Having learned from the first No. of the Messenger and Ad vocate, that you were, not only about to “give a history of the rise and progress of the ;” but, that said “history would necessarily embrace my life and character,” I have been induced to give you the time and place of my birth; as I have learned that many of the opposers of those principles which I have held forth to the world, profess a personal acquaintance with me, though when in my presence, rep resent me to be another person in age, edu cation, and stature, from
what I am.
I was born, (according to the record of the same, kept by my parents,) in the town of Sharon, Windsor Co. Vt. on the .
At the age of ten , N.Y. where, and in the vi cinity of which, I lived, or, made it my place of residence, until I was twenty one—.
During this time, as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and fol lies; but as my accusers are, and have been forward to accuse me of being guilty of gross and outragious violations of the peace and good order of the community, I take the oc casion to remark, that, though, as I have said above, “as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and follies,” I have not, neither can it be sustained, in truth, been guilty of wronging or injuring any man or society of men; and those imperfections to which I alude, and for which I have often had occasion to lament, were a light, and too often, vain mind, exhibiting a foolish and tri fling conversation.
This being all, and the worst, that my ac cusers can substantiate against my moral character, I wish to add, that it is not with out a deep feeling of regret that I am thus called upon in answer to my own conscience, to fulfill a duty I owe to myself, as well as to the cause of truth, in making this public confession of my former uncircumspect walk, and unchaste conversation: and more partic ularly, as I often acted in violation of those holy precepts which I knew came from God. But as the “” of this church are plain upon this particular point, I do not deem it important to proceed fur ther. I only add, that I do not, nor never have, pretended to be any other than a man “subject to passion,” and liable, without the assisting grace of the Savior, to deviate from that perfect path in which all men are to walk!
By giving the above a place in your valuable paper, you will confer a lasting favor up on myself, as an individual, and, as I humbly hope, subserve the cause of righteousness.
I am, with feelings of esteem, your fellow laborer in the gospel of our Lord.
JOSEPH SMITH jr. [p. 40]