of men waxes cold, it has pursued its steady course, and found way to the hearts of multitudes, what will be its standing when half a century shall have passed away?
If, amid every slander imaginable, and every calumny possible, it has gained its hundreds and thousands, what will be its influence, and what its numbers when the world shall know the purity of its doctrines, the perfection of its principles, and the honesty of its followers?
If, amid false representations, and wicked insinuations of men of corrupt hearts, accusing this innocent body of usurpation, disloyalty, and treason, it has still progressed, and among the honest, found advocates, what will be the sound of the flocking to its communion of men of all nations, when a little time shall pass over, and the beauty and excellence of its religion shine in the face of all people, and the framers of these reports be exposed to the just reproach of an abused public, and the hail shall have swept away the refuge of lies?
(Oliver Cowdery "Address to Patrons," Sept. 1834, Evening and Morning Star,
| Kirtland, Ohio, September 24, 1834.
I have, of late, been perusing Mr. A. [Alexander] Campbell's "Millennial Harbinger."
I never have rejoiced to see men of corrupt hearts step forward and assume the authority and pretend to teach the ways of God -- this is, and always has been a matter of grief; therefore I cannot but be thankful, that I have been instrumental in the providence of our heavenly Father in drawing forth, before the eyes of the world, the spirits by which certain ones, who profess to be "Reformers, and Restorers of ancient principles," are actuated!
I have always had the satisfaction of seeing the truth triumph over error, and darkness give way before light, when such men were provoked to expose the corruption of their own hearts, by crying delusion, deception, and false prophets, accusing the innocent, and condemning the guiltless, and exalting themselves to the stations of gods, to lead blind-fold, men to perdition!
I have never been blessed, (if it may be called such,) with a personal acquaintance with Mr. Campbell, neither a personal interview; but the GREAT MAN, not unfrequently condescends to notice an individual of as obscure birth as myself, if I am at liberty to interpret the language of his "Harbinger," where he says, "Joe Smith!
Joe Smith! imposture! imposture!" I have noticed a strange thing!
I will inform you of my meaning, though I presume you have seen the same ere this.
Mr. Campbell was very lavish of his expositions of the falsity and incorrectness of the book of Mormon, some time since, but of late, since the publication of the Evening and the Morning Star, has said little or nothing, except some of his back handed cants.
He did, to be sure, about the time the church of Christ was established in Ohio, come out with a lengthy article, in which he undertook to prove that it was incorrect and contrary to the former revelations of the Lord.
Perhaps, he is of opinion that he so completely overthrew the foundation on which it was based, that all that is now wanting to effect an utter downfall of those who have embraced its principles is, to continue to bark and howl, and cry, Joe Smith! false prophet! and ridicule every man who may be disposed to examine the evidences which God has given to the world of its truth!
I have never written Mr. [Alexander] Campbell, nor received a communication from him but a public notice in his paper: --
If you will give this short note a place in the Star you will do me a kindness, as I take this course to inform the gentleman, that while he is breathing out scurrility he is effectually showing the honest, the motives and principles by which he is governed, and often causes men to investigate and embrace the book of Mormon, who might otherwise never have perused it.
I am satisfied, therefore he should continue his scurrility; indeed, I am more than gratified, because his cry of Joe Smith! Joe Smith! false prophet! false prophet! must manifest to all men the spirit be is of, and serves to open the eyes of the people.
I wish to inform him further, that as he has, for a length of time, smitten me upon one cheek, and I have offered no resistance, I have turned the other also, to obey the commandment of our Savior; and am content to sit awhile longer in silence and see the great work of God roll on, amid the opposition of this world in the face of every scandal and falsehood which may be invented and put in circulation.
I am your brother in the testimony of the book of Mormon, and shall ever remain. JOSEPH SMITH jr.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
(Sept. 1834, Evening and Morning Star, 192
|Every time you kick "Mormonism" you kick it
upstairs; you never kick it downstairs. The Lord Almighty so orders it.
(Discourses of Brigham Young [DBY], 351)
|Every time they persecute and try to overcome this
people, they elevate us, weaken their own hands, and strengthen the hands and arms of this
people. And every time they undertake to lessen our number, they increase it.
And when they try to destroy the faith and virtue of this people, the Lord strengthens the
feeble knees, and confirms the wavering in faith and power in God, in light, and
intelligence. Righteousness and power with God increase in this people in
proportion as the Devil struggles to destroy it. (DBY, 351)
|Let us alone, and we will send Elders to the uttermost
parts of the Earth, and gather out Israel, wherever they are; and if you persecute us, we
will do it the quicker, because we are naturally dull when let alone, and are disposed to
take a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little rest. If you let us alone, we
will do it a little more leisurely; but if you persecute us, we will sit up nights to
preach the Gospel. (DBY, 351)
| Suppose that the wicked kill us, who cares? They never will kill any, but what it will swell the kingdom a little faster.
And if my blood is required to enlarge this kingdom, and build it up, and increase the speed of it on the earth, I do not ask but one thing, and that is, that the grace of God may be sufficient for me at the moment and every moment.
I do not care what I do, if God only be with me, and I be led in the path of honour and glory; for we all want to secure to ourselves eternal salvation.
(Brigham Young, June 28, 1857, Journal of Discourses, 4:374)
|It will be so with this stone which God has hewn out
in these last days; and though men may combine to stay its progress and may set themselves
in array against the Lord and His anointed, yet He will come out of His hiding place and
will vex such people and nations, and He will overturn and overturn until Truth shall
prevail the wide world over, and until His kingdom shall reach from the rivers to the ends
of the earth; until all men shall bow to the sceptre of Immanuel; until the wicked shall
be rooted from the earth, and His kingdom shall be established and given to His Saints to
possess for ever and ever. (John Taylor, March 14, 1869, Journal of Discourses,