Sidney Rigdon, et al.
An Appeal to the
Latter Days Saints
(Philadelphia, self pub., 1863)
JOSEPH H. NEWTON, WILLIAM RICHARDS,
and WILLIAM STANLEY.
P H I L A D E L P H I A:
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHORS.
[ iii ]
We have been induced to send forth this Appeal from considerations of no personal advantage
to us, as all will see who give it a careful reading.
knew not in what point of light the Lord viewed us. Did he acknowledge us in authority of
our former priesthood, or did he net? was an anxious inquiry with us. We did not know, and
we dare not venture to act till the case was settled. An event transpired now which put this
matter at rest. A man of high standing, and of position and influence in the world, a doctor
of learning and talents, came to Joseph H. Newton and sought baptism, and holy administration
at his hands, declaring the Lord had sent him to him for this purpose. This event put the
great question at rest, as we were sure that the Lord would not have converted a man himself
and sent him to use to be administered to, unless he acknowledged us in our priesthood. We
stepped forward, as the Spirit required, and thus began again to move in the cause of God.
[ 5 ]
In presenting our appeal to our former brethren, we do it as we feel ourselves authorized, by the
revelations vouchsafed to us and them, through the Spirit of Holiness. "To the law and to the
testimony," has been the maxim with those who have dealt in sacred matters through all ages, and
we follow their example. Having been devoted to the study of the books which we all acknowledge as
the basis of our religious faith, to them we direct the attention of all to whom this our appeal
We will begin with the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 1st, paragraph 2d: "For what I the Lord have decreed, in them, shall be fulfilled;" and in the 7th paragraph of the same section we have these impressive words: "Search the commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them, shall all be fulfilled." In the 4th section and
7th paragraph, the Spirit speaketh thus: "And now I give unto you a commandment, to beware concerning
yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life, for you shall live by every word which
proceedeth forth from the mouth of God." And in the 8th paragraph of the same section, where the Church
was charged with being under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new Covenant, even the
Book of Mormon, and the former commandments which I have given them." We here take one sentence from the
6th paragraph of the 9th section: "For ye shall do according to that which is written." The following
sentence we quote from the 30th section and 1st paragraph: "For God doth not walk in crooked paths; neither
doth he vary from that which he has said." A few sentences found in the 37th section and 10th paragraph
will give increased evidence to the relation we bear to the written word of the Lord. "Study my word which
hath gone forth among the children of men (the Bible); and also study my word which shall come forth
among among the children of men, or that which is now translating."
Smith, 43d section, 1st paragraph: "Behold I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit, in many instances, that
the things which you have written are true. Wherefore, you know that they are true; and if you know that they
are true, behold I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written;
for in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock."
and no darkness and confusion can bind your mind so as to prevail against you.
the object he had was to enforce upon the minds of his readers the necessity of attending to the written
word; a something which is everywhere enforced, in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or that of the Doctrine
been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. Therefore give heed to my words;
write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father, they shall go
forth unto the Gentiles. And whosoever will hearken unto my words, and repenteth, and is baptized, the
same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things."
and that she must remain under that condemnation until her people return to the Book of Mormon and the
former commandments they had received, until they did that their condemnation was certain, for nothing
but that could redeem them from it. Could anything be more impressive than that, under condemnation, and but
obe way to get from under it, -- return to the Book of Mormon and the former commandments? Such is the
importance the Lord attached to his written word.
be bound under chains of darkness, and be cut down and cast into the fire. There is no other way the for us to do, than to study his word, rely upon his word, hold on to his word, and do all things according to his word, and triumph in righteousness with him.
The question now arises, What doe these books teach us? We are told, to begin with; that all the prophicies and
promises in them shall be fulfilled; and that all things pertaining to Zion shall take place as set forth in the
words of these books. Let us see what the prophicies, promises and words are.
the testimony of their fathers; and this testimony shall come to the Lamanites, and the Lemuelites, and the
Ishmaelites, who dwindled in unbelief, because of the iniquity of their fathers, whom the Lord has suffered to
destroy their brethren, the Nephites, because of their iniquities and their abominations: and for this very
purpose are these plates preserved, which contain these records, that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled,
which he made to his people; and that the Lamanites might come to a knowledge of their fathers, and that they
might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus
Christ, and be glorified through faith on his name; and that through their repentance they might be saved: Amen."
matters of the church, says: "Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my store house, to administer to the poor
and needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the Bishop and his council, and for the
purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building
up the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in one, on
that day, when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people."
After the fact is clearly established, that the work of
the Lord, which commenced by bringing forth the Book of Mormon, was for the purpose of gathering the scattered
covenant people, and in so doing, prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, let us see in what relation the
prophecies delivered by Joseph Smith, place him and his organization to this great and marvellous work.
"Behold the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the
land of Zion in these last days; and the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be
sent away, and shall not inherit the land."
the judgment of heaven on the world for their wickedness, and declares that the judgement there threatened
should commence on the Lord's house. "And upon my house shall it begin; and from my house shall it go forth,
saith the Lord. First among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name, and have not known
me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord."
whole paragraph, though it is a long one. "And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will
concerning the redemption of Zion: A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his
servants, Go ye into my vineyard, even on this choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees; and set
watchmen round about them and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon
the tower; that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take unto
themselves the fruit of my vineyard. Now the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them;
and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. And
while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves, And what need hath my
lord of this tower? and consulted for a long time, saying among themselves, What need hath my lord of this tower,
seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? for there is no need of these
things! And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto
the commandments of their lord, and the enemy came by night and broke down the hedge, and the servants of the
nobleman arose, and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the
only, where the twelve got their rule established. There they did do it. It was attempted at Nauvoo; but that
being a place where the Lord had placed his saints, he said they should not pollute his land with their
abominations, and he cut them off out of Zion, and from all its dominions, and sent them away, to plant their
olive-trees elsewhere than on his consecrated land, and after wandering for a long time, they finally reached
Salt Lake, and there planted their olive-trees; and the Spirit of revelation which was in their prophet recorded
the prophecy, that we are now examining. It portends their entire overthrow. The trees broken down, their works
destroyed; the people affrighted and fled away. The concern desolated.
life: when, at an unexpected time, they were fallen upon and entirely desolated, and laid waste.
plant the twelve olive-trees, or organize themselves under the rule
of the twelve, is fulfilled to the letter. How then can it be otherwise than that the remaining one, of their
overthrow and destruction, will be fulfilled too? From what we have quoted from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants,
"that all the prophecies and promises in it shall be fulfilled," if this one is not, then the book falsifies
itself, and becomes an absurdity, and unworthy of regard.
working and that of the twelve. He works with one, not twelve.
and not with twelve; that order has passed away forever. But now comes the inquiry, Who is this messenger or this servant? We are told that such a one is to work, but we have now to inquire who this messenger or servant is? This brings us to our fourth section.
That this servant or messenger is the same person, can admit of no doubt: gathering up the residue was the way to prepare for the coming of Christ. In searching after this person, we will do as we are required to do. "Turn to the Book of Mormon and the former commandments," 8th section and 13th paragraph of Doctrine and Covenants, we read thus: "And now behold I give unto you (O. Cowdery), and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry." What ministry? Surely the ministry which was to finish the work of bringing to pass the restoration of Israel, and through these means prepare the way for the coming of Christ. It is worthy of remark here, that the Spirit did not say, I give to you this ministry, but the keys to bring it to light. Did they bring it to light? In the 11th section and 2nd paragraph, the following things on this subject are found. Let us here state a fact in relation to this revelation. It was written the first time that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon met; they had never seen each other till then. "Behold, verily, verily I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy
prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou
wast sent forth even as John, to prepare the way before me and before Elijah which should come."
nor never held the priesthood that was appointed for that purpose.
were to be two dispensations under which all things were to be accomplished. In proof of this, we have the
following said to Joseph Smith: "That through your ADMINISTRATION, they may receive the word, and
through their ADMINISTRATION, the word may go forth to the ends of the earth."
One priesthood was to bring forth the word of the Lord, for the benefit of the Lamanites, and the other priesthood
was to proclaim it to them, and thereby save them. Nothing can be plainer than the case here is. He who held the
keys of the first administration, was to bring forth the word, and he who held the keys of the second, was to
gather them by means of that word. In connection with this, the 3d paragraph of the 95th section of the Book of
Doctrine and Covenants says: "And it is expedient in me that you, my servant Sidney, should be a spokesman
unto this people; yea, verily, I will ordain you to this calling, even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph."
The Lord had said, in the Book of Mormon, that he would raise up to Joseph Smith a spokesman; and the Spirit said,
in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that Sideny Rigdon was that spokesman. The case then stands thus: Joseph
Smith was to translate the Book of Mormon, and Sidney Rigdon was to take it, and gather Israel.
from us. It was said to Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, that they had the keys of the gift to bring this
priesthood to light. Rather a singular form of expression. We have seen in a former quotation, taken from the
11th section and 2d paragraph, that the priesthood in question, at the time the revelation was given to Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery, was only in the Divine mind; it had been communicated to no living person, not even to
the one who had been sent forth to discharge its duties. Joseph Smith nor Oliver Cowdery had never heard tell of
him who was to hold this priesthood; and the Lord said through Joseph Smith to Sidney Rigdon, that he had been
sent forth as John, but he knew it not.
whom he had sent forth to prepare the way before Him and Elijah which was to come.
one of my servants to go and gather up the residue; and I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the
way before me;" not servants nor messengers.
There are some things in the 101st section and 3d paragraph of the Doctrine and Covenants, which pertains to the
gathering of Israel, that should be called into view. "Behold I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs
come by power: therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like as Moses led the children
of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham; and ye must needs be led out of bondage
with Frederick G. Williams, we have these words: "And the behold, and lo, they shall turn to the Jews, and then
cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathen nations,
the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation." 4th paragraph. "For it shall come to pass in that day, every
man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language through those who are ordained
unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, and shed forth upon them, for the revelation of Jesus
coming. For this we refer the reader to the first chapter of 2d Thessalonians, 7th and 8th verses, where the
apostle says: "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that no not God," &c.
All sectariandom have been trying to convert the heathen throughout the world, to bring in the millennium. But
here we learn the important fact that what Christ was to have for an inheritance, was the house of Joseph, and
this is confirmed by connecting it with the uttermost parts of the earth, and that is this continent; for this
continent is the uttermost parts of the earth, from where the prophecy was delivered.
and by these means the Lord will possess himself of the uttermost parts of the earth.
forth to the children of men," instead of saying, "the time speedily cometh;" but as it was written immediately
in connection with the enunciation of the mission to prepare the way for the coming of Christ, its referring to
that time as "the time speedily cometh," none but a caviller would dispute. The whole of the section relates to
the same time for its fulfillment. There are some things said in the 6th paragraph, which puts the case even
beyond a caviller. "Keep all the commandments and covenants by which you are bound, and I will cause the heavens
to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble." Surely those things remain to this day unfulfilled, and will
remain so till the priesthood appoointed to prepare the way, turns to the Jews, and the arm of the Lord is
revealed in power.
but to us it comes in a different way; it is a promise made to an individual; calling him by name and saying, it
shall be done, "for your good." The subject of this promise is the only one on this earth to whom this
prophecy of antiquity has been individually applied. In regard to this most majestic of all promises, we have a
great advantage over our brethren of former days. Here is the man now living among us to whom the promise is made,
and he is assured that it shall be done for his good: thus bringing the fulfilment of it to our day. To
them it was an indefinite promise of the future. To us a definite one of the present. The man is now living, and
the only one to whom the promise is made; and the only one to whom it was ever made individually, amd within the
limits of whose ministration it was to be fulfilled.
delivered by Joseph Smith to and concerning Sidney Rigdon, as the substance of it shows. In the 5th paragraph it
is said to Sidney Rigdon that the Lord's elect or covenant seed will hear his voice, and shall see him, and shall
not be asleep, and shall abide the day of his coming, "for they shall be purified, even as I am pure." Thus speaks
the Spirit to Sidney Rigdon concerning the glory of his mission, which is to prepare the way of Christ's coming;
and hence it is said to him, concerning the covenant seed, that they shall abide the day of Christ's coming.
guide. He is to prepare the way for the coming of the Savior and Elijah. Through his administration the heathenized
house of Joseph or Lamanites are to receive the gospel of their salvation; through his administration the house of
Israel is to be gathered; under his administration the arm of the Lord is to be revealed in power. The nations are
to hear the gospel in their own language. Under his administration the sick are to be healed; the deaf hear; the
lame walk; the blind see, the devils be cast out, and the heavens are to shake for his good. Zion is to rejoice in
her redemption and to be thrown down no more forever, All this through the guidance and rule of the one man,
Sidney Rigdon. Now we ask, Are all these prophecies and promises to be fulfilled? If they are not, then the Book of
Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are a mass of abominations, such as never came forth from the lips of any other
man that ever lived. But we believe they will be fulfilled; yea, we almost, if not altogether, say we know it; for
we have had things manifested in connection with the sending forth of our appeal, which puts the subject at rest
in our hearts.
We answer, Just what he is doing, as testified by Joseph Smith: working out his own overthrow and the destruction
of those who are led by him.
We commence this division of our appeal by transferring into it a part of the 3d paragraph of the 85th section
of Doctrine and Covenants. Speaking to Joseph Smith, the Spirit says of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams:
"And they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom: as also through your
administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized, that thereby they
may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and the nations of Israel, and of the
Gentiles, as many as will believe, that through your administration they may receive the word, and through their
administration the word may go forth to the ends of the earth," &c. Let us just say here that F. G. Williams,
whose name is found in this quotation, some time after this was written fell from his steadfastness, and not long
after that, into his grave, and ended his career.
section of Doctrine and Covenants, and 21st paragraph, which is in the language following: "Also, I give unto
you a commandment, that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth. And I give unto you a
commandment, that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom; teach ye diligently, and my grace
shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of
the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that is expedient for you to understand; of things,
both in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; things which have been; things which are; things which must
shortly come to pass; things which are at home; things which are abroad; the wars and perplexities of the nations;
and the judgments which are in the land; and a knowledge also of countries, and of kingdoms, that ye may be
prepared in all things when I shall send you again, to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and mission
with which I have commissioned you."
calling whereunto I have called you, and mission with which I have commissioned you." The same as to say,
If you do not acquire the intelligence here required, you cannot magnify your calling.
enjoining on the priesthood of Zion, duties of such extent pertaining to erudition. The priesthood which the
Lord ordains for the redemption of his Zion, must be able to silence the world on their own principles, with
their own learning, apart from the sublime and profound intelligence which belongs to the priesthood only.
Not only was there a high degree of literature, such as belongs to the world generally, required of the priesthood
through which Zion was to be saved, but an unequalled degree of the sacred literature of the Scriptures also, which
is found written most impressively in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, 95th section and 3d paragraph, and are
such as these: "And it is expedient in me that you, my servant Sidney, should be a spokesman unto the people; yea,
verily, I will ordain you unto this calling, even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph; and I will give unto
thee power to be mighty in expounding all Scriptures, that thou mayest be a spokesman unto him, and he shall
be a revelator unto thee, that thou mayest know the certainty of all things pertaining to the things of my
kingdom on earth."
all Scriptures, he cannot convince the house of Joseph of the gospel of their salvation. But this last implication
is still stronger, and that is, unless the Spirit thus qualifies a man, the whole scheme of gathering Israel would
prove a failure.
learned in all the learning of the Egyptians; that is, he was learned in the learning of the world, and that he
spent forty years in Egypt to do it, and then he fled to the land of Midian, and there he found Jethro, who was
a man holding the priesthood (see 4th section of Book of Doctrine and Covenants, 2d paragraph), and there he was
for forty years more getting the peculiar learning which belonged to the priesthood only; in all, eighty years.
Now the intelligence which the Lord requires of him whoi holds the priesthood of the preparation, is precisely of
the same character, -- the learning of the world and that of the priesthood. If then it took Moses eighty years,
how long would it take Sidney Rigdon to obtain the same knowledge? Let the reader judge for himself.
do that let us barely notice the last of all these efforts of human folly, -- the appearance of young Smith with
his hereditary priesthood. The Lord had said that he did not "walk in crooked paths; neither did he turn to the
right hand or left;" and so the sequel will prove; for he proceeded as he had said he would. He had separated
unto himself, taking him out of the midst of that people, bent on folly, a priesthood, which he had said he would
qualify, for the purpose of leading Zion to her deliverance and salvation, and according to his word, he placed
him in a situation for that purpose; making him acquainted with the literature of the world as he had required, and
with that of the priesthood, as he had promised, and it was here the Lord was working, and nowhere else, and at this
he continued to work, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, but fulfilling his own word, and sustaining
his own promise, and qualifying his own priesthood, which he had chosen, and not man. Satan, however, had determined
that such an event as qualifying the Lord's priesthood, never should take place; for, as he had got the Smith
family under his influence, he turned them on the one the Lord had chosen, with a fury that might have done honor
to Saul when he sought the life of David. Saul would not however have condescended to the scandalous degradation of
the Smith family. Saul was a man who had been too well raised to condescend to the low vulgarity of the Smiths.
Such outrages as they committed were peculiar to the lowest class of mankind.
for the position they occupied than all the rest put together; but when a people fall from their steadfastness
before God, and give themselves over to Satan, they are far worse than those who had never known God. Consequently,
there was no falsehood too foul for Joseph and his wife to fabricate; no slander too base for their foul and
polluted hearts to invent; no degraded condescension too low for them to bow to in order to effect their demoniacal
purpose of destroying their benefactor; and when they could do nothing else, they attacked his family, trying to
scandalize two or three innocent girls. They employed
all over whom they had any influence. Persons went off a distance, and wrote back that they had there found letters
written by his family speaking evil of the Smiths; the whole concocted among themselves, to create some excuse for
their sardonic falsehoods. Men were employed to bear false witness, and purjure themselves to effect their object.
the fiendish corruption of the Smith family and their coadjutors, the twelve; and it was never more perfectly
fulfilled on the head of the Savior than it was on the head of his servant. Let the attentive reader consult the
12th chapter of Matthew, where we have the account of its fulfillment in the person of Christ, and compare the two
cases as fulfilled on the head of his servant, and he will find them correspond in every respect. Christ pursued
his course, interfering with no person's business but his own; he was followeed by the revilings and persecution of
his enemies without a response from him, and this is said, by the sacred writer, to fulfil the prophecy to which we
are referring. In realtion to his servant, it was the same: he was silent, and let them rage and foam out their
fiendish corruption. He let it all pass by in silence, until even his persecutors and defamers of his family,
became ashamed. And thus the prophecy of Isaiah has actually had its fulfilment in the person of Sidney Rigdon;
letting all know that he is the Lord's servant to the exclusion of all others.
We who send forth this appeal were knowing, personally, to the scandalous outrages committed by the Smith family
against the Lord's chosen and his family, We were there and saw it and heard it, and the falsifying and slandering
of the Smith family were more like fiends than human beings, while it was known to all who chose to know, that the
abused family had given no cause for it, but had been the friends of the revilers and persecutors. The entire cause
was that the Smith family had yielded themselves up to Satan to do his will.
And again the Lord showed himself in his wrath against them: they were driven out as by a tempest, and sent
entirely away out of the land of Zion, there to await the destruction to which the prophecy of Joseph Smith
had doomed them. Surely, "the way of transgressors is hard."
and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the Lord of that servant shall
come in a day when he looketh not for him, and an hour that he is not aware of, and cut him asunder, and appoint
him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping," &c.
drank with the drunken, and smote his fellow-servants till this day, as far as the Lord was concerned; but being his
servant, he dealt with him as such and cut him off. Thus making his death prove what his life went to contradict.
that what the Lord says concerning Sidney Rigdon's turning to the Jews, and the arm of the Lord being revealed in
power, that give the promise to him its great consequence; for it was to be in consequence of this revealing of the
arm of the Lord that the entire deliverance was to come to Israel. Everything which the Lord had ever promised
Israel, was subordinate to his making bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. These old prophecies and promises,
which have been lying on the pages of sacred history for thousands of years, are suddenly started into a vigorous
life, by the all-important annunciation that the Lord has a priesthood chosen, ordained, and qualified, through
whose administration the long-promised event of the arm of the Lord being revealed, is to be fulfilled. The man is
now prepared to commence the great work, by which the arm of the Lord is to be revealed in power, the heavens to
be shaken, and Israel to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
into the Book of Mormon, to let us know that their fulfilment belongs to their gathering. 2d Book of Nephi, 9th
chapter: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots;
and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of council and
might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear
of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neitehr reprove after the hearing of his ears;
but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall
smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And
righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." And then we are told that
the wolf and the lamb shall swell together, &c. And it is there farther said, "And in that day there shall be a root
of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be
glorious." After all this is said, the time is fixed for its accomplishment. "And it shall come to pass in that day,
that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people." The prophet proceeds
to inform us of the countries from whence Israel shall be gathered.
settles the question that Christ himself will not be here; because he is not to come till after Israel is gathered.
How then will this rule take place? To answer this question, we, as usual, appeal to our books. Moses said to the
Jews, "that a prophet would the Lord their God raise up unto them like unto himself, and him should they hear." All
the books say that the prophet here spoken of was Christ. By saying so, they made Christ like Moses. In our Book of
Doctrine and Covenants, Christ says that he would raise up a man to lead the people by power, like Moses. Put all
this together, and let us see to what it amounts. By it Christ is said to be like Moses, and if Christ raises up
a man to lead Israel like Moses, then he raises a man like himself, for he is like Moses, and another man like
Moses would be like Christ: the result of all is, that Christ is to raise a man to redeem Israel that will
represent himself, will be a personification of himself, and will rule and direct the affairs of his kingdom
exactly as he would do it, were he in person. And so comes the rule of righteousness on the earth, before Christ
comes, so that when the prophet Isaiah says: "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch
shall grow out of his roots; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him," &c., all this righteousness and peace
will be exercised by and through a man whom the Lord has chosen for the purpose; yea, the very man whom he has
called to prepare the way before him; and his having this transferred into the Book of Mormon, was for the express
purpose of letting us know this important fact.
that the Lord has authorized us to believe, a question is so perfectly settled as to be put beyond the possibility of doubt, that Sidney Rigdon has been chosen and separated to the work of the Lord, for the purpose of recovering the tribes of Jacob as well as for the salvation of Zion, and that he is so to the exclusion of all others, and thus all other pretenders are blasphemers, whose end is destruction, not only to themselves, but to all who will follow them. But this will appear in greater force and power, when we bring into view the place which prophesying occupies in the work of the Lord, as it is found written in the books; which brings us to the seventh section of our book
As usual, we begin this section with an appeal to the books. Hear what Isaiah says. We take the words of Isaiah as found in the Book of Mormon, fifth chapter of the firts book of Nephi. WE are told why it was that the Lord commenced his work by prophecy. Hear what he says: "Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly; and I did it, because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck was an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; and I have, even from the beginning, declared them to thee; before it came to pass, I showed them to thee; and I showed them, for fear lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image and my molten image hath commanded them. Thou hast seen and heard all
this; and will you not declare them? And that I have showed thee new things, from this time, even hidden things, and
thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou shouldest
say, Behold I knew them."
Those testimonies of the prophet put an end to all strife. In onedience to this uniform order of dealing, the Lord
begins his work by first raising up and sending a prophet to make known what he is going to do, and how he is going
to do it; and last, but not least, by whom he is going to do it; and when he commences to work, he begins in
obedience to his unchangeable order; and all he does is in fulfilment of the prophecies which he has caused to be
written in relation to it. He says he does this that men may know that it is even he who is working, for he
challenges Satan and all his hosts to work according to that rule. In thus working by a law which none other but
himself can work by, he convinces, as he goes, all who are capable of understamding, that it is the Lord himself
who is working; and thus he establishes his character and influence in the world.
beginning should be continued with us, and that he would be governed by the same rule. And as he had condemned the
people, in all ages, who rejected the revelations he gave, and the teachings of the prophets he sent to them, so
he, in like manner, would condemn us. Here we have overwhelming force given to the requirement made of us, by
assuring us that we were all under condemnation, and should remain so till we turned to the Book of Mormon and
former commandments we had received.
their salvation. But he was not called to do the work; the Lord prepared another man for that purpose, and gave
power to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to bring that priesthood to light; and this they did in a manner beyond
the possibility of a successful contradiction, that all might see and understand; and if they did not, it was their
sin and not their excuse. It was said to the church through Joseph Smith, that if he were taken, he should have
power only to appoint another in his stead. (Section 14th, paragraph 2d, Book of Doctrine and Covenants.) Now to
say that if a man should be equal to himself in holding the keys of the kingdom, and also the keys of the school
of the prophets, was not making that appointment, we should like to know what would do or could do it. Put in
connection with this his carrying to the Lamanites the gospel of their salvation, and their receiving it at his
hand; and that he should turn to the Jews, and then the arm of the Lord should be revealed in power; and then all
should hear the gospel in their own tongue; that through him the Lord's people should be pure as Christ was; and
that the blind should see, the lame should walk, the deaf should hear, and devils should be cast out, and the
heavens should shake for his good. All this said concerning one man, to the exclusion of all others. FRom all these
facts, let any and all judge whether Joseph Smith did or did not appoint a man to lead Zion.
and say, Will they amount to an appointment? If they do controversy ends.
of all things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven on earth. We certainly think that such testimonies as these could
not fail to convince any rational mind.
and sustains his character amongst men. This policy, he says, he has pursued from the beginning, and through his
entire dealings with the world; and as his course is one eternal round, he will continue to do it.
of Isaiah, 45th chapter, 9th verse, "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker. Let the potsherds strive with the
potsherds of the earth."
but if he is not doing the will of God, he is acting not in accordance with the revealed will of heaven, but doing
that which is in opposition to it, and tends to invalidate what the Lord has declared.
about Brigham Young's ever ruling the church of God? nothing; or what was about Strang's doing it? nothing; or
about Beneemy's doing it? nothing; or about young Joseph Smith's doing it? nothing; but about another man's doing
it? half the prophecies and promises in the books are devoted to the purpose of making all know it: that he was
the chosen of God to the exclusion of all others. What are these men then doing? falsifying the word of God,
and nothing else: the very work that the Devil wants them to do, in order that he may get possession of both them
and the world.
Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but the Spirit of the Lord through Joseph Smith; and after all their vilification
and slander, to-day they read as they always did. It was the Lord, through Joseph Smith, who chose him, called,
ordained and qualified him for his great calling, and all their railings are against the Lord himself; and this
they will find out, in that day, when the olive-trees are broken down, the people affrighted and fled, and their
things which are written, and esteem them as things of nought."
Let us inquire, at the hand of the books, what they say about the time when the work for fulfilling the covenant
to the house of Israel will commence. In the first Book of Nephi and third chapter, the prophet says: "And it
came to pass, that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon the great and abominable church, insomuch
that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the
angel spake unto me, saying, saying, Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; abd behold thou
seest all these things; and when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots;
which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the Devil, then at that day the
work of the Father shall commence in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath
made to his people who are of the house of Israel."
and there is no need of mistake. We are told positively, the work of the Father in beginning to prepare
the way to fulfil the covenant of the house of Israel, is to take place after the wars and rumors of wars shall
be among all nations that belong to the great and abominable church. These sayings could not apply to any thing
which has yet taken place since the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. When that came forth, there was a time
of peace throughout all the civilized world, and continued so for many years afterwards; and it is but just now,
as it were, that the nations of the earth have assumed and are assuming the character here given to them.
of the field of contemplation, in consequence of the established useages of heaven, as made known through the
revealed will of the Deity, and fills the mind with awe. When the Lord rejected the house of Eli, he cut it
off; when he rejected that of Saul, he cut that off also; and when John the Baptist stepped asside from the duty
assgned to him, and took it upon himself to meddle with the affairs of the political rulers, Christ let him be
cut off; and when we come nearer to our own times, when the Smith family was rejected of God, he cut them off.
Strang has also been cut off for setting his feet in places where the Lord had not authorized him to do it; and
we have the Lord's word for it that Brigham Young and those with him will be cut off. From all these examples,
surely the people whom the Lord has notified that through them he is going to proceed to begin the work of
preparing to fulfil the covenant made to the house of Israel, will find it important to study well the
word of the Lord, and walk as he has directed.
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In connection with the Appeal, we feel it our privilege to add our testimony. While engaged in the practice of
our profession, as a physician, which is the profession for which we were educated, and to which we have
devoted all our energies from our youth to the present time, we were startled and overwhelmed by the visions
of heaven which were manifested to us; the visions of heaven we say, because no power except that of the Most
High could ever have surrounded us with them. We were lost in wonder and astonishment. The Spirit of the Lord,
which accompanied the divine manifestation, directed us to Mr. Newton, one of the authors of the preceding
Appeal, for instruction and for administration and induction into the kingdom of heaven. Mr. Newton had never
spoken to us on the subject, nor we to him; but so terrible was the divine manifestation, that we visited him
and sought counsel at his hand; and the result was, that we were administered to by him, according to the laws
and ordinances of the kingdom of heaven. Of this we could have no doubt; for we were certain that the Judge of
all the earth would not deceive us, and as he sent us to Mr. Newton himself, no deception could exist in the
case, as the whole matter was between the great God and ourselves. Consequently we know that the authors of the
preceding Appeal are men of God, and are such as the Lord acknowledges, and whose priesthood he approves, and
to whose administration, in his name, he gives the seal of the Holy Spirit.
JOSEPH W. ROWE, M. D.
Joseph H. Newton appears to have been the chief force behind getting up this publication, in the first place. He was an early follower of Sidney Rigdon, as the supposed successor to Joseph Smith, Jr. in the leadership of the LDS Church. Newton's name appears in the first issues of Rigdon's 1844-45 Pittsburgh LDS Messenger and Advocate, most notably as one of four elders having "authority" from Rigdon's first Pittsburgh "conference, to go as messengers to the eastern branches of the church, and set before them the true state of the church, and regulate the affairs of the same." Among the other three elders of that early, authorized group, was William Richards, whose name also appears among the list of authors for the 1863 booklet.
Newton's testimony of Sidney Rigdon was published in the first issue of the Pittsburgh Messenger and Advocate, where these interesting passages may be perused:
To satisfy the public that it was the Spiritual Wife system that caused our opponents at Nauvoo to oppose us, we give the following certificate, from a gentleman whose character stands too high for truth and veracity to be impeached by any man:As early as Mar. 1, 1842 the Mormon newspaper at Nauvoo listed "Joseph H. Newton" as its sales agent in Philadelphia. The Nauvoo Neighbor of Sept. 11, 1844 names Newton as being one of the "followers" of Sidney Rigdon, from whom fellowship had been withdrawn a few days before. For a few more scraps of history concerning Newton, see Thomas J. Gregory's 1981 article,"Sidney Rigdon: Post Nauvoo" in BYU Studies Vol. 21, No. 1.
The RLDS elder, Josiah Ells, was a former Rigdonite and an acquaintance of the men whose names appear as the authors of the 1863 "Appeal." The opinion that he gave was that, "the tone and style of Sidney's ringing of [charges] upon the same idea, is conclusive to us of its authorship. He has been trying for some time to form a nucleus as a starting point..." A Utah expert on early Mormonism, James T. Cobb, reached a similar conclusion regarding the booklet's authorship; in 1879 he said: "This was published as late as 1863, and purports to have been written by three of Rigdon's friends. They may have written parts of it -- not all. The fierce and trampling "hoof" is too apparent here and there. If read with care (and, as the saying is, between the lines,) this Appeal tells who the fabricator of Mormonism was. The fact that Rigdon himself was this real, though hidden weaver amd fabricator of Mormonism, has been an open secret among the more enlightened and discerning, inside as well as outside of Mormondom, from the very first." Certainly, it is reasonable to assume that Elder Newton and his comrades would not have published anything not already pre-approved by Rigdon himself. Given the tone and content of the 1863 publication, it appears equally certain that most of its content, if not its identical wording, sprang directly from Rigdon's troubled mind.