-[For the Magazine and Advocate.]-
INTERVIEW WITH THE MORMON PROPHET.
Messrs. Editors—Yesterday [16 March 1834] I attended a Mor mon meeting in , at which was present, for the first time in that place, the foundation, main pillar, and corner stone of Mormonism, the doughty Jo. Smith, Jun.
A multitude was assembled to hear what this im pudent ignoramus would say; most of whom were surprised that he said so little and made so ordina ry an appearance. He did not attempt to preach, but made some few statements with regard to him self and his clumsy compilation of pretended ora cles.
He said many would disbelieve that a recent re velation had been made to him, (!!!) and in view of himself and the “Book of Mormon,” would raise the cry of false prophet! delusion!! &c., but that a revelation from heaven was given to him, and by him had been faithfully transcribed, for the benefit of all who should receive his testimony!
In his person, he is about six feet in height, nei ther attenuated nor corpulent. His eyes are rather dull than expressive, hair of a light brown, and his countenance unmarked by any peculiar expression indicative of intense thought or extraordinary in tellect. He is said to be about twenty-seven years of age. His manner is ungainly, his diction coarse, and his delivery slow and labored. There is no thing in his appearance or language to excite much attention, save his presumptuous impiety.
Having a short distance to walk, on the disper sion of the multitude, it so happened that my route lay in the same direction pursued by this wonder- working impostor. Embracing the opportunity thus thrown in my way, the following colloquy, substan tially and almost verbatim, ensued between us.
Self. Sir, is your name Jo. Smith, Jun.?
Mormon Prophet. That is my name, Sir.
S. Have you a mission from God to this genera tion?
M.P. That question I shall leave you to answer, at present. You heard my testimony to-day.
S. But not being convinced of the truth of that testimony, I have embraced this opportunity to ob tain more satisfactory evidence that your mission is from above; or more ample proof that you are an impostor. Ought you not to “be ready always to give an answer” and “a reason to every man that asketh you”?
M.P. When put in a good spirit and at a pro per time, I should be ready to answer. You com menced this conversation abrutply.
S. The questions were proposed in the spirit of candor. I do not reside in this neighborhood, and probably may never meet you again: I, therefore, have seized on such a time as circumstances have permitted. The importance of the subject matter to which my interrogatories had reference, must apologize for my abruptness of manner.
Here this Baal of the Mormonites, irritated and vexed by the manner in which the conversation had been carried on, murmured out something which be came inaudible in the distance, as he urged on his horse and was soon out of the reach of my voice; leaving me to the full enjoyment of my disbelief in the truth of his testimony, or, if perchance I should find a pair of “stone spectacles,” aided by their magical powers, to pore through his book of false hoods in search of truth, as might best suit mine inclination.
M. L. F.
Henrietta, March 17, 1834. [p. 107]