Interview, 16 March 1834

-[For the Magazine and Advocate.]-
Messrs. Editors—Yesterday [16 March 1834] I attended a Mor mon meeting in Geneseo, 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]
Interview, JS by “M.L.F.”, Geneseo, NY, 16 Mar. 1834; Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, 5 Apr. 1834, p. 107.