MR. EDITOR,-- I wish to set the following before the public by means of your melodious TRUMPET.
On the 17th of this month, about 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, when I was sitting in my house, after speaking much throughout the day, the spirit of sleep came over me, in which I discovered myself being taken away by the Spirit to a secret room; and after going in, I saw six ministers which belonged to the Baptists, and I was led to understand that they were holding a council there, and through permission of the Spirit, I stayed there to listen until their departure; and when I awoke I remembered the topics which had received their attention; then I wrote them without delay, and they are as follows:
First, one asked, "What is your opinion about the Latter-day Saints? Their testimonies and especially their books have caused my mind to be troubled, because after I carefully searched the Holy Bible, and the doctrine of the Saints, I have found them to be totally consistent in every point of doctrine. So, O dear brethren, what shall we do? Our religion is finished! It looked bad before, but indeed it looks much worse now; the majority of our members have had their eyes opened; they ask frequently in the society such questions as: 'Are there to be no apostles and prophets in the Church now?' 'No,' is our answer to them. 'Is there knowledge to be had now?' 'No,' we say. 'Are there none of those spiritual gifts to be enjoyed now, such as speaking in tongues, interpreting, prophesying, miracles, gifts of healing and singing with the spirit, etc.?' We say, 'they have all ceased,' while at the same time remembering that Paul had used an oath saying, 'And these truly has God placed in His Church.' And we, brethren, profess that heaven and earth will pass away beofre one jot of the word of great God fails; and in the face of such things, how are we going to show our faces to our fellow men? Yea, and something which is infinitely more important than that is how are we going to be able to stand before the judgment bar to give an accounting of our words and deeds!! O brethren, let us consider these things seriously lest we find ourselves fighting
Then, all who were in the council shed tears as they thought about the great day of judgment! Another arose and said, "O brethren! I have a guilty conscience, for I have preached so much, when in fact I know that I was not sent by God ever; and the words which trouble me are those in Hebrews 5:4, 'And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron.' And that part of the divine word has caused me to decide that I shall not preach further until I have a satisfactory explanation on the subject."
After that, another famous man rose to his feet and said, "My biggest worry is that I have prophesied diligently throughout the country for eight years that the Saints would melt into oblivion before the end of nine months; and now many nine-month periods have gone by, and everyone sees that all my prophecies are false!! And O brethren, how can I show my face?"
Another said the following: "There is one thing that causes pain to my mind and that is the words which Paul wrote in 1 Thes 1:5: 'For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.' We say that we have the same gospel as Paul had; but truly, brehtren, there is as much difference here as there is between the gospel of the sprinklers and that of Paul. And if something cannot be decided, I am determined to join the Saints."
Another one rose to his feet and said, "I must confess that my mind is also troubled when I read those scriptures in Acts 2:38, 39. 'Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.' And we have cut off scores for believing the above verses. And truly, dear brethren, there is cause for concern that there is too much truth in the testimony of the Saints, that is, that we 'believe the Bible when it is closed;' but when it is open we 'deny it.' Remeber that 'that which fails in one respect is guilty of failing in all."
Another one said the following: "We have been speaking during the last year about the Jews; and we have gathered hundreds of pounds among the poor, for the purpose of sending missionaries to the Jews; and now, we see our follishness: there is not promise that the Jews will believe until the Lord stands on his feet on the Mount of Olives, as prophesied in Zechariah 14:4,8: 'And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.' Zechariah 12:10-14: 'And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn,' etc. Furthermore, Chapter 13:1--'In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.' We see, brethren, that they must be baptized for the
remission of sins; and we see also the kind of darkness that we have been spending our time in, and also that we are bound to confess that the Saints have light. They are the ones who have enlightened us in these things, and if I had not persecuted them so much I would have joined with them. Now, get to the point: are we going to go to the Saints like men, or are we going to try to get a fulfillment of the promises ourselves? If you do not answer, I shall go out and I shall be baptized by them now."
The first rose again and said, "Slow down a bit, let us be calm; I think that if we go like ministers unto the Lord, he will give us the honor of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost." "What good does it do us to pray now," says the other, "since the scriptures testify that in the Church there are priests and elders; and deny such, and consequently we do not have authority." "Do not get upset," says another, "as the purpose of this council is to put ourselves on the way to being believers from now on. What if we were to join the Saints and get to be ministers?" "We cannot," says the other, "for we must be members first, and wait as such until we are called through revelation as was Aaron." "And shall we know then that we are sent by God?" "We shall," says the other. "Well, well, if we could get knowledge like that, I would preach in such a way as to cause the earth to shake! truly I could, for it would be heaven on earth then in comparison to the situation in which we find ourselves at present."
"But before stirring up our churches," says one of them, "would it not be better for us to seek after this authority for ourselves?" "No doubt that it would be," says the other. They agreed to go to pray for the ministering of an angel together with the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was decided that one would pray and the other five would say "Amen." Then all went on their knees, and the following prayer was uttered: "O Lord God Almight, behold us lowly and ignorant creatures, work of thy hands, drawing near to thy breast; we would suppose tonight, O Lord, that we are true believers (which we have never been before); we have denied thy holy word, and we have testified that all the promised blessings have come to an end; when thy word is 'yes, and Amen.' O Lord, forgive us, and come to our council here tonight, or send one of thy angels to our meeting to ordain us priests and elders. Since you have sent an angel to Joseph Smith, O send one to us, good Lord, and forgive us for having persecuted the Latter-day Saints in the name of the man who was crucified on the cross. We shall join them if thou dost not see fit to give us the gift of the Holy Ghost. And all our members are of the same mind as we, except for an occasional old rascal who is rooted in the traditions of his ancestors. Since we have a beautiful chapel and many churches, we would like to keep them until we die. And for these worthy reasons, O Lord, keep this council secret
from everyone else; for we have had a bounteous harvest, but it is about to end if thou dost not see fit to hear us and give us the divine gifts which thy dear Son promised to the believers. Forgive us all our sins, O Lord, and receive our service with thy approval in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and amen."
They failed to receive anything in this meeting, and it was decided that another month would be spent in the task! I testify in the name of and by the authority of Jesus Christ that the Priesthood cannot be had except in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May our gracious God bless all the honest in heart in this principality.
[Translated from the Welsh original in Udgorn Seion, 1851, p. 108-12 by Ronald D. Dennis, 1529 W. 1170 North, Provo, Utah]