Saturday, February 28, 1970

They have souls

History of the Church, volume 5, pages 216-209

Monday, [January,] 2, [1843]. —After breakfasting with Judge Adams, I prophesied, in the name of the Lord, that I should not go to Missouri dead or alive. At half-past nine a.m., repaired to the courtroom; and at ten, Judge Pope took his seat on the bench, accompanied by several ladies.

My case was called up, when Mr. Lamborn, the attorney general of Illinois, requested the case to be continued till the next day, and Wednesday morning was set for my trial. My attorney, Mr. Butterfield, filed some objections to points referred to in the habeas corpus, and, half-past ten, I repaired to the Senate lobby, and had conversation with several gentlemen. Dined at the American House. As we rose from table, Judge Brown invited me to his room, and informed me he was about publishing a history of Illinois, and wished me to furnish a history of the rise and progress of the Church of Latter-day Saints to add to it.

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At half-past one p. m. returned to General Adams. A gentleman from St. Louis told General Law that the general impression was that Smith was innocent, and it would be a kind of murder to give him up—that "he ought to be whipped a little and let go." It was evident that prejudice was giving way in the public mind.

At four, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Prentice, the marshal, and some half dozen others called to see me. The marshal said it was the first time during his administration that the ladies had attended court on a trial. A peculiarly pleasant and conciliatory feeling prevailed in the company, and the marshal invited me to a family dinner, when I should be freed.

At five went to Mr. Sellars' with Elders Hyde and Richards. Elder Hyde inquired the situation of the Negro. I replied, “They came into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation. Go into Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated Negro, who rides in his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by the powers of his own mind to his exalted state of respectability. The slaves in Washington are more refined than many in high places, and the black boys will take the shine off many of those they brush and wait on.”

Elder Hyde remarked, "Put them on the level, and they will rise above me." I replied, “If I raised you to be my equal, and then attempted to oppress you, would you not be indignant and try to rise above me? As did Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and many others, who said I was a fallen Prophet, and they were capable of leading the people, although I never attempted to oppress them, but had always been lifting them up? Had I anything to do with the Negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization.”

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Because faith is wanting, the fruits are. No man since the world was had faith without having something along with it. The ancients quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, women received their dead, &c. By faith the worlds were made. A man who has none of the gifts has no faith; and he deceives himself, if he supposes he has. Faith has been wanting, not only among the heathen, but in professed Christendom also, so that tongues, healing, prophecy, and prophets and apostles, and all the gifts and blessings have been wanting.

Some of the company thought I was not a very meek Prophet; so I told them: "I am meek and lowly in heart." And will personify Jesus for a moment, to illustrate the principle, and cried out with a loud voice, "Woe unto you, ye doctors; woe unto you, ye lawyers; woe unto you, ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!" &c. But you cannot find the place where I ever went that I found fault with their food, their drink, their house, their lodgings; no, never; and this is what is meant by the meekness and lowliness of Jesus.

Mr. Sollars stated that James Mullone, of Springfield, told him as follows:—"I have been to Nauvoo, and seen Joe Smith, the Prophet: he had a gray horse, and I asked him where he got it; and Joe said, "You see that white cloud." "Yes." "Well, as it came along, I got the horse from that cloud." This is a fair specimen of the ten thousand foolish lies circulated by this generation to bring the truth and its advocates into disrepute.

What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world. But, said Mr. Sollars, "May I not repent and be baptized, and not pay any attention to dreams, visions, and other gifts of the Spirit?" I replied: "Suppose I am traveling and am hungry, and meet with a man and tell him I am hungry, and he tells me to go yonder. There is a house of entertainment, go and knock, and you must conform to all the rules of the house, or you cannot satisfy your hunger. Knock, call for food, sit down and eat; —and I go and knock, and ask for food, and sit down to the table, but do not eat, shall I satisfy my hunger? No. I must eat. The gifts are the food; and the graces of the Spirit are the gifts of the Spirit. When I first commenced this work, and had got two or three individuals to believe, I went about thirty miles with Oliver Cowdery, to see them. We had only one horse between us. When we arrived, a mob of about one hundred men came upon us before we had time to eat, and chased us all night; and we arrived back again a little after daylight, having traveled about sixty miles in all, and without food. I have often traveled all night to see the brethren; and, when traveling to preach the Gospel among strangers, have frequently been turned away without food."

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Thus the evening was spent in conversation and teaching, and closed by singing and prayer, when we parted, and Elders Hyde, Richards and myself lay down upon a bed on the floor, and enjoyed refreshing rest till morning.

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