-[For the Magazine and
INTERVIEW WITH THE
Messrs. Editors—Yesterday [16 March 1834] I attended a Mor mon
at which was present, for the first time in that place, the foundation,
main pillar, and corner stone of Mormonism, the doughty Jo. Smith,
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!
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.
Sir, is your name
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
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 “,” aided by their magical powers, to pore through his book of false hoods in search of truth,
as might best suit mine inclination.
March 17, 1834.