Four Crafts







Ogden Kraut

December 1994

When God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, the people were bound down by priestcraft, doctorcraft, kingcraft, and lawyercraft, the four grand crafts that uphold Satan’s kingdom.
Brigham Young
(Des. News, July 12, 1863)

[7]                             INTRODUCTION:


Our world today seems to be a large-scale representation of the city and conditions of Babylon–a place of riches, commerce, splendor, pleasures, but above everything else–wickedness. Babylon was a type of what was to come in the latter days: on the outside it was attractive, but on the inside it was filled with sin and evil. Within its social and economic structure was a system of crafts which eventually attributed to its collapse. The early prophets have foretold that such depredations will be repeated in the last days.

In an effort to avoid such disasters and evils, men should understand these crafts and the principles by which they are governed. If we do not see that the scriptures and the words of the prophets have declared these conditions and warnings, then we have completely misunderstood their messages. The main purpose of the restoration of the Gospel in this dispensation was to offer warnings and to preserve a righteous people and gospel because of the calamities that are to come. For example, the very first section of the Doctrine and Covenants states:

They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.

[8] Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets. (D. & C. 1:16-18)

The people of the world today are about to step–no, jump–into the deep abyss of darkness, death and destruction. At no other time in the history of this “lone and dreary world” will so many perish. Great light has been restored to the earth but it has basically been rejected, for the nations love darkness more than light. Heathen philosophers, atheistic artisans and educators, corrupt politicians, and lying legal counselors are the main creators of modern Babylon.

A grim but accurate description of the world we live in has been provided in a little booklet by Inspiration Books East, Inc.:

There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trust, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principle and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions, as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the revolting details of vice, initiating others into the practice of fraud, robbery, and murder. Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain, and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the faculties of many, so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, passion, [9] envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil. (“What’s Behind the New World Order?”, C.R. Brown [A.Q.C.S., Retired U.S. Navy], p. 54)

Today the doctors, lawyers, ministers and politicians have more funds to work with, better systems of communication, more learning, training and information than ever before; so why, then, is the world in such a terrible condition?

The local telephone books contain more pages listing doctors and lawyers than any other professions, along with those involved in government bureaucracy. Consider how every phase of our life is connected to some federal or state law or regulation. And what is worse–these lists keep growing!

Our society is flooded with too many doctors, lawyers, politicians, and priests who do not know God. Their profession has become a craft–which, according to one dictionary definition, means “a skill in deceiving or underhanded planning.” (Webster’s New World Dict., 1982 ed., p. 330)

These crafts of deception (doctorcraft, lawyercraft, priestcraft, and kingcraft) are attributed to be the work of the devil–a counterfeit for what true doctors, lawyers, priests and kings are supposed to be. To accomplish his evil purposes, it requires mortal men–so they train for and involve themselves in these crafts that pay exceedingly well, and the devil is willing to assist them in that. Brigham Young expressed it this way:

The devil has sent his emissaries among us, some of whom come in the form of lawyers, doctors and ministers, and others as saloon keepers and gamblers, and [10] as “gentlemen” whose politeness and affability are peculiarly striking. Their special mission seems to be directed to the young of both sexes, to decoy and lead them astray. (JD 18:233)

Then you may take the class called merchants, also the doctors, the priests in the various sects, the lawyers, and every person engaged in any branch of business throughout the world, and, as a general thing, they are all taught from their childhood to be more or less dishonest. (JD 6:72)

Andrew Jensen explained that the men in these three professions were all trained in the same kind of schools:

When we go abroad and become acquainted with the various Protestant denominations, we find that the people as a rule manufacture or produce priests on the same principle that they do lawyers and doctors. Students aspiring to the honors of medical doctors, lawyers and clergymen, study side by side in the same schools, till they have passed through certain examinations and arrive at a certain stage. Then they choose one of three roads open to them. One of these, if followed successfully, leads to the calling of a lawyer; another enables a man to become a doctor of medicine and still another to become a clergyman. (Coll. Disc., comp. by Brian Stuy, 5:36)

The Prophet Joseph Smith strongly declared how a prophet should follow Christ’s example in warning the people of these professional men:

Some of the company thought I was not a very meek Prophet; so I told them: “I am meek and lowly in heart,” and will personify Jesus for a moment, to illustrate the principle, and cried out with a loud voice, “Woe unto you, ye doctors; woe unto you, ye lawyers; woe unto you, ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!” etc. But you cannot find the place where I ever went that I found fault with their food, their [11] drink, their house, their lodgings; no, never; and this is what is meant by the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. (DHC 5:218)

Brigham Young also disliked and warned against these three professional crafts, and added one more to those mentioned above:

When God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, the people were bound down by priestcraft, doctorcraft, kingcraft and lawyercraft, the four grand crafts that uphold Satan’s kingdom. (Des. News, Sept. 12, 1863)

And John Taylor declared that even the doctors and lawyers, etc., would all have to reach the point when they, too, would bow their knees and confess that Jesus was the Christ:

He showed them that a time would come when every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess unto the Lord, no matter whether they were priests or people, rulers or ruled, lawyers or doctors, no matter what position they held in the world, to Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is the Lord of all to the glory of God the Father. (JD 10:278-279)

The prophets have warned us about these “crafts,” so it is our responsibility to learn for ourselves why they can cause such trouble in this life, resulting in sorrow in the next. This book will discuss the four crafts in the following order:

  1. Doctorcraft
  2. Lawyercraft
  3. Priestcraft
  4. Kingcraft

Section 1


And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. (D. & C. 42:43)



Bible Instructions and Examples .               .               .               .                 13

Early Mormonism and the Medical Profession

“Let Them Alone”         .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 19

Love of Money              .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 23

The Use of Wholesome Herbs    .               .               .               .               .                 24

Faith to be Healed         .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 26

The Gift of Healing       .               .               .               .               .               .                 29

Preservation of Life      .               .               .               .               .               .                 30

God’s Will Be Done       .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 33

Latter-day Doctors

A Scientific Medical World          .               .               .               .               .                 35

Medicine as a Religion .               .               .               .               .               .                 36

Preventive Medicine     .               .               .               .               .               .                 39

Drug Cartels    .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 46

Hospitals         .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 47

Prescription Drugs          .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 49

Fluorides          .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 53

Aluminum       .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 54

Vaccinations  .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 55

Cancer             .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 58

Surgical Operations       .               .               .               .               .               .                 60

Chemical Pollutants      .               .               .               .               .               .                 61

The Final Answer           .               .               .               .               .               .               .                 62

[13]                              Section 1


Bible Instructions and Examples

As innocent babies we are born into a mortal world filled with sickness and afflictions. Throughout our lives we learn what it feels like to be sick, hurt, cut and bruised. But through such adversity we gain valuable lessons, for such experiences can teach us about the power of God and to rely on Him. More often than not, unfortunately, mankind chooses to rely on the doctors (or the arm of flesh) for cures and relief from those afflictions.

But in spite of better sanitation, rapid access to emergency help, thousands of therapies and medicines, larger, closer and more numerous and modern facilities, and better trained medical personnel-hospitals are still full and doctors’ offices are crowded. We spend more money for medical bills and medical insurance than ever before and seem to get less in return. The medical profession is growing instead of diminishing because of our sick society.

In both ancient and modern times, the afflicted have been able to choose between a doctor or the Lord-or a combination of both. In determining the best procedure, let’s first consider the advice and warnings of some Bible prophets.

[14] Abraham prayed and “God healed Abimelech and his wife, and his maidservants.” (Gen. 20:17). Moses prayed to the Lord that He would heal Miriam (Num. 12:13). Hezekiah prayed for healing (Isa. 38:5 & 16). Elijah prayed and a boy was revived (I Kings 17:21-23). The Shunammite’s son was raised from the dead by Elisha (2 Kings 4:32-37). A man whose deceased body touched Elisha’s bones “revived and stood up” (2 Kings 13:21).

Solomon said the Lord “healeth all thy diseases” (Ps. 103:3); and Isaiah said the Lord will heal the wounds of the people (Isa. 30:26). God said, “I wound and I heal” (Deut. 32:39). The fear of the Lord and departing from evil will be healing to your body, bringing “health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Prov. 3:8).

One particularly interesting account is about King Asa who learned the hard way that it was better to trust in the Lord for healing than to trust in the doctors.

And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.

And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. (2 Chron. 16:12-13)

The New Testament gives several examples of healing power by the Savior Himself–the Great Physician; and He taught His disciples to go and do likewise. These disciples of Christ came from many different backgrounds and occupations. Luke was a physician, and when he saw the miraculous and immediate healings Jesus performed, it must have been even more impressive and faith promoting to him than it was to the other apostles. Broken bones, lepers, blind and deaf were healed, and the dead became alive again–all [15] bearing witness to miraculous healings, which must have been very rewarding and powerful to Luke who had already committed himself to the health and welfare of others.

Jesus went about Galilee “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (See Matt. 4:23-24; also Mark 1:32-34.) Many of “the sick in the streets” who touched “the border of his garment” were healed. (Mark 6:56) Great multitudes came to Jesus to be healed. (Luke 5:15; 6:18) He made “the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:37) He even cleansed and healed lepers. (See Matt. 8:2-3 and Luke 17:12-19.) He healed a man with a withered hand. (Matt. 12:10-13) He used His power to heal a dumb demoniac (Matt. 9:33), a blind and dumb demoniac (Matt. 12:22), a demoniac in the synagogue (Luke 4:35), and two fierce Gergesene demoniacs (Matt. 8:28-32).

Luke records the healing of the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:2-10) and also casting many devils (Legion) from a naked man who had been possessed with devils for a long time. “Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.” (Luke 8:29-33) Christ healed a deaf man with a speech impediment (Mark 7:32-35), and on numerous occasion caused the blind to see. (i.e., Matt. 9:28-30; Mark 8:22-25) He healed several women who were sick or tormented with evil spirits. (Luke 8:2-3) He cured a man inflicted with palsy (Matt. 9:2-7), a lunatic (insane) boy (Matt. 17:15-18), and a man with dropsy (edema or tumor). (Luke 14:4).

When Jesus gave His disciples power and authority to heal others (Matt. 10:1), He described the manner in which to do it: “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:18) He instructed the people to pray with [16] faith for one another to be healed. The disciples went forth and healed those with infirmities and unclean spirits. (See Acts 5:15-16.) They even used handkerchiefs and aprons as a means for healing. (Acts 19:12) Paul healed the father of Publius. (Acts 28:8-9) And the list goes on and on.

It is interesting to note that in none of these cases of healing were the sick individuals advised to seek out the services or treatment of a physician. In fact, there is an excellent account in both Mark and Luke about a woman who did go to the physicians and they were unable to heal her; but when she touched the hem of Christ’s garment, she was cured immediately.

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8:43-48)

Mark related this same incident (5:25-34), but gave a little more detail regarding the physicians:

And [she] had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. (v. 26)

[17] The main “prescription” recommended for the healing of the sick was outlined in James:

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:13-15)

Thus, through prayers of faith and consecrated oil, we are instructed to heal the sick. Jesus set the example for all those who call themselves disciples, with very little call for doctors. Healing should be confined mostly to the religious realm rather than to the drug store and doctor’s office.

Three of the four gospels record a particular reference by the Savior to physicians:

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth. (Matt. 9:11-13)

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17)

And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:31-32)

There is an interesting lesson to be learned from these passages. The Savior here was referring to Himself as a [18] physician trying to heal the “sick”. He was strong and secure enough in His position and beliefs that he could associate and “eat” with “publicans and sinners” in an effort to teach and influence them for the better, without becoming tainted by such characters Himself. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case with most men today, who after a continued association with such undesirable characters, often become personally influenced by them, causing the teacher himself to eventually lower his standards and compromise his righteous desires. A physician has a better chance of healing others if he does not get close enough to become infected with the same diseases as his patients.

On at least one other occasion, Jesus was referred to as a physician:

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. (Luke 4:22-24)

Jesus had returned to Nazareth “where He had been brought up” (Luke 4:16) and went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. After He read from the book of the Prophet Esaias, the people apparently expected more from Him. They had heard of His miraculous healings in Capernaum and thought He ought to do the same in His own country. But He chided them for their lack of faith and inability to recognize a true prophet.

As the “Great Physician,” Christ set the correct healing example for all other physicians to follow. When He said, “Come follow Me,” He was also talking to doctors both then and now!

[19]               Early Mormonism & the Medical Profession

“Let Them Alone”

During most of the first century of the LDS Church, the medical profession had little in common with true science. It was a haphazard combination of some of the best and worst cures. Very few doctors were dependent on inspiration, mild herbs and natural healings. Instead, most of them were snake-oil peddlers or quack butchers.

About 30 years before the Mormon Church was organized, an interesting story was related about George Washington and his horrible experience with a doctor just before he died:

On December 13th, 1799, George Washington summoned his doctor after coming down with a sore throat. His doctor bled him four times, injected him with poisonous mercury, gave him more mercury by mouth, then blistered his throat with a compound of vinegar and dead bugs. After enduring this torturous treatment for a single day, the Father of Our Country begged his doctor to leave him alone and let him die in peace–which he did, at 10:00 p.m. on December 14. (Americans’ Bulletin, Oct. 1994, p. 18)

With such questionable physicians, pharmacists, and surgeons, the medical profession had earned for themselves a very shaded and sinister reputation.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith came on the scene, he was very critical of doctors among the Saints. He reported that–

As to the doctors who are in our midst, who are our enemies, I say let them alone, for I have no doubt but that three to one who have died in this place had a doctor. * * * Do [20] cease to employ doctors, lawyers, and merchants who will empty your purses. * * * As to the doctors, let them go. I can prove that a doctor in this place doctored a woman that was in the family way, and did not know it until she was delivered, and both woman and child died, and if you will employ them, you will all die. (DHC 7:258-259)

On other occasions, the Prophet said:

All ye doctors who are fools, not well read, and do not understand the human constitution, stop your practice. And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up, would to God you would go to work or run away! (DHC 6:59)

Another thing: I want to speak about the lawyers of this city. I have good feelings towards them; nevertheless I will reprove the lawyers and doctors anyhow. Jesus did, and every prophet has; and if I am a prophet, I shall do it: at any rate, I shall do it, for I profess to be a prophet. (DHC 6:238)

Some Church members followed the advice to avoid doctors and apparently did very well. According to Brigham Young, he stayed away from them for most of his life:

I am happy to say I have never been under the necessity of calling a doctor to my family for forty years. I have had them in my family, but not from necessity. I like them when they are gentlemen; when they are wise and full of intelligence, I am very fond of them; but I do not ask them to doctor my family in any case; and there are no circumstances under which I think them necessary except in case of a broken bone, or where skilful mechanical or surgical aid is necessary. But to call a doctor to my family to administer physic to them, I am not under the necessity of doing it. Is this so? Yes, it is; and if the experiment could be tried, independent of the Gospel and of faith, in any community, I care not where, nor for what length [21] of time, of having any number of persons, with regularly qualified physicians to attend them; and the same number without such physicians, but who will doctor themselves according to nature and their own judgments, among that portion without doctors, there would be less sickness and fewer deaths than among those who had their doctors. The experience of the Latter-day Saints in Utah confirms this. (JD 13:142)

Would you want doctors? Yes, to set bones. We should want a good surgeon for that, or to cut off a limb. But do you want doctors? For not much of anything else, let me tell you, only the traditions of the people lead them to think so; and here is a growing evil in our midst. It will be so in a little time that not a woman in all Israel will dare to have a baby unless she can have a doctor by her. * * *

Now the cry is, “Send for a doctor.” If you have a pain in the head, “Send for a doctor;” if your heel aches, “I want a doctor;” “my back aches, and I want a doctor.” The study and practice of anatomy and surgery are very good; they are mechanical, and are frequently needed. Do you not think it is necessary to give medicine sometimes? Yes, but I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world. (JD 15:225)

If we perhaps understood the source of our aches and pains, maybe we would better understand the correct source of their cure. In 1856 Brigham Young spoke at the funeral of Jedediah Grant and explained:

When he [Jedediah Grant] was here, the devils had power over his flesh, he warred with them and fought them, and said that they were around him by millions, and he fought them until he overcame them. So it is with you and I. You never felt a pain and ache, or felt disagreeable, or uncomfortable in your bodies and minds, but what an evil spirit was present causing it. Do you realize that the [22] ague, the fever, the chills, the severe pain in the head, the pleurisy, or any pain in the system, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, is put there by the devil? You do not realize this, do you?

I say but little about this matter, because I do not want you to realize it. When you have the rheumatism, do you realize that the devil put that upon you? No, but you say, “I got wet, caught cold, and thereby got the rheumatism.” The spirits that afflict us and plant disease in our bodies, pain in the system, and finally death, have control over us so far as the flesh is concerned. But when the spirit is unlocked from the body, it is free from the power of death and Satan; and when that body comes up again, it also, with the spirit, will gain the victory over death, hell, and the grave. (JD 4:133)

In 1852 a doctor in Illinois wrote a letter to Brigham Young wanting to know the prospects for making a living among the Mormons. He asked several questions about this community and then listed all his qualifications, experience and education, as a kind of resume for becoming a doctor in the Salt Lake Valley. In response to two of the doctor’s questions, “Is the Valley healthy?” and “What diseases are most prevalent?” Brigham Young replied:

I do consider this an healthy country, as much so as any in which I ever lived or travelled; yet when disease once gets hold of a person, it is rather apt to terminate one way or the other, sooner than in those low countries, where a man may always be dying and yet be alive, yet never alive but always dying, until some friendly physician shall interpose, and put him quietly away, according to the most approved and scientific mode practiced by the learned M.D.’s. (Mill. Star 14:215)

To the question, “Do you think a physician well-acquainted with his profession, a regular graduate and some 20 years’ experience, can support a family there?” Brigham responded:

[23] Cultivating the soil, working in the kanyons, and other kindred employments, are by far the most lucrative. We have physicians here who find considerable employment; yet it is no uncommon thing to see them at work getting their own wood, ploughing, sowing, and harvesting their own crops, which I think betokens a healthy state. As an individual, I am free to acknowledge that I should much prefer to die a natural death, to being helped out of the world by the most “intelligent graduate,” new or old school, that ever scientifically flourished the wand of Esculapius, or any of his followers. (Mill. Star 14:215)

It is not recorded, apparently, whether or not this doctor from Illinois moved to the Salt Lake Valley, but certainly Brigham Young made it very clear what he could expect here among the Saints.

Love of Money

The moving force behind most doctors and lawyers then and now is their desire for money. The admonition given to the Saints was to stay away from all persons who were possessed of this thirst for money. The following four passages will speak for themselves:

Joseph Smith:

The doctors in this region [Nauvoo] don’t know much; and the lawyers, when I speak about them, begin to say, “We will denounce you on the stand.” But they don’t come up; and I take the liberty to say what I have a mind to about them. Doctors won’t tell you where to go to be well; they want to kill or cure you, to get your money. (DHC 5:357)

Brigham Young:

I want to say to all who profess to be saints, do not harbor blacklegs, counterfeiters and bogus-makers, wipe them away; it is time to carry out the design of our Prophet; do [24] cease to employ doctors, lawyers, and merchants who will empty your purses and then mob you. (DHC 7:259)

Parley P. Pratt:

Again, merchants, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, and others who are not of our faith, and only here in our midst [Nauvoo] for speculation, or something worse, are supported and even made rich while our real friends are neglected, and compelled to seek employment and support in other and distant towns. (Times and Seasons 5:631)

Brigham Young:

But the great majority of men who have amassed great wealth have done it at the expense of their fellows, on the principle that the doctors, the lawyers and the merchants acquire theirs. Such men are impositions on the community, and they ought to be taken and put to some honorable labor such as raising potatoes, raising grain, cattle and sheep, and performing other useful and necessary labors for the good of mankind. Amen. (JD 19:98)

The Use of Wholesome Herbs

There were, however, some Mormon doctors who received exceptionally good reports in their profession. Dr. Willard Richards and Priddy Meeks, both using herbs and mild foods, became known throughout Mormondom for their wise and successful treatments and care.

Such nature “doctors,” along with a few others, were constantly encouraging the Saints to use faith and mild herbs rather than regular medicines. They recognized and appealed to the “Great Physician” constantly for His help in cases of sickness, for the Lord had instructed:

And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man–

[25] Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. (D. & C. 89:10-11)

And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.

And elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me. (D. & C. 42:43-44)

Alma had even explained in his day:

And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land–but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate. (Alma 46:40)

It has been acknowledged, even by modern doctors, that most of the people who go for medical help do not really need it. Simple herbs and home remedies would be more beneficial than expensive drugs and medicines. Brigham Young supported this when he said:

Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane to any community. Give your children, when sick, a little simple herb drink; and if they have eaten too much, let them go without food until their stomachs are cleansed and purified, and have faith in the name of Jesus and in the ordinances of his Church, and they will live. That is my faith with regard to this thing. I am not very partial to doctors and lawyers. I can see no use for them unless it is to raise grain or go to mechanical work. (JD 14:108)

[26] A major problem with drugs and medicines is that they can have serious side effects and they react differently on different people. Once again, Brother Brigham explained:

I can see the faces of this congregation, but I do not see two alike; and if I could look into your nervous systems and behold the operations of disease, from the crowns of your heads to the soles of your feet, I should behold the same difference that I see in your physiognomy-there would be no two precisely alike. Doctors make experiments, and if they find a medicine that will have the desired effect on one person, they set it down that it is good for everybody, but it is not so, for upon the second person that medicine is administered to, seemingly with the same disease, it might produce death. If you do not know this, you have not had the experience that I have. (JD 15:226-227)

Faith to Be Healed

The whole gospel plan is centered around the principle of faith, and what better application of faith than in the matter of healing one’s body? The Lord apparently included doctors as part of “the arm of flesh” and cautioned against trusting therein–but said the “just shall live by faith”:

If, in any age, when the church of God had power and authority on the earth, a command had been received that the doctors had power over diseases and they shall heal the sick, then the trade might have flourished under a sacred sanction; and all the world could have branded Jeremiah as a false prophet, for saying, “Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” O saints, saints! The just shall live by faith! No doubt but cases may occur, where medical operations may be requisite; but generally speaking, “herbs and mild food,” with good nursing, would be better for the patient’s person and pocket, than all the nostrums of materia medica. (Editor, T. & S. 4:325)

[27] Thousands of spiritual healings have been recorded throughout Church history, showing the amazing power and results of faith in Divine intervention. Only four will be included here as examples:

On the 14th of October, my wife bore me a son. She had never before given birth to a living child, and the doctors who had attended her before, had said it was impossible that she should. But Brother Joseph blessed her and said she should have the desire of her heart. She never doubted the prophet’s words, and as soon as her son was born, she desired him to be called Samuel, for she said she had asked him from the Lord. (Newel Knight Autobiography in Classic Experiences, p. 73)

There was a very sick child on board and the doctors gave it up to die; but Elder [Heber] Kimball laid his hands on the child without being perceived and prayed for the child, and it recovered soon and got entirely well; and the parents acknowledged that it was the power of God that healed it. (Orson Hyde, Mess. & Adv., Aug. 1837, p. 551)

Dear Brother Gibson–At your request, I now sit down to give you a short account of the goodness and power of God, made manifest in my behalf. About two years ago, while working at my trade of coach-builder, while assisting in removing a railway carriage, I dislocated my thigh, and was conveyed home, and my parents not being in the Church, and no Elders in the town, (viz, Sterling) medical skill was called in, but from the swelling it could not be set. I was again examined by a Dr. Jeffrey, and one Taylor of Glasgow, who said that a kind of gel had gathered in the hip joint, and before it could be set, this must be removed by cupping; so I was cupped with twenty-four lances but it did no good, and I lingered in great pain for three weeks, when it was proposed that I should again be cupped; but I was determined that it should not be; and hearing from you, that Elder Samuel W. Richards, from America, was coming to Sterling, I told my [28] friends that when he came, they would see the power of God, and I should be healed. Accordingly, when he came, he anointed me in the name of the Lord, and the bone went into its place, and I got up in the morning and went to my work, to the astonishment of doctors and friends. I am now a traveling elder and have a great deal of walking, but experience no inconvenience to it. I can get a dozen witnesses to attest to the truth of this cure, both in and out of the Church. (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the B of M, No. 5, pp. 71-72)

A child of Mr. Wandle Mace, of No. 13 Bedford Street, was healed of brain fever in the last stage, when the doctors had given it over, and the kindred and neighbors had gathered in to see it die. I laid my hands on it, in the presence of them all, and it was healed, and in a few hours took nourishment, and commenced to play and run about the floor. In the same house, in an upper chamber, lay a woman, by the name of Dexter, sick, who had not left her room, nor scarcely her bed, for some six months; she was at the point of death, and her babe also, who had taken the disease from her. Her mother, who had the care of her, was present when the child was healed, and she ran up stairs and told the woman that there were men below who healed the sick, as in days of old, by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus. The woman exclaimed: “Thank God, then I can be healed.” She sent for us, and was from that hour restored to health, and the children also. She walked about two miles to the East River and was baptized, and then walked home again-it being a very wet day with snow and rain, and the sidewalks about shoe deep in snow and mud. After these three miracles of healing had been witnessed in that house in Bedford Street, six persons who witnessed them were baptized, viz, Wandle Mace and wife, Theodore Curtis and wife, and the sick woman and her mother, before named. (Parley P. Pratt in his Autobiography, see pp. 146-148.)

[29] However, there are many Saints whose faith is weak. Erastus Snow instructed them:

And if our faith is so weak that we have to resort to medical aid, let us do it trusting and relying upon God, and who do what they do unto the Lord, righteously, justly and honorably, seeking for the light of the Holy Ghost to help them in their profession. These will be far more likely to succeed and do good; but the other class are not to be relied upon, for all doctors have not faith any more than all lawyers of other men. (JD 25:38)

The Gift of Healing

There were some Priesthood holders in the early years of the Church, such as Apostle David Patten, who possessed the gift of healing so powerfully that they never administered to an inflicted person without success. One of the weaknesses of the Elders of the Church is that many of them are worthy to possess such a gift but they never seek to use it, as explained by Lorenzo Snow:

When our friends are stricken down by sickness and disease, or when our little ones are in the agonies of pain and death, there should be Elders in our midst who have educated themselves so thoroughly in developing the gifts of the Spirit within them, and in whom the Saints have such perfect confidence, that they would always be sought after instead of doctors. There are men among us who possess the gift of healing, and might have great faith; but they do not exercise the gift, they do not live for it, and, therefore, do not have the power to use it so effectually as they might. There are men in this church who are as good in their hearts and feelings as men ever were, but lack faith and energy, and do not obtain really what it is their privilege to receive. If their faith, their energy and determination were equal to their good feelings and desires, their honesty and goodness, they would [30] indeed be mighty men in Israel; and sickness and disease and the power of the evil one would flee before them as chaff before the wind. (JD 23:194-195)

Spiritual gifts of the Lord should certainly be studied and sought for. Paul admonished us to “covet earnestly the best gifts.” (I Cor. 12:31) He wrote to Timothy encouraging him to use these gifts: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (I Tim. 4:14) Then later he added “that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” (2 Tim. 1:6)

There are probably many Elders today who have a special spiritual gift and they don’t even know it. The gift of healing is not an unusual gift, but it needs to be exercised so it can grow even greater in power.

Preservation of Life

Hippocrates (460 – 370 B.C.) of Athens was considered the “Father of Medicine” because he:

(a)           disassociated magic from medicine

(b)           made medicine a systematic science

(c)           gave physicians high moral inspiration

(d)           encouraged the additional use of an open mind and keen senses

(e)           promoted the art of observation and clinical examination

(f)            improved doctors’ bedside manner

(g)           emphasized the honesty and dignity of the physician’s calling.

(See Collier’s Nat’l. Encyl. 5:266-267.)

[31] Because of Hippocrates’ high ideals, the oath taken by doctors down to the present time was named after him. The Hippocratic Oath reads as follows:

The Oath of Hippocrates

I swear by Apollo, the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according in my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and stipulation: to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents; to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required; to regard his offspring as on the same footing with my own brothers, and to teach them this art if they should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons and to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath, according to the law of medicine, but to no others.

I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.

With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut a person who is suffering with a stone, but will leave this to be done by practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into them for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption, and, further, from the seduction of females or males, bond or free.

Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I may see or hear in the lives of men which ought not to be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret.

While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, [32] respected by all men at all times, but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot. (Collier’s Nat’l. Encyl. 5:267)

In order for doctors to become licensed to practice medicine, they must agree to support the conditions stated in this oath.

Even though doctors swear to preserve life, some of them are guilty of literally destroying it. For example, it has been a continuing practice to kill babies through abortion. It was a serious problem in pioneer days, just as it is today, and Heber C. Kimball and Erastus Snow expressed their views very forcefully:

I have been taught it, and my wife was taught it in our young days, when she got into the family way, to send for a doctor and get rid of the child, so as to live with me to gratify lust. It is God’s truth, and I know the person that did it. This is depopulating the human species; and the curse of God will come upon that man, and upon that woman, and upon those cursed doctors. There is scarcely one of them that is free from the sin. (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:92)

Today infanticide and foeticide are popular. Modern doctors and doctresses have arisen, men and women who are skilled in what are called the diseases of women, whose special practice is preventing fecundity, thereby securing to husband and wife the pleasures of self-gratification without bearing the responsibilities of maternity, and the trouble and expense of rearing children. These doctors and doctresses and the American students who have learned to practice their hellish arts, are today engaged in undermining the constitutions of wives and mothers; yes, child murder, this damnable doctrine of devils, has become popular throughout New England, and is fast spreading over the American continent. (Erastus Snow, JD 23:230)

[33] There is a natural God-implanted instinct within mankind to preserve and cling to life.

He [Wilford Woodruff] referred to a saying of Joseph Smith, which he heard him utter (like this). That if the people knew what was behind the veil, they would try by every means to commit suicide that they might get there, but the Lord in his wisdom had implanted the fear of death in every person that they might cling to life and thus accomplish the designs of their Creator. (Diary of Charles Lowell Walker, ed. by Larson, 1:465-466)

Fortunately, the medical profession is limited to mortality, and there is no need for their craft to continue after death. Heber C. Kimball remarked that in the Spirit World–

They do not call upon the doctors to kill their offspring; there are no doctors there, that is, if they are there, their occupation is changed, which proves that they are not there, because they have ceased to be doctors. (JD 4:209)

God’s Will Be Done

More important, however, than our own desires, faith to be healed, doctors, medicines, etc., is the desire that “God’s will be done.” Oftentimes the Lord will use a disease, illness, or an accident as a means of calling a person to the other side of the veil. Yet some may continue in faith, or by medical means, to keep their loved one longer upon the earth. However, the Lord knows the best time for each person’s mortal life to end. In some cases, if a person were to stay longer upon the earth, he might commit some sin or cause an injury to others that would be a serious detriment to their salvation; therefore, His will is to take them home before such an incident could happen.

[34] One woman learned this lesson the hard way. The story is told that this mother urgently called her minister, crying and begging him to come and pray for her critically ill young son. He immediately went to her home where she demanded that he should pray and tell God to heal her son. He said he always prayed for the will of the Lord in all things, and if the Lord wanted him healed, the boy certainly would be. She said she didn’t care what the will of the Lord was, she wanted her boy well. She explained that she had given birth to him, nursed and cared for him through illnesses and troubles, and since this was her son, she wanted her will to be done. The minister said he never prayed that way before, but if that is what she wanted, he would oblige her. The boy immediately got better.

Many years later the same minister got a call late one night. It was from this same woman, who was once again crying hysterically. After composing herself, she asked him if he remembered her–the woman who years before asked him to pray for her will instead of the Lord’s. He said he did. Then she sobbed, “I should have let the Lord have His way then, because tonight my boy dies in the electric chair for murder!”

Franklin D. Richards gave an excellent explanation on proper procedure regarding faith, prayer, and God’s will:

We ought first to go to the Lord and exercise our faith as far as we can make use of it in that direction, and we will make fewer blunders than we do in placing implicit confidence in the medical and surgical professions. When we do this we are certainly sure of one thing-we secure the help of God and the help of angels; and if we are appointed unto death, we want to go. We ought to want to go. Our prayers and supplications should be always conditional–that is, if not appointed unto death, that he or she should be raised up. And if the heavens want a man to labor there in any sphere, there is where he should be. (JD 24:287)

[35]                          Latter-day Doctors

A Scientific Medical World

We live in a scientific and electronic age in a world abundant with mechanical, electrical, plastic and chemical products. The medical realm of doctors and pharmacists has gained an unquestionable confidence and trust from mankind in general which few other professions have been able to achieve. As Dr. Robert Mendelsohn humorously commented:

I always laugh when someone from the American Medical Association or some other doctors’ organization claims that doctors have no special powers over people. After I finish laughing, I always ask how many people can tell you to take off your clothes and you’ll do it. (Confessions of a Medical Heretic, p. 123)

Dr. Mendelsohn has been a licensed M.D. for over 25 years, and understands the nature and overall system of the medical profession. Among his qualifications are:

He has been the National Director of Project Head Start’s Medical Consultation Service, Chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee for the State of Illinois, and the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in medicine and medical instruction. He currently is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health in the School of [36] Medicine of the University of Illinois. (listed in the front of his book, Confessions of a Medical Heretic)

Because of his wide variety of experiences, he has learned both the positive and negative sides to numerous medical problems. Some of his conclusions, realistic though often humorous, have been included throughout this section.

A common argument used in defense of today’s doctors is that they have more education, knowledge, and experience, as well as better scientific methods and equipment than they had one or two hundred years ago. Certainly that is true, but we need to keep in mind that it is still called “the practice of medicine” and apparently they are still practicing, hoping to get it right. Along with this additional knowledge comes more frequent use of powerful toxic drugs and chemicals, some of which are proving to be even more injurious and deadly than oldtime medicines.

Medicine as a Religion

Part of the danger of the medical profession is that it has been elevated to more than an art or a science; it has become a religion. Quoting from Dr. Robert Mendelsohn:

We don’t say we know our doctors are good, we say we have faith in them. We trust them.

Modern Medicine can’t survive without our faith, because Modern Medicine is neither an art nor a science. It’s a religion. * * *

In The Golden Bough, religion is defined as the attempt to gain the favor of “powers superior to man, which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life.”

If people don’t spend billions of dollars on the Church of Modern Medicine in order to gain favor with the powers that direct and control human life, what do they spend it on?

[37] * * *The first tool you must have is knowledge of the enemy. Once you understand Modern Medicine as a religion, you can fight it and defend yourself much more effectively than when you think youÕre fighting an art or a science. Of course, the Church of Modern Medicine never calls itself a church. You’ll never see a medical building dedicated to the religion of medicine, always the medical arts or medical science.

Modern Medicine relies on faith to survive. All religions do. So heavily does the Church of Modern Medicine rely on faith that if everyone somehow simply forgot to believe in it for just one day, the whole system would collapse. (Confessions. . ., p. xiii – xiv)

Continuing with his idea that the medical profession has become a religion, Dr. Mendelsohn said:

The sacrament of the regular physical exam exposes you to the whole range of dangerous and ineffective procedures. From this “act of faith” you receive the absolution of the priest–if you’re lucky. First you have to give him a full confession, a complete and honest history including things your wife and best friends don’t even know. Then he’ll pass the ceremonial stethoscope over your vital parts-a stethoscope that has a good chance of not working properly. The doctor will check your orifices, further the humiliation by having you give a bottle of urine to the nurse, hit you ceremoniously on the knee with a rubber hammer, and pronounce you saved!

Or write out your penance in Latin.

Or–if your sins have been legion–send you to a specialist for really sophisticated punishments. (Ibid., p. 142)

This same doctor also makes an interesting comparison between the Medieval Inquisition of the Dark Ages and the Medical Inquisition of today:

Like the Medieval Inquisition, the Medical Inquisition assumes you’re guilty. External acts of health will not sway [38] your doctor. The fact that you can run marathon distances will only make your doctor suspicious of you, and won’t convince him that you’re healthy. He’s more likely to warn you against hurting yourself. Also like the Medieval Inquisition, all your business with the Church is secret–even from you. Try getting copies of your medical records.

The Medieval Inquisition was not accountable for its actions. Neither is the Medical Inquisition. If the Medieval Inquisition executed or tortured a witness to death, no matter. There was probably something sinful about him anyway. If in the course of your treatment, your doctor kills you because of stupidity, negligence, or just plain malevolence, your family will need the best lawyer money can buy to have a chance of getting justice. If your doctor kills you because the recognized sacred treatment he uses on you is bogus though no one will admit it, then the best lawyer in the world won’t be able to get justice. This happens thousands of times each day.

Most people have some idea of the dictionary definition of the Inquisition: the detection and punishment of heretics. What isn’t obvious in the definition is that the Inquisition was actually a very effective tool for enforcing Church law and maintaining the Church as a cultural and political force. The effect was to keep the Church a potent force in people’s lives and the life of the culture. You just couldn’t get from one end of life or society to the other without paying your dues to the Church.

Try getting from one end of life to the other without paying your dues to Modern Medicine. No one passes through without being dipped or splashed with the already mentioned four Holy Waters of Modern Medicine: immunizations, fluoridated water, intra-venous fluids, and silver nitrate. Nevertheless, Modern Medicine has elevated them to the sacred. To the faithful, not only do these substances carry great power, but it is “taboo” to question or tamper with them. They are to be treated only with reverence, and they are maintained in their holiness by civil law as well as the Church of Medicine’s law.

[39] An Inquisition makes it easier for a church to discredit and disenfranchise competing churches, simply by declaring the competition’s rituals to be heresy. Any group of people, ideas, or practices that can affect health is attacked, including traditional religions and the family.

The Inquisition gives Modern Medicine the power it needs to prosecute the competition with the force of law behind it. (Ibid., footnotes, pp. 151-153)

Controlling non-conformity is very important in all types of inquisitions:

Nowhere does the Church’s Inquisition emerge as clearly as it does through the drugging of children as a means of control The Medieval Inquisition went beyond defining unorthodox beliefs and behavior as a “sin” and started calling them a crime. Criminals were punished, first by the Church and then by the secular authorities. Modern Medicine sets up its Inquisition to define behavior which doesn’t conform as sick. Then it proceeds to “punish” the guilty by “managing” them with drugs. (Ibid., p. 35)

Preventive Medicine

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn has suffered through some difficult times because of the jabs he takes at his own profession; such as–

I once stated on the radio that when it comes to caring for children, one grandmother is worth two pediatricians. My department chairman phoned me shortly thereafter and announced his intent to replace me with two grandmothers. (Ibid., p. 163)

However, he is not a lone wolf in his attack against the abuses and dangers of modern medicine. On the Acknowl-[40]edgment page of his book, he lists many doctors whose ideas and beliefs “saturate this book” and agree with his position.

One of the chapters of his book is entitled, “If This Is Preventative Medicine, I’ll Take My Chances with Disease,” and Dr. Mendolsohn recalls:

A fellow doctor once wrote and asked me how the medical profession “might play an inspirational and practical role in the quest for world peace.” My answer was, “Go out of business.” (Ibid., p. 141)

Regarding preventive medicine, it is difficult to under-stand how by taking a substance that can make a person sick in the first place, can also make him well. Stronger drugs can produce stronger reactions and side effects. But what is worse, the bacteria become more and more resistent to the treatment. As the drugs become stronger, so do the bacteria. Thus, the battle escalates, the germs grow stronger and the patient and his pocketbook grows weaker.

Most of the diseases which are killing us nowadays are the result of “pollution” of our physical, political, economic, community, family, and individual psychological environments. True preventive medicine cannot ignore these issues when addressing a problem of health, yet doctors declare the problems strictly medical, thus solvable through the sacraments of the Church of Modern Medicine. (Ibid., p. 150)

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn describes how the effects of the hormone DES causes vaginal cancer and genital abnormalities. He discovered that in the best premature nurseries, 90% of the premies have partial blindness, whereas in other less modern facilities there is only a 10% ratio of this condition called retrolental fibroplasia.

[41] He also discovered problems with some of the wonder drugs, i.e., Terramycin causes yellow-green teeth and tetracycline deposits in the bones. Radiation treatments formed nodules on the thyroids of his patients. After years of recording such data, instead of dismissing it as so many do, he concluded:

I believe that Modern Medicine’s treatments for disease are seldom effective, and that they’re often more dangerous than the diseases they’re designed to treat.

I believe the dangers are compounded by the widespread use of dangerous procedures for non-diseases.

I believe that more than ninety percent of Modern Medicine could disappear from the face of the earth–doctors, hospitals, drugs, and equipment–and the effect on our health would be immediate and beneficial. I believe that Modern Medicine has gone too far, by using in everyday situations extreme treatments designed for critical conditions. * * *

So when you go to the doctor, you’re seen not as a person who needs help with his or her health, but as a potential market for the medical factory’s products. * * *

If you make the mistake of going to the doctor with a cold or the flu, he’s liable to give you antibiotics, which are not only powerless against colds and flu, but which leave you more likely to come down with worse problems. (Ibid., p. xi)

Drug Cartels

Medical researchers have published countless volumes exposing data and information against many of the medicines, organizations and practices of the medical profession. One researcher, Eustace Mullins, worked over 40 years on one book, Murder by Injection. This profound and exhaustive work was taken mostly from the National Archives in Washington D.C., where he worked. In the Preface of his book Mullins begins to expose the organization and workings of the American Medical Association (AMA):

[42] I discovered that these physicians, despite their great power, were themselves subjected to very strict controls over every aspect of their professional lives. These controls, surprisingly enough, were not wielded by any state or federal agency, although almost every other aspect of American life is now under the absolute control of the bureaucracy. The physicians have their own autocracy–a private trade association, the American Medical Association. This group, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, had gradually built up its power until it assumed total control over medical schools and the accreditation of physicians. * * *

I was able to document the shocking record of these cold-blooded tycoons who not only plan and carry out famines, economic depressions, revolutions and wars, but who also find their greatest profits in their manipulations of our medical care. The cynicism and malice of these conspirators is something beyond the imagination of most Americans. They deliberately mulct our people of millions of dollars each year through “charitable” organizations and then use these same organizations as key groups to bolster their Medical Monopoly. Fear and intimidation are the basic techniques by which the conspirators maintain their control over all aspects of our health care, as they ruthlessly crush any competitor who challenges their profits. As in other aspects of the “behavioural control” over the American people, their most constantly used weapon against us is their employment of federal agents and federal agencies to carry out their intrigues The proof of this operation may be the most disturbing revelation of my work. (Murder by Injection, Mullins, Foreword, pp. ix-x)

In order to better understand Eustace Mullins, his qualifications and background, we quote from the “About the Author” page in his book, Murder by Injection:

In forty years of dedicated investigative research, Eustace Mullins has drawn considerable return fire. He was kept under daily surveillance by agents of the FBI for thirty-[43]two years; no charges were ever placed against him. He is the only person ever fired from the staff of the Library of Congress for political reasons. He is the only writer who has had a book burned in Europe since 1945.

After serving thirty-eight months in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, Eustace Mullins was educated at Washington and Lee University, Ohio State University, University of North Dakota, and New York University. He later studied art at the Escuela des Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Washington, D.C.

While studying in Washington, he was asked to go to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to talk to the nation’s most famous political prisoner, Ezra Pound. The outstanding literary figure of the twentieth century, Pound had seen three of his pupils awarded the Nobel Prize, while it was denied to him because of his pronouncements as a native American patriot. Not only did Eustace Mullins become his most active protege, he is the only person who keeps Ezra Pound’s name alive today, through the work of the Ezra Pound Institute of Civilization, which was founded shortly after the poet’s death in Venice.

With the present work, Eustace Mullins hopes to end a three-thousand-year blackout behind which the enemies of humanity have operated with impunity in carrying out their Satanic program. It is very late in the history of our civilization. This book is written solely with the goal of renewing our ancient culture, and of bringing it to new heights. (“About the Author”, Murder by Injection)

Eustace Mullins was not the only one who discovered that closely connected with and interspersed throughout the AMA, are many of the same individuals who run big cartels of drugs, oil, banking, etc. All these connections look like a spider web, taking on the appearance and functions of a huge close-knit family. Mullins researched and compiled biographies of most of those involved in the major drug companies, i.e.:

[44] Thus we find that the world’s No. 1 drug firm has two directors who are partners of J.P. Morgan Company, one who is director of Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank and one who is director of the Rothschild Bank, Manufacturers Hanover; most of the directors are connected with vital defense industries, and interlock with other defense firms. On the board of TRW, of which Ruben Mettler is chairman, is William H. Krome George, former chairman of ALCOA, and Martin Feldstein, former economic advisor to President Reagan. The major banks, defense firms, and prominent political figures interlock with the CIA and the drug firms. (Ibid., p. 230)

Mullins’ expose on the executives of the ten leading drug companies all read about the same. In this age of medicalized politics, doctors and politicians are bedfellows.

Since the field of medicine and drugs is one of the most lucrative professions in the world, it naturally draws the most greedy financial eagles into the nest. Eustace Mullins publicly identified one of the main characters:

The Merlin who was to wave his magic wand and bring about this dramatic development in the medical profession turned out to be none other than the richest man in the world, the insatiable monopolist, John D. Rockefeller. Fresh from his triumph of organizing his gigantic oil monopoly, a victory as well-blooded as any ancient Roman triumph, Rockefeller, the creature of the House of Rothschild and its Wall Street emissary, Jacob Schiff, realized that a medical monopoly might bring him even greater profits than his oil trust. (Ibid., p. 8)

In order to create a successful medical monopoly, one must dispose of most or all competition, legal or illegal, enlisting every possible means to achieve that end. Some of those who have especially felt the crunch of this scam have [45] been the believers in the curing capabilities of vitamins, herbs, and home remedies. Without proof or evidence, there have been some occasions reported where herbs and other natural cures have been seized and destroyed and labeled as “dangerous substances,” although no one has ever reportedly died from the proper usage of those natural preparations. On the other hand, thousands of people have suffered side effects, and even death, from drugs distributed by AMA-approved manufacturers and distributors.

What is worse, the drug cartel has enlisted the police powers of the Federal Government, the Federal Trade Commission, the Post Office Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service to bring down their warfare upon the health practitioners, in some cases even arresting them for selling or giving away booklets advising the taking of vitamins and natural herbs. Eustace Mullins reported:

Often striking at night, in groups of heavily armed SWAT teams, the federal agents broke down doors to capture elderly women and their stocks of herbal teas. Many of these housewives and retired persons carried small amounts of vitamins and health preparations which they furnished to neighbors or friends at cost. They had no funds to fight the massed agencies of the federal government, who themselves were merely patsies for the Drug Trust. In many cases, the victims lost their homes, their life savings and all other attachable assets, because they had posed a threat to the Medical Monopoly. It was the most blatant use of the police powers by the Big Rich to protect their profitable enterprises. To this day, most of these victims have no idea that they were knocked off by the Rockefeller Monopoly. (Murder by Injection, p. 38)

[46] Everyone knows that most prescription drugs are over-priced, potentially dangerous, and can cause side effects, yet the powerful drug cartels are usually protected and “winked at” by federal agencies supposedly responsible for the protection of the public. Have these big drug cartels ever been investigated by government agencies under the provisions of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? Yet they are owned and operated by prodigious international financial monopolies. Instead of our government’s protecting the citizens, they seem to be protecting these huge cartels.

When a lawyer loses a criminal case, his client usually ends up behind bars; but when a doctor loses a patient, he is buried. Excessive concern with the money available from their clients and patients, many doctors and lawyers prey upon the fears of the uneducated, misinformed and gullible public.

The Medicare and Medicaid programs have proved to be a windfall for most doctors who can more easily collect for their services. In the year 1982, Medicare paid out $48 billion and Medicaid $38 billion. More than a decade later it has reached unimaginable amounts–goodly portions of which are illegal or unreasonable profits for doctors. Mullins again reported:

The New York Times reported that in 1985, the cost of health care per person in the United States was $1800 per year; in England, $800 per year; in Japan, $600 per year. Yet both England and Japan rank higher on the scale of quality of medical care than the United States. * * *

What is the $1300 per person difference? It is the $300 billion per year looting of the American public by the Medical Monopoly, in overcharges, criminal syndicalist activities, and the operations of the Drug Trust. (Ibid., p. 12)

The great drug cartels are guilty of three major criminal injustices upon the American people: (a) they drain the wealth [47] and earnings of the public; (b) they create a constant need for more drugs; and (c) their drugs cause side-effects and other related illnesses that can be fatal.

The criminal syndicalists are now looting the American nation of one trillion dollars each year, of which about one-third, more than three hundred billion dollars per year, represents the profitable depredations of the Drug Trust and its medical subsidiaries. Before a sustained effort to combat these depredations can be mounted, Americans must make every effort to regain their health. * * *

America became the greatest and most productive nation in the world because we had the healthiest citizens in the world. When the Rockefeller Syndicate began its takeover of our medical profession in 1910, our citizens went into a sharp decline. Today, we suffer from a host of debilitating ailments, both mental and physical, nearly all of which can be traced directly to the operations of the chemical and drug monopoly, and which pose the greatest threat to our continued existence as a nation. (Ibid., pp. 347-348)

There are several other problem areas that should be discussed in learning more about the medical profession. Those briefly mentioned will be: hospitals, drugs, fluorides, aluminum, vaccinations, cancer, operations, and chemical pollutants.


The abundance of overcrowded hospitals is testimony enough of the sick populace in our generation. Instead of getting more healthy, we are becoming more sickly. There once was a slogan repeated by doctors that they were in business to put themselves out of business, but that statement is no longer true.

[48] In one of Mendelsohn’s chapters referring to hospitals, entitled, “The Temples of Doom,” he stated:

When I hear someone–usually an older person who wasn’t born in this country–say that the hospital is “where you go to die,” I say to myself that he or she has been hearing what the gods are saying. (Confessions. . ., p. 67)

One of the worst aspects of a hospital stay is the price you must pay to be there–usually more than it costs to stay at one of the finest resorts in the country–including air travel. In some cases one’s health might have been better had the time actually been spent at a resort.

Dr. Mendelsohn calls a hospital “one of the most dangerous places on earth.” (Ibid., p. 67) He says that the hospitals usually try to keep most of the visitors away, but thinks that it would be better for the patients if they were kept away, too. He related an unfortunate hospital experience that happened in his own family:

Everything gets mixed up in hospitals–including patients. My brother went to the hospital for a hernia operation many years ago. He was scheduled for surgery at 11 a.m. I went up to his room at 9:30, but he wasn’t there. I knew right away what had happened. I ran down to the operating room, and sure enough, there he was. They’d taken him instead of another patient. The only reason he escaped was that the other patient was supposed to get a hysterectomy. (Ibid., pp. 71-72)

He continued with–

Mixups occur in hospitals all the time. Surgeons operate on the wrong leg. Medicines are given to the wrong patients. The wrong food is served to people on special diets. Even babies are mixed up. (Ibid., p. 72)

[49] Dr. Mendelsohn also said that there are germs present in hospitals that you can’t get anywhere else. One of the reasons is because they are filled with such a variety of diseases and sicknesses. Added to that, there are many kinds of rubbish, discarded tissues, surgically removed organs, sputum, placentas, diapers, underpads, catheters, bodily secretions, swabs, syringes, etc., etc. He sarcastically concluded with:

If you’re unfortunate enough to be near a hospital when your last days on earth approach, your doctor will make sure your $500-a-day deathbed has all the latest electronic gear with a staff of strangers to hear your last words. But since those strangers are paid to keep your family away from you, you won’t have anything to say. Your last sounds will be the electronic whistle on the cardiogram. Your relatives will participate: they’ll pay the bill. (Ibid., p. xii)

Prescription Drugs

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn recognized that the practice of using prescription drugs is being pushed to the limit and the problems are more serious than people are aware. On the cover of his book, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, it states, “Dr. Mendelsohn argues cogently that drugs are now being so over-prescribed that more illnesses are being caused by their side effects–which doctors neglect to tell their patients about–than are being cured.” In several places in his book, Dr. Mendelsohn explains very emphatically the dangers of drugs. Four of these references are mentioned here:

The sacraments of the Catholic Church–or any other real church–seldom harm anyone. Doctor-prescribed sacramental drugs of Modern Medicine kill more people than illegal street drugs. A nationwide survey of medical examiners reported that street drugs cause twenty-six percent of drug abuse deaths. Valium and barbiturates–[50] prescription drugs–made up another twenty-three percent of drug abuse deaths. This study did not take into account the 20,000 to 30,000 yearly deaths attributed to adverse reactions to drugs prescribed by doctors. (Ibid., pp. 25-26)

Many doctors prescribe penicillin for conditions as harmless as the common cold. Since penicillin works almost exclusively against bacterial infections, it’s useless against viral conditions such as colds and flu. Penicillin and other antibiotics do not shorten the course of the disease, do not prevent complications, and do not reduce the number of pathogenic organisms in the nose and throat. They do no good at all. (Ibid., p. 26)

Within the last few years, a torrent of advertisements in medical journals has heralded the coming of such anti-arthritis drugs as Butazolidin alka, Motrin, Indocin, Naprosyn, Nalfon, Tolectin, and others. The drug companies have spared neither time nor money in rushing their arthritis “cures” to the marketplace. Millions upon millions of prescriptions have been written. And in just these few years, this new class of drugs has a record of side effects that promises to rival antibiotics and hormones as genuine public health menaces. (Ibid., p. 32)

You should be aware of all the drugs for which the side effects are the same as the indications. This isn’t as rare as you might think. For example, if you read the list of indications for Valium, and then read the list of side effects, you’ll find that the lists are more or less interchangeable! Under the indications you’ll find: anxiety, fatigue, depression, acute agitation, tremors, hallucinosis, skeletal muscle spasms. And under the side effects: anxiety, fatigue, depression, acute hyperexcited states, tremors, hallucinations, increased muscle spasticity! I admit I don’t know how to use a drug like this: what am I supposed to do if I prescribe it and the symptoms continue? Stop the drug or double the dose? What strategy lies behind using drugs like this is a mystery to me. (Ibid., p. 42)

[51] (Note: Valium is the largest-selling drug in history, prescriptions reaching about 60 million a year.)

Drug stores carry thousands of chemicals called medicines. Who knows what problems each one is capable of causing people, since every person has his own unique constitution and every drug could react in a different way. In one recent scientific report it was noted that at least 52 side effects were caused by birth control pills. What is more chilling is that many stronger drugs are probably even more hazardous. Nearly all chemicals have side effects.

A few years ago a student in a large Eastern college was completing his dissertation for his doctorate degree on drugs and medicines. The premise of his study was to determine the effect that combinations of drugs would have on the human system. In the previous studies he had read, the experiments were performed with a single drug to see what effect it had on the human body, but no one had yet studied the effects of ingesting varying combinations of drugs. He was overwhelmed with some of his results. However, when he shared his discoveries with his supervisors, he was told he could receive his degree, but would have to stop his dissertation project. The reason is obvious.

Dr. Mendelsohn strongly warns against dangerous drug combinations:

Because we’re living in an era of poly-pharmacy–everybody is taking more than one drug at a time–you’ve got to become aware of the dangers of combinations of drugs. One drug may have side effects harmful to one organ three or four percent of the time, two percent to another organ, six percent to another. A second drug may have dangers for one organ that occur three percent, dangers for another organ ten percent. If you’re taking enough drugs, the danger can easily [52] add up to more than 100 percent. You’re virtually assured of suffering some toxic effect! Even more dangerous are the potentiating effects of drug combinations. (Ibid., p. 41)

Many other doctors have also recognized the dangers in drug store remedies. Dr. Martin Edelston wrote:

There are medicines that do more harm than good. The drug industry spends billions of dollars every year to sell you on over-the-counter remedies that you don’t need. They interfere with your body’s natural way of clearing the respiratory tract. Chief villains: antihistamines, decongestants, expectorants and cough suppressants. (Secrets, Edelston, p. 13)

It should be every individual’s right to use his free agency in deciding on the type of medicines or herbs he will use–or even the rejection of both. Neither the doctors, the hospital, the state, the police, nor the federal government have the right to dictate how you treat a health problem–unless, of course, it is contagious or injurious to others.

For example, some women prefer to have their babies at home. The State may discourage it, the insurance companies may refuse to pay for it, and society may think you’re crazy; but nevertheless it should be an individual choice and perhaps even be to your best interest. Before a patient agrees to ingesting a great deal of prescription drugs, maybe he should remember that–

  1. Drugs damage the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to illnesses.
  2. Doctors receive free drug samples, vacations, computers, cellular phones, etc., to encourage them to promote certain drugs–whether they are good or  not.


  1. Some doctors have and use their own medical laboratories so the more tests they can give you, the richer they get.
  2. Many drugs are habit forming and can cause people to rely on them regardless of their need for them.

With taking drugs you have slot machine odds to improve your health. You may have a few minor winnings and by a rare lucky chance you may hit the jackpot and quickly recover; or as the odds usually are–the house wins.


Fluoridation of water has been a controversial issue from the days of its inception. A standard dosage for public drinking water is one part per million, but even that small amount has been shown from laboratory experiments to cause transformation of normal body cells into cancer cells.

American Academy of Science studies in 1963 showed that these “low” levels of fluorides resulted in a marked increase in melanotic tumors, from 12% to 100% in experimental laboratory animals. It also caused interference with the body’s production of important neurotransmitters, and lowered their level in the brain. These neurotransmitters have the vital function of protecting against seizures, thus opening the possibility of major increases in strokes and brain damage because of the fluorides in water. (Murder by Injection, p. 164)

Other test results on fluorides showed mood changes, severe headaches, nausea, irregular breathing, and night twitching.

One of the most competent research works on fluoride was done by Dr. Yiamouyiannis, and it has never been refuted [54] by any other scientific study. He stated the 30,000 to 50,000 deaths a year are directly traceable to fluorides.

West Germany banned fluoridation in 1971 because of research results by their best scientists. Sweden and the Netherlands also banned it.

Scientific reports of the National Academy of Science analyzed the effect of fluorides on the human system, explaining that it slows down the important DNA repair enzyme activity in the immune system. Fluorides are shown to cause serious chromosomal damage and laboratory experiments have indicated an increase of melanotic (cancerous) tumors; yet nearly every toothpaste on drugstore shelves today contains fluoride.

Washington, D.C., was the first city in America to have fluoridated water. However, the politicians were well informed of the dangers of ingesting such water, and so supplies of bottled water from mountain springs were put in every office on Capitol Hill. One senator stated, “Not one drop of fluoridated water will ever pass my lips.” (Ibid., p. 154) So much for the “guardians of our nation!”

Effects of fluorides cause a docile, sheep-like attitude in people. Even wild bulls were found to be more docile after using doses of fluoride, making them much safer and easier to handle. The Soviet Union discovered this to be a great advantage in their prison and concentration camps ever since 1940.


In the 1920’s many cast iron pots and pans were replaced by aluminum cookware. It was soon learned that it [55] was dangerous to leave many foods in aluminum pots for more than a few minutes, and vegetables discolored and became poisonous in a short time.

Some of the common medicines such as Rolaids, Mylanta, Kaopectate and a host of others contain aluminum, as well as such food products as some cereals, baking powder and sugar. Beer, soda pop, some juices and other products are even packaged in aluminum cans.

Many of those people who have Alzheimer’s or are inflicted with senility, incompetency and mental illness, are people who may be suffering from the effects of aluminum in their system.

Two and one half million Americans are currently afflicted with a strange, incurable disease called Alzheimer’s disease. Its victims now require more than $50 billion worth of medical care each year, and the prognosis always grows darker, due to the progressive nature of this illness. It strikes the neurotransmitters of the brain, which, as has already been noted, are adversely affected by fluoride; however, the principal agent seems to be the accumulation of aluminum deposits on the principal nerves of the brain. (Ibid., p. 164)

The adverse effects of aluminum by-products in the human body is perhaps one of the greatest sources of income for hospitals and doctors. No wonder the medical profession has said so little against it.


It is impossible to estimate the cost in both sickness and deaths that are caused by reactions to vaccinations. Most of those cases have been covered up because “it might cause panic,” “it would destroy the faith in vaccinations,” or it [56] “might cause people to refuse any further injections of any kind.” The truth probably is because the manufacturers and distributors don’t want to lose sales in the drug market.

It would be bad enough if the vaccines were simply worthless (which a few actually are), but the truth is that several have caused as many side-effect problems as they were supposed to solve.

For instance, with some immunizations the danger in taking the shot may outweigh that of not taking it!

Diphtheria, once an important cause of disease and death, has all but disappeared. Yet immunizations continue. Even when a rare outbreak of diphtheria does occur, the immunization can be of questionable value. During a 1969 outbreak of diphtheria in Chicago, four of the sixteen victims had been “fully immunized against the disease,” according to the Chicago Board of Health. Five others had received one or more doses of the vaccine. (Confessions . . ., p. 143)

Medical historians have finally come to the reluctant conclusion that the great flu “epidemic” of 1918 was solely attributable to the widespread use of vaccines. It was the first war in which vaccination was compulsory for all servicemen. The Boston Herald reported that forty-seven soldiers had been killed by vaccination in one month. As a result, the military hospitals were filled, not with wounded combat casualties, but with casualties of the vaccine. The epidemic was called “the Spanish Influenza,” a deliberately misleading appellation, which was intended to conceal its origin. This flu epidemic claimed twenty million victims; those who survived it were the ones who had refused the vaccine. In recent years, annual recurring epidemics of flu are called “the Russian Flu.” For some reason, the Russians never protest, perhaps because the Rockefellers make regular trips to Moscow to lay down the party line.

[57] The perils of vaccination were already known. Plain Talk magazine notes that “during the Franco-Prussian War, every German soldier was vaccinated. The result was that 53,288 otherwise healthy men developed smallpox. The death rate was high.” (Murder by Injection, p. 138)

On April 15, 1976, Congress passed Public Law 94-266, which provided $135 million of taxpayers’ funds to pay for a national swine flu inoculation campaign. HEW was to distribute the vaccine to state and local health agencies on a national basis for inoculation, at no charge. * * *

CBS had Gerald Ford make his impassioned appeal to 215,000,000 Americans to save themselves while there was still time, and to rush down to the friendly local health department and get the swine flu vaccination, at absolutely no charge. This may have been CBS’ finest hour in its distinguished career of “public service.”

Hardly had the swine flu campaign been completed than the reports of the casualties began to pour in. Within a few months, claims totalling $1.3 billion had been filed by victims who had suffered paralysis from the swine flu vaccine. (Ibid., pp. 140-141)

Serious problems were also associated with the whooping cough and mumps vaccines.

The question now needs to be asked, “Have vaccinations ever been associated in any way with cancer?” The Cancer Society was funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., through the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Foundation and from J.P. Morgan. In 1929 the chairman of the American Cancer Society, Clarence D. Little, was named to that post by the Rockefellers, but he actually did more work for three other societies. He admitted that in 1943 the American Cancer Society spent nothing on research, which was the purpose of its inception. And as Eustace Mullins stated:

[58] The American Cancer Society, long after Little’s departure, continued to pile up a stunning record of non-accomplishment. The society’s inability to find a cure for cancer was hardly accidental. (Ibid., p. 89)

Dr. W. B. Clarke said:

Cancer was practically unknown until compulsory vaccination with cowpox vaccine began to be introduced. I have had to deal with at least two hundred cases of cancer, and I never saw a case of cancer in an unvaccinated person. (Ibid., p. 132)

The Medical Monopoly has been pushing their criminal and unconstitutional compulsory vaccinations on the political legislatures, and every state legislature has been strongly influenced to implement these compulsory vaccination programs in their schools, etc.

James R. Shannon of the National Institute of Health declared that the only safe vaccine is a vaccine that is never used.


It is unbelievable to realize that research has discovered the deadly sources of cancer, but comparatively little has been done about curing it. With all the advancements in medical research, cancer cases continue to increase. At the Berkely Laboratories–

. . . studies had proven conclusively that untreated cancer victims actually live up to four times longer than treated individuals. “For a typical type of cancer, people who refused treatment live an average of twelve and a half years. Those who accepted surgery and other kinds of treatment [59] lived an average of only three years. I attribute this to the traumatic effect of surgery on the body’s natural defense mechanism. The body has a natural type of defense against every type of cancer.”

In February, 1988, the National Cancer Institute released its definitive report, summarizing the “war against cancer.” It reported that “over the past thirty-five years, both the overall incidence and death rates from cancer have increased, despite `advances’ in detection and treatment.” (Washington Post, February 9, 1988) The problem may be that, just as in other wars we have engaged in the twentieth century, too many of those “on our side” are actually working for the enemy. (Ibid., p. 128)

The American Cancer Society receives multi-millions of dollars annually and yet it has “continued to pile up a stunning record of non-accomplishment,” and as one critic said it received “millions for research, but not one cent for a cure.” (Ibid., pp. 89-90)

So why would these organizations want to try very hard to find a means for stopping their lucrative business? It is well known that they have refused and suppressed many products and processes which have the probability of curing cancer, such as laetrile. Huge donations, grants, and subsidies are absorbed mostly in administration costs. “Because the fight against cancer is totally controlled by the Rockefeller Medical Monopoly, grants are routinely awarded which are nothing more than ripoffs.” (Ibid., p. 95)

Dr. Ralph Moss, who had met much success in cancer research, wrote a book called The Cancer Syndrome, which exposed this great fraud behind the people and organizations set up to cheat Americans of their money, rather than find a cure for cancer.

[60] The late Senator Hubert Humphrey, who died of cancer, was given doctor recommended chemotherapy treatments, which he called “bottled death;” that certainly proved true for him. It is expensive and painful for the victim, lucrative for the medical profession, and frequently ineffective as a cancer cure.

It is interesting to note that only 4% of the nation’s medical schools offer a course in diet and nutrition, which is the best known prevention and cure of cancer.

Surgical Operations

It has frequently been proved that many operations are performed without real cause:

. . . Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn noted that in 1975, 787,000 women had hysterectomies, and that 1,700 of them died as a result of this surgery. He believes that half of these women could have been saved, as their surgery was needless. * * *

Most heart pacemakers may be unneeded; more than half are not clearly beneficial. (Washington Post, Jan. 21, 1988)

Conservative estimates–such as that made by a congressional subcommittee–say that about 2.4 million operations performed every year are unnecessary, and that these operations cost $4 billion and 12,000 lives, or five percent of the quarter million deaths following or during surgery each year. The independent Health Research Group says the number of unnecessary operations is more than 3 million. And various studies have put the number of useless operations between eleven and thirty percent. My feeling is that somewhere around ninety percent of surgery is a waste of time, energy, money, and life.

One study, for example closely reviewed people who were recommended for surgery. Not only did they find that [61] most of them needed no surgery, but fully half of them needed no medical treatment at all. (Confessions. . . , p. 49-50)

Chemical Pollutants

Chemical fertilizers and food sprays have played a major part in causing health problems. The average American consumes more than 5,000 chemical additives each year, totalling about nine pounds in their annual consumption of food. These enter the body in the form of preservatives, dyes, emulsifiers, anti-oxidants, flavors, buffers, moisteners, anti-caking substances, conditioners, thickeners, sweeteners, fortifiers and a host of others. But a member of the medical profession is always there to give more chemicals to the patient in order to “cure” the side effects caused from ingesting other chemicals.

In the Washington Post, January 23, 1988, it stated that 60,000 chemicals are in use and only two percent have been tested for toxicity. Government programs such as the E.P.A. spend billions on preserving fowl and fish, but turn their heads at the 100 million sick Americans that are partakers of “acceptable” chemical pollutants.

The A.M.A. and other medical organizations have tried to ignore the problem of increasing chemical pollutants. It seems that chemicals and society are now hopelessly married in a deteriorating fraternity. Chemicals, like prescription drugs, is a big business, taking in billions of dollars annually.

Not just the scientists, but also the doctors are converted to the slogan, “Better Living Through Chemistry.”


The Final Answer

Health does not begin or end with the doctor; his place is somewhere in between. He still has a place in our society, and we cannot deny that frequently he serves an important and crucial role. If doctors had not been a help to society, they could never have gained the power and influence that they have. However, the ideal situation would be that each patient study true and reputable books on good health and nutrition, and learn for himself if or when he needs a doctor. The final responsibility rests with the individual patient, not with the doctor.

Doctors seldom believe in or advocate non-drug therapies, and very few physicians know how to treat an ailment without drugs of some kind. Since they have little faith in the healing properties of correct eating habits and medicinal herbs, such classes are seldom taught in medical schools. Dr. Mendelsohn said, “. . . doctors don’t know enough about nutrition and lifestyle to really show a patient how to make a useful change. Maybe one doctor in fifty knows.” (Confessions. . ., p. 46)

Many patients believe that good sense dictates the avoidance of drugs when possible, but this creates a conflict with their doctors, so the patient must make a choice. Since they are paying big money for the doctor’s services and advice, they feel compelled to do as he instructs. It is only when the doctor has given up on a terminally ill patient, that some patients will turn to natural means of healing as a last resort. Dr. Mendelsohn observed:

Non-drug healers are regarded as belonging to a different religious system and are thought of as quacks, nuts, or faddists. The religious restrictions are so stringent that doctors are discouraged from even associating with the [63] infidels. The A.M.A. code of ethics says that M.D.’s are not supposed to associate with cultists. They’re not to talk to them, not to have them in their homes! (Confessions . . ., p. 47)

Those who are concerned with nutrition are labeled faddists, freaks, extremists, radicals, and quacks. Occasionally, they’re (more correctly) referred to as heretics.

Oriental medicine, on the other hand, recognizes and utilizes the importance of nutrition in health. If you look at Oriental religion, you’ll find that it, too, regards food as important to a person’s spiritual welfare. But Western religion, namely Christianity, did exactly what Modern Medicine did: substituted as an object of reverence a sacramental, symbolic food in place of real food. * * *

Perhaps in their zeal to reject the Old Testament dietary laws, some of the early Christian leaders moved too far in the opposite direction and by-passed nutrition altogether. There’s no doubt that Modern Medicine took the hint and carried it to extremes. Obviously, as far as a person’s health is concerned, what goes into the mouth is at least as important as what comes out. In fact, what goes in may determine what comes out. Yet if anyone dares to claim that a person is what he or she eats, Modern Medicine regards them as a heretic or an intellectual weakling. Instead, the “food” with the sacred “power” is the drug, the man-made chemical coursing through your veins, for better or for worse.

To protect yourself from the pusher-priest, you again have to make the heretic’s radical leap of unfaith. Don’t trust your doctor. Assume that if he prescribes a drug, it’s dangerous. There is no safe drug. Eli Lilly himself once said that a drug without toxic effects is no drug at all. Every drug has to be approached with suspicion. (Ibid., p. 39)

Most of these people could more effectively lower their blood pressure through relaxation therapy, dietary or lifestyle changes. In one study, relaxation therapy reduced blood pressure faster and farther than drug therapy. Similar studies [64] have shown that weight loss, reduction of salt intake, vegetarian diet, and exercise can also lower blood pressure at least as effectively and certainly more safely than drug therapy. There’s little doubt that many patients don’t need to lower their blood pressure at all, since as soon as they leave the danger zone of the doctor’s office, their blood pressure returns to normal. (Ibid., p. 32)

Dr. Julian Whitaker wrote a book entitled Tomorrow’s Medicine Today, exposing many medical frauds. Some of his main findings are worth consideration here:

  1. Good nutrition and pure, natural vitamins never hurt anyone. But the FDA forbids vitamin makers and health food stores to tell you about them. When they’ve tried, FDA storm troopers have broken down their doors, confiscated their products and put them out of business.
  2. In a major study, Boston University researchers found that 36 percent of hospital admissions are caused by doctors’ blunders!
  3. FDA-approved drugs kill 140,000 people per year! That’s seven times more than die from heroin, crack, and all other illegal drugs put together! And millions of people are living with unpleasant, even dangerous side-effects.
  4. Even doctors admit that 900,000 unnecessary angiograms are done every year in the U.S. alone. And 4,500 people die needlessly as a result.
  5. Each year, two million patients pick up hospital infections that they didn’t have before they were admitted. Of those, about 60,000 die from the infection.
  6. The best kept secret in modern medicine: There is a better way! It just doesn’t make any sense to turn your life over to doctors, druggists, hospitals, insurance companies! [65] Especially when it’s so easy to get healthy and stay that way, using the natural therapies nature intended for you!                                                    (Tomorrow’s Medicine Today, pp. 14-15)

Dr. Whitaker has studied and compared natural health foods and medical drugs and has come to the same conclusions that many people in America are discovering–good natural food and herbs are the safest and best cures for sickness and disease. Thousands of good books have been written with valid testimonies to prove this point.

One should learn to distinguish between the good and bad services and information provided by doctors. They should be recognized as vitally important and even life-saving in the “A,B,C’s” of medicine, which are–

  1. Accidents and amputations
  2. Broken bones
  3. Cuts requiring stitches

However, when it comes down to prescription drugs, surgeries, medical procedures, etc., the patient should be very cautious and possibly consider alternative methods.

Read again the Word of Wisdom in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was given by the Lord “in consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days.” (D & C 89:4) Some of these conspiring men have been identified in this “Doctorcraft” section.

In the last analysis, the best prescription we can follow is that issued by the “Great Physician” Himself:

* * * * *

[66]                             PRESCRIPTION

NAME: Every righteous Saint                              AGE: any

ADDRESS: Zion                                           DATE: today

And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me. (D & C 42:43-44)

And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man–every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. (D & C 89:10-11)

REFILL: PRN–as often as needed         The Great Physician M.D.

* * * * *

And to all those that follow this prescription, the Lord gives the promise “that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” (D & C. 89:21)

Section 2


To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)



The Purpose of Laws and Lawyers               .               .               .               .               . 67

General Laws               .               .               .               .               .               .               . 67

Specific, or Circumstantial, Laws             .               .               . 68

Natural Laws                .               .               .               .               .               .               . 68

Lawyercraft in the Old Testament                .               .               .               . 71

Lawyercraft in the New Testament              .               .               .               . 76

Lawyercraft in the Book of Mormon           .               .               .               . 84

Lawyercraft in the Latter Days     .               .               .               .               . 93

Quips and Quotes             .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .106

Negatives and Positives   .               .               .               .               .               .112

Gods’ Law          .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .               .125

[67]                              Section 2


The Purpose of Law and Lawyers

Laws are instituted for direction, guidance, and regulation. Righteous laws are meant to give people a pattern or standard of acceptable conduct which has a positive effect upon individuals and society.

Laws are made by man or they can come from God. Those created by man pertain to this mortal existence and are designed to help avoid destruction of property and person, accidents and even death. Those given by the Lord are effective not only in this life but also in the life hereafter. The scriptures say “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Ps. 19:7), but the laws of man are ever changing, often creating confusion and disaster.

There are three main categories of laws: general, specific and natural.

General Laws

Orson Pratt expressed the unchangeable nature of general laws:

[68] These general laws which are universal in their application, though revealed ever so often, are always the same; they are as unchangeable as the great Law Giver in whom they originated; . . .

The first class of laws are termed general because of their universal adaptation to the conditions of all men in all generations and ages, and under every dispensation of God to man. There are many things which are naturally evil, and no change of circumstances can render them otherwise than evil: they are recognized as evil by all men, whether in a civilized or savage state. (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 122-123)

Specific, or Circumstantial, Laws

Also from Orson Pratt, we read:

Those individual or circumstantial laws which are limited to the individuals for whom they are given, are changeable in their nature. New circumstances require new laws which must continue to change in order to suit the condition of the people. (Ibid., p. 122)

Specific laws, then, apply to a particular person, place, time or condition. God may give someone a particular law, i.e., to build an ark, or a special temple; or man may make similar laws regarding traffic regulations or business codes. These laws are changeable through time.

Natural Laws

These are the laws of science and nature that pertain to the fields of chemistry, mathematics, and other natural principles of the universe. The plant and animal kingdoms abide by natural laws, which are also consistent and eternal in their nature.

* * *

[69] Laws are necessary to govern the wicked, not necessarily the righteous. Joseph F. Smith stated:

The secret by which Joseph the Prophet governed the Saints, as he once said, was that he taught them correct principles and they governed themselves. It is only the sick that need a physician; it is only the criminal that needs the penalties of the law. Honest and honorable men need no officers of the law, no policemen, no justices of the peace, no courts, no lawyers. They live above crime, beyond the reach of the law. The law is not made for them, except to protect them from the criminally disposed. If every man was taught to do right, and did right, there would be no use for courts and for laws such as we have today. It is only because people will not do right that these things are needful, and that we have expensive forms of government and expensive officers to administer and execute the law. (Coll. Dis., Stuy, comp., 3:403)

Jesus summarized all the laws of man and of God into two simple ones: to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 11:37 & 39) He then declared, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:40)

If we truly loved God, we would try to do nothing to offend or displease Him. If we loved our neighbour, we would do nothing to hurt or trouble him. However, if we fail to obey these two laws, then more laws, regulations and codes are required to maintain a peaceful and civilized society. Apparently mankind has failed in obeying the two greatest laws, as today there are thousands of laws to govern our society.

In ancient times the lawgiver was their lawyer. It was his job to teach people the law, what it meant, and its purpose and [70] place. Gradually, however, the people departed from the ecclesiastical laws of God and became more financially successful with the secular laws of man.

As in any profession, all lawyers are not bad, neither are all of them good. Jokes and humorous stories about lawyers are prevalent. They have taken the brunt of more wisecracks and critical humor than any other profession–probably because they have created so much animosity among the common man. For example:

(cartoon of lawyers floating around in space)

Since lawyers and lawgivers were originally intended to teach correct law to the people, it was their duty and responsibility to also set proper examples through their own obedience. It is evident that this concept deteriorated in a hurry–until today they are commonly classified as some of the biggest offenders, which a review of scripture and Church history will illustrate.

[71]                   Lawyercraft in the Old Testament

Law, with accompanying blessings and punishments, was introduced to man in the Garden of Eden. It set the standard of morality and worship through the legal authority of God Himself. God was the lawgiver, and Moses was merely the restorer or teacher of the law. Moses, as prophet, priest, teacher, doctor, health inspector, custodian of morals, and military leader, was bound by corresponding laws. Deuteronomy and Leviticus contain a multitude of laws to govern the Old Testament people, i.e., Leviticus 17-26 which is known as the “Code of Holiness.”

It [The Code of Holiness] is dominated by the same lofty thought of the holiness and transcendence of God as is found in Ezekiel. The code is full of elaborate instructions as to how to maintain, even in the physical realm, this holiness that comes from being the people of God. Leviticus, as a whole, makes less appeal to modern man than, say, Deuteronomy; partly because all of Leviticus is virtually a “Priest’s Handbook” on technical matters of religion, and partly because such rules of cleanliness and worship have ceased to be directly applicable or practical in modern life. (Zondervan Enc. of the Bible 3:889)

The word “Leviticus” means laws pertaining to the Levites. It is the third book of the Pentateuch by Moses and contains many laws administered by the Levitical Priesthood–the Levites being one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Chapters 12 – 26 of Deuteronomy (the fifth book) contain another code or law, often referred to as the Deuteronomic Code. Zondervan also explained the nature of this law:

While in some ways, it [the Deuteronomic Code] is a summing up of the whole of the law and history of early Israel, [72] in other ways it is only a “supplement” of earlier codes, esp. the Covenant Code, by covering areas initially omitted, as well as re-interpreting the old. That is why its position may be compared to that of John’s gospel in the N.T. Much of it is cast in discourse style, a sort of “reminiscences of Moses,” with which the speeches in Acts may be compared. * * *

Deuteronomy is infused throughout with a warmth of love that continually introduces new motives for keeping the law (Deut. 25:3) and humanitarian application of the law, even extending to wild animals (22:6). “Covenant love” so dominates the code that it has a right to be called a “Covenant Code” (Exod. 20-23), which it so closely resembles. (Ibid., 3:888)

The book of Deuteronomy means the “Repetition of the Law” and had to be rehearsed, simplified and expounded over and over in such a way as to implant the laws and principles into the hearts and minds of the Israelites. Some of the passages are unsurpassed in literature, even by Demosthenes, Cicero, or Webster. They were instituted for Israel in the anticipation that they would always apply to their civilized and moral society.

The law in Israel was to be taught at home, placed on their doorposts, bound on their arms, and written on stones in public places. But ironically today our law forbids the Ten Commandments from being exhibited in public places.

The people of Israel have been chosen and charged with the responsibility of administering, preserving, and upholding God’s laws upon the earth. As Israel wandered in the wilderness, they spent nearly 40 years near Kadesh, a name meaning “the well of judicial decision.” There the Israelites were to learn God’s laws and the importance of obeying them.

[73] Scholars agree that the laws of God to Israel ante-dated Moses and that they were merely “restored” to them. Even Jesus came to “fulfill” those laws, not to destroy them. God gave them the law under the principle that “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2) God was trying to bring the Israelites up to the point of becoming like Him through obedience to correct laws and principles.

The laws of Israel were designed to be a “schoolmaster to bring us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24) and were actually a miracle of legislation when considering the circumstances and thinking of those times.

These laws were to be taught to the Israelites by the leading “lights” of the community, who could be termed as “law givers” or “lawyers.” This duty was given to them as a command by the Lord:

And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel.

And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,

When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:

And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live. (Deut. 31:9-13)

The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17 and Deut. 5:6-21) were the basis of the Hebrew Law. Reverence for God is their [74] central theme–four of them dealing with our attitude toward God and six with our attitude toward our fellowmen.

After the Ten Commandments, the “Book of the Covenant” instituted the laws for the nation of Israel. They dealt with murder, stealing, idolatry, bribes, false reports and pledges, mobs, restitution, seduction, sorcery and many other crimes. Israel had laws that covered both religious and civil affairs.

Henry Haley, author of Haley’s Bible Handbook, commented on these laws and compared them to the laws of our time:

. . . over and over he [God] repeats, “Thus saith the Lord,” indicating that these laws were the direct enactment of God Himself.

Some of them may seem severe to us. But, if we could transport ourselves back to Moses’ world, they probably would not seem severe enough. On the whole, Moses’ law, “in its insistence on personal morality, and personal equality, and its consideration for the old and young, for slave and for enemy, for animals, and its health and food regulations, was far purer, more rational, humane, and democratic than, and showed a wisdom far in advance of, anything in ancient legislation, Babylonian, Egyptian, or any other.” (Haley’s Bible Handbook, p. 136)

The blessings enjoyed by the Israelites while living the laws of God are a testimony that God lives. But when they failed to obey His laws, it was a sad part of their history. This failure was due in part to their prophets, priests and teachers who neglected to teach the law and to enforce its punishments. These lawgivers, or lawyers, understood the law, but often subverted it for personal wealth and power.

[75] Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah criticized sharply the failure of Israel in keeping the commandments and laws of God. Other religious leaders such as Ezra and political leaders like Nehemiah gave similar warnings. The number of references to the laws of God in Ezra and Nehemiah is remarkable. Times became so dark that the priests could no longer receive guidance through the Urim and Thummim or seer stones. (see Neh. 7:64-65.)

This brings us to the importance and responsible position of God’s lawyers. They indeed had a noble job:

Since every detail of Jewish life was expected to be regulated by the law, and since it was impossible for an ordinary Jew to become familiar with the multitude of legal requirements and to apply them in the new situations of daily life, it was absolutely necessary for some men to devote themselves to a study of the law. Those who did were the lawyers.

Among the leading duties of the lawyers were the following: to study, interpret, and expound the law; to teach the law in the schools and in the synagogues; to decide questions of law; to act as judges–as in the various Snhedrins throughout the country. (Zondervan. . . 3:897)

Laws are necessary in nearly every civilization and time. They deal with disputes over land, water, crops, flocks and herds, as well as among the people themselves. It was the foolish and vain nature of man that soon caused the pendulum to swing away from the moral law to the civil law. The courts have become filled with lawyers who study the civil law but seem to forget the ecclesiastical laws of God.

The last warning of the Old Testament was given by Malachi, who said, “Remember the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” (Mal. 4:4) The children of Israel have had trouble remembering it, let alone living it!

[76]                   Lawyercraft in the New Testament

When the “law” is mentioned in the New Testament, it is usually referring to the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) and the commandments and gospel that are taught within its pages. Jesus spoke against the scribal law, or man’s laws, that would cause men to depart from God’s laws.

As the basis for ancient Israel’s law, the Ten Commandments were probably engraved on the tablets in the Ark of the Covenant. (See Ex. 24:12.) In the meridian of time Jesus still acknowledged them as the basis of God’s law. He referred to them several times and still supported them as law to Israel. In fact, He quoted Deuteronomy more than any other book of the Bible.

History has shown that eventually man’s laws replace and supersede God’s laws. The men who promoted this change were those who were first instructed in the law of God but soon apostatized. Legality became a business and industry, and soon there was a multitude of lawyers contending with each other in this profitable business. The comparatively few laws of God were set aside for the abundance of man’s laws, and lawyercraft thrives and flourishes.

The four Gospels mention that Jesus frequently met with unsympathetic lawyers who were continually trying to trap Him. They joined with the Pharisees in opposition to both Jesus and John the Baptist, for “the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” (Luke 7:30)

Jesus rebuked the lawyers many times because they put unbearable burdens upon men, refused to help people in need, and actually hindered those who were seeking for the truth. On one occasion:

[77] Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. (Luke 11:45-47)

Jesus was saying that it was those engaged in lawyercraft that killed the ancient prophets!

Jesus spoke of the “burdens” which the lawyers put upon people “grievous to be borne.” Could one of those burdens have been financial? When Christ accused them of not helping people, was it because of the burden of debt inflicted upon society?

Another burden is described in these verses:

Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:

Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. (Luke 11:52-54)

This is commented on by Matthew Poole in his Bible commentary:

Herein the vile genius of these wretched men [Pharisees and lawyers] was seen, Christ was become their enemy because he told them the truth; his reproofs in order to their reformation and amendment do but fill them with madness against him. Nor are wicked and malicious men at any time fair enemies. They urge him vehemently, and provoke him to [78] speak of many things; they lie at the catch, in wait for him; hoping that in his many words, and answers to their many captious questions, they should hear something from him, upon which they might form an accusation against him to Pilate, the Roman governor, for his blood was that they thirsted after. If it were thus done to the green tree, let us not wonder if it be so done also to the dry. The hearts and practices of malicious and wicked men, in succeeding generations, do answer the hearts of persons of their spirits and morals in preceding generations. Malice will never regard justice or equity. (Matthew Poole’s Commentary 3:233)

In these short passages from Luke about the Savior’s contact with lawyers, Jesus brings out the following evils which lawyers were guilty of:

  1. They put burdens (debt?) upon the people.
  2. They did nothing to lighten their burdens.
  3. They honored dead prophets, but their fathers–the lawyers–killed them.
  4. They took away the key of knowledge. In the Inspired Translation, it reads: “For ye have taken away the key of knowledge the fulness of the scriptures.” (I.V., Luke 11:53) In other words, they were opposed to the     fullness of the gospel.
  5. They refused to live the fullness of the gospel and tried to prevent others from doing so.
  6. They tried to provoke and urge Jesus to say things to trap Him, and they were constantly waiting to find something that could be used against Him so they could condemn Him by the law.

This was a very poor recommendation for lawyers who lived in the religious society of the Jews. They had certainly departed from their true mission in teaching and enforcing the laws of God.

[79] The lawyers were persistent in trying to find some flaw, some weakness, to prove that Jesus was breaking the law. As referred to in Luke 11:37-54, James E. Talmage commented:

Then, by invitation He went to the house of a certain Pharisee to dine. Other Pharisees, as also lawyers and scribes, were present. Jesus intentionally omitted the ceremonial washing of hands, which all others in the company scrupulously performed before taking their places at the table. The omission caused a murmur of disapproval if not an open expression of fault-finding. Jesus utilized the occasion by voicing a pungent criticism of Pharisaic externalism, which He likened to the cleansing of cups and platters on the outside, while the inside is left filthy. “Fools” said He, “did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?” In another form we may ask, Did not God who established the outward observances of the law, ordain the inward and spiritual requirements of the gospel also? In response to a question by one of the lawyers, Jesus included them in His sweeping reproof. Pharisees and scribes resented the censure to which they had been subjected, and “began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” As our Lord’s recorded utterances on this occasion appear also in His final denunciation of Pharisaism, later delivered at the temple, . . . (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage, p. 437)

But Jesus was able to avoid traps set for Him by the lawyers and Pharisees–until the very last part of His mortal life. Knowing what they thought and how they wanted to catch Him, He would set them up by their own words. They knew the pitfalls they could fall into by their own statements, so sometimes they refused to say anything. The following story illustrates this point:

[80] And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

And they could not answer him again to these things. (Luke 14:1-6)

Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were guilty of these entrapments. Matthew stated:

But when the Pharisees had heard that he [Jesus] had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him. . . . (Matt. 22:34, 35)

He proceeded to ask Jesus about the law, and Christ explained it in such a way that it could lead the lawyer into a possible trap of his own, asking a question they couldn’t answer. (See Matt. 22:36-45.)

And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Matt. 22:46)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote that it was the nature of most lawyers to be unconverted and disbelieving of the miracles of Jesus. They struggled with minor points of law and missed the major message of the power of God.

The proof of Messiahship could not be controverted. He who claimed to forgive sins–which all agreed none but God [81] could do–had proved his divine power by turning the living death of palsy into the joyous life of physical health and spiritual cleanness. Following this display of power, the polarization of the people increased. All were amazed; the doctors of the law were, as such lawyers almost always are, unconvinced, disbelieving, rebellious. Yet “many glorified God, saying, We never saw the power of God after this manner.” (The Mortal Messiah, McConkie, 2:52)

Throughout His public ministry, Jesus severely criticized and denounced those who would interpret the law for gain, political power and recognition. (See Matt. 23:5-7.) He condemned the wrong use of law and strongly supported proper use of it. But unfortunately it was the conniving and wicked lawyers who ultimately sent Him to His death by the misuse of their laws.

In the presence of judges, lawyers and Pharisee priests, Jesus suffered degradation by wicked and unlawful means. They spit on Him, scourged Him with whips, slapped and beat on Him. Such a mockery of justice at the hands of lawyers, politicians, and judges who blackened the name of the law. How ironic that thousands of known criminals are released because of a small technicality; yet Christ was sentenced to death without any justifiable lawful evidence!

It is interesting to note some of the many illegal uses of the law against the Savior just before His death:

  1. The arrest was made at night.
  2. Examination by Annas and Caiaphas was at night.
  3. The hearing was before a “sole judge.”
  4. There were no prosecutors or formal indictments.
  5. Public discussion was not permitted.
  6. The Sanhedrin convened at night.
  7. Proceedings of the Sanhedrin were before the morning sacrifice.


  1. Proceedings were conducted on the eve of Passover.
  2. They were conducted and concluded within one day.
  3. They were founded upon uncorroborated confessions.
  4. There was self-confession without witnesses to corroborate.
  5. Christ had no legal defense.
  6. Condemnation was pronounced in a place forbidden by law.
  7. The High Priest rent his clothes.
  8. Balloting was irregular.
  9. Enemies were not to occupy the Sanhedrin Council.
  10. A man with enmity could not be a judge.
  11. Merits of defense were not considered.
  12. There was abuse and torture before conviction.
  13. Christ was condemned of a capital crime without sufficient proof.

The legal case against Christ was a corrupt display of extreme injustice. It couldn’t have been much worse.

The pages of human history present no stronger case of judicial murder than the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, for the simple reasons that all forms of law were outraged and trampled under foot in the proceedings instituted against Him. (The Hebrew Trial, Chandler, vol. 1, p. 216)

Disobedience to law, especially by those who have taken an oath to support it, is a very serious transgression. One wonders to what extent such a crime is forgivable, for when Jesus was being crucified on the cross, He asked His Father–

. . . Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34)

Forgive whom? Joseph Smith clarified:

[83] Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (meaning the soldiers who crucified him,) And they parted his raiment and cast lots. (I.V., Luke 23:35)

Jesus was not asking His Father to forgive the lawyers, judges, Pharisees, etc., who had deceived him and clamored for His blood. Rather He was praying for the Roman soldiers who were assigned to carry out the crucifixion as part of their job.

It was personally destructive for people in the “higher seats” to turn against the teachings and miracles of Jesus, because in so doing, they turned against Christ.

When the Jewish people who wanted Christ to be crucified came before Pilate, they declared, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matt. 27:25); and so it has been–for 2,000 years they have been scourged, hated, driven and killed. The lawyers of that day played an important and influential role in bringing such a curse upon an entire nation of people.

[84]                  Lawyercraft in the Book of Mormon

Apparently the lawyers played the same role in Book of Mormon days as they did in the Bible. Some of the most powerful accusations against lawyers come from the book of Alma, who records that Amulek minced no words about how powerful and detrimental their influence would be to their nation:

And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges. (Alma 10:27)

This accusation may be hard to understand when one considers all the problems and struggles that both Nephites and Lamanites had with wickedness, wars, civil commotion and final destruction. It seems to be a rather reckless and thoughtless statement to blame the lawyers for their downfall and destruction. But Amulek was no inexperienced fool, and his charges proved to be true, as the following passage illustrates:

Nevertheless, there were some among them [the people in the land of Ammonihah] who thought to question them [Amulek, etc.], that by their cunning devices they might catch them in their words, that they might find witness against them, that they might deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law, and that they might be slain or cast into prison, according to the crime which they could make appear or witness against them.

Now it was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers, who were hired or appointed by the people to administer the law at their times of trials, or at the trials of the crimes of the people before the judges.

[85] Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession.

And it came to pass that they began to question Amulek, that thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak.

Now they knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. But it came to pass as they began to question him, he perceived their thoughts, and he said unto them: O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundation of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God.

Ye are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, and to bring down the wrath of God upon your heads, even to the utter destruction of this people. (Alma 10:13-18)

Amulek makes it clear that lawyers were using the law for selfish reasons, such as:

  1. They used cunning devices to catch people in their words.
  2. They sought for ways that people could be a witness against themselves.
  3. They sought for ways to bring the law against the people.
  4. They intended to cast the leaders and their followers into prison or slay them.
  5. They sought to destroy the prophets of God.
  6. They thought themselves to be learned in all things.
  7. They made righteous acts appear to be a crime.
  8. They used trickery, craftiness, and wicked means to destroy good people.

Surprising as it may seem, most of the people didn’t want to believe Amulek. They appeared to be as clouded in their beliefs and understandings as were the lawyers, for the story in Alma continues with:

[86] And now it came to pass that the people were more angry with Amulek, and they cried out, saying: This man doth revile against our laws which are just, and our wise lawyers whom we have selected.

But Amulek stretched forth his hand, and cried the mightier unto them, saying: O ye wicked and perverse generation, why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts? Why will ye yield yourselves unto him that he may have power over you, to blind your eyes, that ye will not understand the words which are spoken, according to their truth?

For behold, have I testified against your law? Ye do not understand; ye say that I have spoken against your law; but I have not, but I have spoken in favor of your law, to your condemnation.

And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.

And now it came to pass that when Amulek had spoken these words, the people cried out against him, saying: Now we know that this man is a child of the devil, for he hath lied unto us; for he hath spoken against our law. And now he says that he has not spoken against it.

And again, he has reviled against our lawyers, and our judges. (Alma 10:24-29)

It is interesting to note the many similarities between the lawyers in Christ’s time and those in the days of Alma and Amulek. But the warnings were neither believed nor heeded by the people at either time. Rather the bearers of such forebodings were persecuted instead. Could history be repeating itself in our day and we remain blind to the warning signs?

Amulek was certainly inspired by the Lord whereby he knew the designs of these lawyers. A commentary on this describes the situation in more detail:

[87] They knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. As they began to question him, Amulek perceived their intentions. The Spirit of the Lord was with him, and immediately he parried their thrusts. He turned their questions into barbed retorts in which he showed their iniquities. Boldly, and with a cause that was just, Amulek again called the wicked to repentance. * * *

By the trumped-up charges of which the lawyers accused the missionaries, the lawyers, themselves, the Sacred Record says, “Are laying the foundation of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God.” In short, the lawyers together with the judges who perverted their callings were thus building upon an unfirm foundation the super-structure of which would sooner or later crumble under the weight of sin, “and bring down the wrath of God upon your heads, even the destruction of this people.” * * *

To allay one another’s fears, and to bolster their morale, the bravest among them strove with exceeding cunning to twist and turn the words of Alma and Amulek so that they might, as it were, “catch them in their words.” As the fowler sets his net to ensnare the birds, the Ammonihahites for their own delight, sought to entrap God’s servants in meshes of their own making. * * *

They began to question Amulek. Certain men who saw an end to the lucrative practice in which they were engaged if the things whereof Alma and Amulek spoke were accepted by the people and therein guided their relationship one with another, were the leaders of those who sought the destruction of God’s servants. They were lawyers who were trained in all the artifice of make-believe. They were those who were hired as paid protectors of those accused of crime. Sophistry and guile were their major implements of trade. Often they conspired with the judges to defeat the truth and reward the wicked. Cunningly devised fables enabled the skilful practice of their profession which was predicated upon wit and prevarication.

[88] Armed with all the verbal paraphernalia of their trade, these so-called defenders of truth and justice began to question Amulek about the things the truth of which he had testified. They hoped that they could embroil him in contradicting his own or Alma’s words. In this they were mistaken. They knew not the ways of the Lord. (Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Reynolds and Sjodahl, 3:169-170)

Dr. Hugh Nibley also commented on this account:

It was the same old type, only clothed with public office and authority. The essence of their activity and success was still the clever manipulation of words, especially in questioning the prophets of the church, “that by their cunning devices they might catch them in their words, that they might find witness against them.” (Alma 10:13) They would lay their legal traps, and if they failed to work, became righteously indignant. * * * Such men are dangerous enough on their own, but when their position becomes official (either in education or government), they have a powerful lever for achieving their aims by force, as Amulek observes: “the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.” (Alma 10:27)(An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Collected Works Vol. 6, Nibley, p. 367)

It seems rather strange that men who were so learned in the arts, crafts and principles of civilization would deliberately use their profession in such wicked ways and for such corrupt purposes. Alma recorded:

Now the object of these lawyers was to get gain; and they got gain according to their employ.

Now it was in the law of Mosiah that every man who was a judge of the law, or those who were appointed to be judges, should receive wages according to the time which they labored to judge those who were brought before them to be judged. * * *

[89] And the judge received for his wages according to his time. . . . (Alma 10:32; 11:1, 3)

Now, it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages according to their employ, therefore, they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them; therefore they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek. (Alma 11:20)

Does this sound familiar? It is at this point that the practice of law becomes a craft–when money and wages are of more importance than justice.

Again Dr. Nibley noted how this evil subverts a nation:

Accordingly, as Samuel the Lamanite caustically observes, any professional toady who could not only justify but sanctify the ways of the affluent Nephites could name his own price, “because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well” (Hela. 13:28) An army of Nephite lawyers made everything legal and respectable and in the process laid “the foundation of the destruction of this people.” (Alma 10:27)

It is quite common for good lawyers to become more and more corrupt, but the Book of Mormon records the case of a bad lawyer turning good. Zeezrom “was the foremost to accuse Amulek and Alma, he being one of the most expert among them” (Alma 10:31). But Amulek “caught him in his lying and deceiving” (Alma 12:1), and Alma said to him, “seeing that thou has been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou has not lied unto men only but thou has lied unto God. . . .” (Alma 12:3) After such severe criticism, Zeezrom “began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the power of God.” (v. 7) Zeezrom suffered deeply because of his sins and his craft. Some time later–

[90] Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceeding sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat. (Alma 15:3)

Zeezrom repented of his misdeeds and lawyercraft, and sent for Alma and Amulek, who miraculously healed him:

And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation? And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.

And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ, thou canst be healed. And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.

And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.

And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom. (Alma 15:6-11)

The case of the lawyer, Zeezrom, unfortunately, is the exception rather than the rule.

Shortly before the appearance of Christ on this continent, there were many disputings among the people; and who, once again, was at the center of it all?

But it came to pass in the twenty and ninth year there began to be some disputings among the people; and some [91] were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceeding great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions;

For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches. . . . (3 Nephi 6:10-12)

How many times to people have to be warned about lawyercraft before they get the message???

One of the Book of Mormon critics, Dr. Thomas F. O’Dea said that too many things in that book are of American origin, to which Dr. Hugh Nibley responded:

Dr. O’Dea should have considered some of these things before propounding his favorite thesis on the Book of Mormon: “The book is obviously an American work.” How, “obviously”? Well, “American sentiments permeate the work.” For example? “Taxation is oppressive, and lawyers are not to be trusted.” In what nation is that not true? (The Prophetic Book of Mormon, Collected Works Vol 8, Nibley, p. 185)

In other words, lawyercraft is the same in every time and in every nation!

There are many more passages in the Book of Mormon condemning lawyers and warning the people against lawyercraft, one of the last references being:

And there began to be men inspired from heaven and sent forth . . . preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people. . .

Now there were many of the people who were exceedingly angry because of those who testified of these things: and those who were angry were chiefly the chief judges, and they who had been high priests and lawyers; [92] yea, all those who were lawyers were angry with those who testified of these things. (3 Nephi 6:20-21)

The legal scenario is repetitious. The law was originally designed to bring justice, equity and protection, enforced by those who took an oath to execute their positions with honesty and justice. But rapidly growing seeds of lawyercraft were planted and have blossomed since the beginning of time; and instead of opposing wickedness, the craft has become one of the main promoters of it.

[93]                    Lawyercraft in the Latter Days

Living in America today with the banner of freedom flying for all the world to see, and a magnificent Constitution to protect us from unrighteous powers of men and governments, we should be enjoying the best laws and most qualified lawyers. But is this actually the case? The information in this section will try to answer that question.

The restoration of the Gospel could only have occurred in America, as it was perhaps the only nation on earth where men could bear witness of Divine guidance and revelation and not be in fear of severe repercussions. The U.S. Constitution was supposed to protect men in their religious rights. God selected Joseph Smith to bring about the restoration of all the gospel principles that had been lost because of the evil workings of priestcraft, lawyercraft and kingcraft (corrupt politicians).

So when Joseph received visions and revelations from God, he should have had civil protection of the law. Lawyers should have been eager to proclaim a higher law than civil litigation. Priests and ministers should have rejoiced to know that God had again spoken from the heavens. Doctors should have been glad to see miracles of healing and eagerly sought to enjoy such powers themselves. Politicians should have bowed their knees in thanksgiving that God had revealed the principles of His Kingdom on earth once again and that they could have a part in such a wonderful theocracy. But, as history has shown, the opposite was true, and those in these “upper seats” disbelieved and persecuted the bearer of such tidings–the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Perhaps his closest Priesthood associate, Brigham Young, described how God increased Joseph’s power and wisdom so he could have the ability to bear such tremendous responsibilities:

[94] All persons who are acquainted with this kingdom, who knew Joseph Smith from his boyhood, from the time the Lord revealed to him where the plates containing the matter in the Book of Mormon were deposited, from the time the first revelation was given to him, and as far back as he was known, in anywise whatever, as a person professing to have received a visitation from heaven–all must know that as much priestcraft as was then within the circle of the knowledge of Joseph Smith, Jun., he had to bear on his back, and to lift from time to time. On the other hand, as his name spread abroad, and the principles of the Gospel began to be more extensively taught, in the same proportion he had more to bear. The Lord began to raise him up, and endow him with wisdom and power that astonished both his friends and his foes. Did Joseph rise? He did. Did his influence grow and spread far and wide? It did. Under what circum-stances? Why, with all the influence and power that could possibly be arrayed against him, by priests and people, by doctors and lawyers, judges and juries, backed up by the whole mass of the wicked world. All this he had to raise up, and carry with him. (JD 1:186)

For example, Brigham described one particular occasion when Joseph Smith appeared before Judge Austin A. King on the charge of treason:

The Judge inquired of Mr. Smith, “Do you believe and teach the doctrine that in the course of time the Saints will possess the earth?” Joseph replied that he did. “Do you believe that the Lord will raise up a kingdom that will fill the whole earth and rule over all other kingdoms, as the Prophet Daniel has said?” “Yes, sir, I believe that Jesus Christ will reign king of nations as he does king of Saints.” “Write that down, clerk; we want to fasten upon him the charge of treason, for if he believes this, he must believe that the State of Missouri will crumble and fall to rise no more.” Lawyer Doniphan said to the Judge, “Damn it, Judge, you had better make the Bible treason and have done with it.” (JD 9:331)

[95] Because Joseph and other early Church leaders found it next to impossible to receive justice and fair representation in the legal system, they had to study and learn the law themselves:

We have tried for a long time to get our lawyers to draw us some petitions to the supreme judges of this state, but they utterly refused. We have examined the law, and drawn the petitions ourselves, and have obtained abundance of proof to counteract all the testimony that was against us, so that if the supreme judge does not grant us our liberty, he has to act without cause, contrary to honor, evidence, law or justice, sheerly to please the devil, but we hope better things and trust before many days God will so order our case, that we shall be set at liberty and take up our habitation with the Saints. (TPJS, p. 133-134)

It was bad enough to have the general populace, lawyers and judges against you, but it’s even worse when your own lawyers turn against you. While in Liberty Jail in 1839, Joseph wrote to his brethren:

O that we could be with you, brethren, and unbosom our feelings to you! We would tell that we should have been liberated at the time Elder Rigdon was, on the writ of habeas corpus, had not our own lawyers interpreted the law, contrary to what it reads, against us; which prevented us from introducing our evidence before the mock court. (TPJS, pp. 132-133)

Under the Constitution all citizens are equal before the law, with one apparent exception–if you were a Mormon! Then “anything goes” seemed to be the mode of operation, throwing honesty and fairness to the wind. Joseph Smith related an interesting court experience demonstrating the unfair legal treatment received by Mormons:

[96] So soon as Mr. [Newel] Knight had been sworn, Mr. Seymour proceeded to interrogate him as follows: Q. Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jr., cast the devil out of you? Ans. No, sir. Q. Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you? A. Yes, sir. Q. And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? A. Yes, sir. Q. And did he not cast him out of you? A. No, sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ. Q. And are you sure that it was the devil? A. Yes, sir, I saw him. Q. Did you see him, after he was cast out of you? A. Yes, sir, I saw him. Q. Pray, what did he look like? (Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer the question.) The witness replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it provided I be allowed to ask you one question, first, and you answer me, viz: Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things of the spirit? No, (answered Mr. Seymour) I do not pretend to such big things. Well then, (replied Knight), it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it. The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture. Mr. Seymour now addressed the court, and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character and bring me guilt of the charges which had been brought against me. Among other things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger; and in this manner proceeded in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. (T. & S. 4:61)

Not just in this dispensation, but throughout history the true prophets of God seem to have been opposed by lawyers. This was possibly due to feeling threatened themselves, as someone else was claiming a higher power than their own, and also their peers and “constituents” were prodding them into taking some kind of action. The Prophet Joseph Smith’s case was no exception to this popular rule.

[97] The people were so eager to oppose and prosecute Joseph Smith, that they would hire lawyers to drum up some kind of case against him and were willing to pay the legal fees themselves. Any lawyer that would be willing to defend the Prophet would risk losing his own status and reputation in the community.

The prejudice of the people of Monmouth was as excessive as it was blind. They employed at their own expense several attorneys to assist the prosecution, and declared that if there were any lawyers in the district who would even undertake the defense of the Prophet, they never need look to people of that county again for political favors. (CHC 2:79)

In the trial at Monmouth, Illinois, it was proposed that Joseph Smith and some of the Church leaders be sent back to Missouri for trial. To this, one of the defense lawyers, O. H. Browning, offered an emotional and persuasive plea against such a change of venue based on the impossibility of any kind of fair trial being held for the Mormons in the state of Missouri:

He [Mr. Browning] concluded his remarks by saying that to tell us to go to Missouri for a trial was adding insult to injury; and then he said: “Great God! Have I not seen it? Yes, my eyes have beheld the blood-stained traces of innocent women and children, in the dreary winter, who had traveled hundreds of miles barefoot, through frost and snow, to seek a refuge from their savage pursuers. `Twas a scene of horror sufficient to enlist the sympathy of an adamantine heart. And shall this unfortunate man, whom their fury has seen proper to select for sacrifice, be driven into such a savage land and none dare to enlist in the cause of justice? If there was no other voice under heaven ever to be heard in this cause, gladly would I stand alone, and proudly spend my latest breath in defense of an oppressed American citizen.” (DHC 4:370)

[98] Obtaining the support of such a lawyer as O. H. Browning, however, was extremely difficult for the Prophet since he had been so vocal in exposing and condemning the wicked practices of lawyers and the legal system. For example:

I will expose the iniquity of the lawyers and wicked men. I fear not their wrath, nor the boiling over of hell, their thunders nor the lightening of their forked tongue. I despise the man who will betray you with a kiss. I want to speak about the lawyers of this city; I have good feelings toward them, nevertheless I will reprove the lawyers and doctors. Jesus did, and every prophet has, and if I am a prophet I shall do it. At any rate I shall do it, for I profess to be a prophet. How are we to keep peace in the city, defend ourselves against mobs, and keep innocent blood from being shed? By striking a blow at everything that rises up in disorder. (Wandle Mace Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, pp. 94-95, 100)

One of the main causes of disorder is contention. When contention gets serious enough, a lawyer is usually hired to help restore peace and order. But instead lawyers often cause further contention, excessively lengthen the legal proceedings, and leave their clients anything but peaceful. The Lord makes it very clear where contention comes from:

I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. (3 Nephi 11:29)

The Prophet Joseph understood this first-hand and remarked, “I despise the lawyers who haggle on lawsuits. . . .” (DHC 6:238)

When the Saints first entered Nauvoo, Illinois, they were able to make friends and settle down peaceably. But trouble soon began again. It is interesting to note the sources from [99] which it came. William Draper pin-pointed the cause of their persecution:

I there bought a farm on good terms and went to improving, built me a good house and a small grist mill and put about 20 acres of land in a good state of cultivation with a good fence around it, and was on good terms with my neighbors although the most of them were gentiles. but they professed to be much pleased with my enterprise in the place, and all went on well with me until some time in June 1844. Then there was (sic) frequent reports about Joseph from Nauvoo, that produced some little excitement, for priests and lawyers and apostates had combined together to again make trouble. (Wm. Draper Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, pp. 20-21)

Joseph Hovey also points the finger of guilt at the lawyers, judges, doctors and statesmen, as they continued their persecutions even after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum:

At this time the court sits at Carthage and our enemies are very much frightened. The apostles are obliged to dress in disguise on account of our enemies. The murderers are having their trial for murdering Joseph and Hyrum. It is supposed they will get clear for the Court has neglected three of the main witnesses; Daniels, who was an eye witness to Joseph being shot; Brackenbury, and a woman witness. Mr. Lambert, the state’s attorney, does the best he can. All the lawyers and judges fight against him. (Joseph Hovey Autobiography, BYU-S, pp. 31)

After we had begun to realize the abundance of one of the most successful seasons known for a long time, and while many hundreds of Saints were laboring with excessive and unwearied diligence to finish the temple and rear the Nauvoo House, suddenly in the forepart of September, the mob commenced burning the houses and grain of the Saints in the [100] south part of Hancock County. Though efforts were made by the sheriff to stay the hands of the incendiaries and parry off the deluge of arson, still a fire and sword party continued the work of destruction for about a week. They destroyed about 200 buildings and much grain. Nor is this all. It was a sickly season and many feeble persons were thrown out in the scorching rays of the sun or dampening dews of the evening and died because of the persecutions. All this in a Christian land of law and order while they were fleeing and dying and the mob embracing doctors, lawyers, and statesmen. Christians of various denominations with the military from the colonel down were busily engaged in filching and plundering, taking furniture, cattle and grain. (Ibid., p. 32)

When people develop hatred and hostility among themselves, they usually lose reason and common sense. The persecutions and prosecutions against the Mormons were the result of such enmity. When the lawyers entered the scene, they were willing to defy true justice, the constitution and all human dignity. Many were bought for a price. Joseph commented on this travesty:

Many lawyers contend for those things which are against the rights of men, and I can only excuse them because of their ignorance. Go forth and advocate the laws and rights of the people, ye lawyers; if not, don’t get into my hands, or under the lash of my tongue. * * *

Lawyers say the powers of the Nauvoo Charter are dangerous; but I ask, is the Constitution of the United States, or of this State, dangerous? No; neither are the charters granted unto Nauvoo by the Legislature of Illinois dangerous, and those who say they are, are fools. (JD 2:166)

It is commonly believed by Latter-day Saints that when a law is passed, right or wrong, it must be obeyed. On many occasions the Saints have been in a situation where they have [101] had to make the decision as to whether to obey God’s law or man’s law. We could well use the following scripture as a guide:

And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.

And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D & C 98:4-7)

Thus, the only two types of laws that God has commanded us to obey are (1) His law, and (2) Constitutional law; Anything “more or less than this, cometh of evil.”

The Prophet Joseph instructed the people to oppose unjust or injurious laws:

Shall we be such fools as to be governed by its [State of Illinois] laws, which are unconstitutional? No! We will make a law for gold and silver; and then the state law ceases and we can collect our debts. Powers not delegated to the states or reserved from the states are constitutional. The Constitution acknowledges that the people have all power not reserved to itself. I am a lawyer; I am a big lawyer and comprehend heaven, earth and hell, to bring forth knowledge that shall cover up all lawyers, doctors and other big bodies. This is the doctrine of the Constitution, so help me God. (TPJS, p. 279)

I wish the lawyer who says we have no powers in Nauvoo may be choked to death with his own words. Don’t [102] employ lawyers, or pay them money for their knowledge, for I have learnt they don’t know anything. I know more than they all. (JD 2:166)

Joseph had this advice for lawyers:

And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up, would to God you would go to work or run away! (TPJS, p. 329)

Apparently, one of the worst anti-Mormons was a lawyer:

The most feared and hated anti-Mormon in Illinois, was Thomas Coke Sharp, a native of New Jersey. Trained as a lawyer, Sharp was editor of the rabid anti-Mormon Warsaw Signal. (The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat and Cook, p. 138)

One problem with lawyers today is their determination to win for their clients at all costs–regardless of truth or justice. A lawyer will stand before a jury for hours telling them how innocent his client is–all the time knowing that he is guilty! At that point he becomes a liar instead of a lawyer. The Prophet also noticed this and said:

I say woe unto you lawyers, for your whole study is to put down truth and put a lie in its stead. I want the lawyers to know that we have common sense. They want to make you believe that when you spell “baker” it means cider or whiskey. Now let the lawyers and doctors alone and leave off bitterness and evil speaking, and you will build the Temple and get an endowment. All ye lawyers go away and let us alone and when we get full of the devil and want you, we will send for you; we may then have a more convenient season. (DHC 7:258)

[103] Having been brought into court 50 times, the Prophet had plenty of occasion to observe lawyer tactics, and he gradually became more outspoken against them, as did his brother, Hyrum.

President Hyrum Smith arose and made a few remarks. He compared the lawyers to polliwogs, wigglers, and toads. He said they would dry up next fall. “Those characters, I presume, were made in gizzard-making time, when it was cheaper to get gizzards than souls; for if a soul cost $5, a gizzard would cost nothing; like tree toads, they change color to suit the object they are upon. They ought to be ferreted out like rats. You could describe them as you would a hedgehog; they are in every hedge, stinking like the skunk.” (DHC 6:240)

Brother Joseph expressed the same sentiments, although not quite so graphic:

I will transpose and simplify it in the English language. Oh, ye lawyers, ye doctors, and ye priests, who have persecuted me, I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. (JD 6:5)

Joseph had been an unwilling party to more law suits than any common criminal, yet nothing could be found against him. When the law and the lawyers could not silence him, then they felt that other measures had to be taken. Lyman Littlefield recounts:

This was the forty-ninth time Joseph had been in the custody of his enemies to answer to trumped up and malicious charges from which he had in every case been set at liberty, for the reason that as he had violated no law, nothing could be sustained against him. But the fiftieth and last arrest was soon to follow–with a deeper and far more subtle intention of violence than was ever before intended on the part of his enemies. A little more time and the schemes of malicious [104] plotters, aided by an apostate and wicked element, would have reached the acme of merciless villainy, and the papers would be served to place him in prison where “powder and ball” would do the fatal work, for which no protecting shadow of law could be found upon any of the statutes of his country. (Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences, p. 129; see also The Martyrs, Littlefield, pp. 106-107)

Littlefield went on to describe the character of Joseph Smith:

No man has ever lifted a voice on the American continent, who was more strongly imbued with all the doctrines and provisions of the Constitution than was this man, and none have ever been more universally maligned and misrepresented. He loved this as the country of his birth, and he revered the memory of those patriots who established a free and independent government upon this land. (The Martyrs, p. 108)

But even after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, the persecution of the Saints by the legal system still went on and on. It will be discussed further in connection with politicians in the Kingcraft section, as Brigham Young identified the worst offenders in law breaking as being both the lawyers and politicians:

We have the proof on hand, that instead of the laws being honored, they have been violated in every instance of persecution against this people; instead of the laws being made honorable, they have been trampled under the feet of lawyers, judges, sheriffs, governors, legislators, and nearly all the officers of the government; such persons are the most guilty of breaking the laws. (JD 2:311)

[105] What familiar scenes of lawyercraft throughout history: abusing their trade, implementing unjust, unfair and even wicked practices for personal gain, lying to protect their clients, etc. How could such men of great learning support, sustain and personally become involved in persecutions and condemning good innocent people? How could such professional men stoop so low as to be the source of the killing of ancient prophets, the death of the Savior, and the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith? Why? Because lawyercraft is such a lucrative and powerful business!

[106]                          Quips and Quotes

Even though individually there are some fine lawyers, their profession has had a bad reputation throughout history. Even Shakespeare, who had such clear insight into so many issues and people, said, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (King Henry IV, Act 3, Part 2, line 86) Many others have had sympathetic feelings.

In the early days of this country people thought it best to send lawyers to Congress as their representatives. This sounded reasonable because of their extensive learning and understanding of the law; however, this was possibly a big mistake, as Thomas Jefferson explained:

If the present Congress errs in talking too much, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? That one hundred and fifty lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected. (The Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, p. 49)

Lawyers have been the victims of ridicule, criticism, and countless jokes for centuries. Very few critics have been as consistently vocal as has Brigham Young. This section contains mostly his remarks, unless stated otherwise.

When a lawyer comes into the church, if he happens to have a little common sense left, and will take to ploughing and cultivating the soil, there is a chance for him to make a man of himself; but if he follows his former customs and habits, the chances are against him; he may ruin himself, lose the Spirit of the Lord, if he ever possessed it, and go back into midnight darkness. (JD 11:125)


[107] All that they [lawyers] are, have, or do, ought to be subject to the priesthood of the son of God; and unless they can feel thus, they had better go into the fields and canyons to work–suffer themselves to be poor and keep the Holy Spirit with them. (JD 11:283)


There are brethren who have studied law; but where is there a man in our midst now that is worth anything by studying law? (JD 11:18)


I will preach a short discourse now to miners, merchants, lawyers, doctors, priests, people, everybody. I want to talk to you a little and give you some counsel; and I want the Saints to take this counsel. But they take it all the time, and I expect they will continue to do so. This counsel is with regard to lawing with one another. I want to say to you miners: Do not go to law at all; it does you no good, and only wastes your substance. It causes idleness, waste, wickedness, vice, and immorality. Do not go to law. * * *

As for lawyers, if they will put their brains to work and learn how to raise potatoes, wheat, cattle, build factories, be merchants or tradesmen, it will be a great deal better for them than trying to take the property of others from them through litigation. (JD 14:82)


However good and useful a classical education may be in the possession of a good and wise man, yet it is not essentially necessary for him to have it to tell the simple truth which is given to mankind by the revelations of God because it can be told by the simple and the unlearned. But if the profession of a lawyer is chosen by any person, he needs to be educated in all the learning of the age to be successful; for it is a hard thing for him to make a man appear innocent before a jury of his countrymen whom he knows to be guilty. It is a [108] hard matter to make a jury of men endowed, not with great learning perhaps, but with hard sense, believe that white is black, and that black is white, as the case may be, to present the truth in such a way that they will believe it as a lie, and a lie in such a way that they will believe it as a truth. It requires a lawyer–a man who is well schooled in all that men know, to make things appear what they really are not. (JD 11:215)


Now, a few words to my friends here–my colleagues the lawyers, and others. I gave a little counsel here, I think it is a year ago this last sixth of April, for the people of this Territory and through these mountains not to go to law, but to arbitrate their cases. I will ask if they do not think they would have saved a good deal of money in their pockets if they had taken this counsel? And to see our streets lined with lawyers as they are! Why they are as thick as grogshops used to be in California. What is the business of a lawyer? It is the case with too many to keep what they have got, and to gather around them wealth, to heap it up, but to do as little as possible for it; to give a little counsel here, and a little counsel there. What for? To keep their victims in bondage. Say they: “Let us stick to him as long as he has a dollar in his pocket.” * * *

Now, brethren and sisters and friends, I have said a few words about lawyers; but I could pick up other classes of men just as bad. . . . (JD 15:19, 20)


Brother George A. this afternoon has referred to the lawyers. Where the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together, and it seems they think that there is one here to which they are gathering. I want them to live here; but I want them to plant their own potatoes and hoe them. It would appear that they think that a civilized community cannot live long together without contention and consequent lawsuits. (JD 11:257)


[109] Let this land come into market and the brethren buy sections, half sections, or quarter sections, and soon, and how soon you would hear, “Bless you, now we have law to defend us.” Can you not see that tradition makes the brethren, where there is a little difficulty, walk into the court room with all the confidence imaginable, feeling almost like little gods, and exclaiming, “Now things will be done as they should be, matters will go right now.” And what is done? Why, the lawyers and court take pretty much all the money; for a debt of five dollars taken into court, they will expend one hundred dollars of your means in lawyers’ fees, jury fees, and other court expenses, when the question could have been settled in five minutes. (JD 3:326)


I swear by the God of heaven that we will not spend money in feeing lawyers. All the lawsuits that have been got up against the Saints, have been hatched up to fee lawyers, tavernkeepers, etc. I would rather have a six-shooter than all the lawyers in Illinois. I am sworn not to pay lawyers, but to pay our debts, and it will relieve us from an immense tax. (DHC 7:386)


It will be well to observe this plain and necessary counsel, and bear in mind that we have no fellowship for litigious lawyers, nor for any person who prefers litigation. (B.Y., H.C.K., J.M.G., Mess. of the 1st Pres. 2:156)


If that Jesse J. Hartley that I voted for yesterday to go on a mission, is the Lawyer that came from Oregon last fall–I rescind my vote–for that man is a vagrant–a thief, and a robber. He ought to be baptized in Salt Lake with stones tied to him and hold him under 24 hours to wash away one hundredth part of his sins. He ought to be sent to Hell across lots on a mission to preach to the damned. If that Hartley appointed on a mission is not this one that I speak of, this [110] will not hurt him–but if he is the man, what I have said is right! (Tchgs. of B.Y. 3:287)


If there is to be an investigation before a council of this kind, it is the duty of that body of men to strive to learn the truth for the sake of doing justice to both parties; and if a man for the sake of a fee, for the sake of gain, if bound and will come into court or council, and state a lie, he has no business there, and I am sorry to believe, if this principle was tried, it would pinch some of our brethren who have dabbled in the law. [Pres. B. Young: I wish it would pinch them to death.] (George A. Smith, JD 10:63)


Do you think we shall want any lawyers in our society? No, I think not. Do you not think they will howl around? Yes, you will hear their howls going up morning and evening, bewailing one another. They will howl, “We can get no lawsuits here; we cannot find anybody that will quarrel with his neighbor. What shall we do?” I feel about them as Peter of Russia is said to have felt when he was in England. He saw and heard the lawyers pleading at a great trial there, and he was asked his opinion concerning them. He replied that he had two lawyers in his empire, and when he got home he intended to hang one of them. That is about the love I have for some lawyers who are always stirring up strife. Not but that lawyers are good in their place; but where is there place? I cannot find it. (JD 15:224)


Our religion incorporates every act and word of man. No man should go to merchandising unless he does it in God; no man should go to farming or any other business unless he does it in the Lord. No lawyer, no, hold on, I will leave the lawyers out; we do not want them; we have no use for them. (JD 13:60)


[111] What use can there be in the Kingdom of Heaven for pill makers and lawyers? I will relate an anecdote that shows how they will be disposed of. Down in Boston there were two men, a doctor and a lawyer; one was named Root and the other Stone. One day as they walked along, they saw a Priest approaching them, so they concluded to ask him what kind of a place the Kingdom of Heaven was. They put the question to the Priest, and smooth as oil he said, “I will describe it to you the best way I can. It is like an extended, level, beautiful plain, covered with every kind of fragrant flower and delicious fruit you can imagine, and there is not a Stone, nor a Root in it.” There is none of these poor, filthy, lazy curses there. What must be done with them? Why they must learn useful trades if they ever go there, and then be lackeys to all eternities. Excuse my plain and homely manner of expressing myself; I am endeavoring to talk so that you can understand me. Were I to use a smooth, silky sectarian tone, you could not remember a word of it. (Tchgs. of B.Y. 3:341)

President Young’s sarcasm and criticism of lawyers was not without cause, as for many years he had seen the suffering and abuse that Joseph Smith and other Saints had endured at the hands of lawyers, and it had left a deep scar on him. Brigham himself had also gone through many bad experiences with lawyers. So it is no wonder that he did not have a kind word to say about them.

[112]                     Negatives Versus Positives

The past section merely scratches the surface of the information available from Brigham Young in regard to the legal profession. Throughout his lifetime of experience with lawyers, he concluded that most of them–

  1. make business for each other.
  2. misrepresent the facts and deceive the judge and jury.
  3. bewilder people with Latin and complicated legal terms.
  4. get paid for just giving advice.
  5. promote unnecessary lawsuits.
  6. destroy the peace of a community.
  7. have misplaced values and goals.
  8. have an obsessive desire for wealth.

Following are brief quotations in support of each of these eight statements–all by Brigham Young unless stated otherwise:

  1. They make business for each other.

Because of the many corrupt lawyers in the nation, Brigham Young tried to encourage the education and training of lawyers among the Saints themselves–in order to have a more honest representation in the courts:

I have been in courts and have heard lawyers quote laws that had been repealed for years, and the judge was so ignorant that he did not know it, and the lawyer would make him give a decision according to laws which no longer existed. Now, I request our brethren to go and study law, so that when they meet any of this kind of lawyers they will be able to thwart their vile plans. I do not by any means say these things of all lawyers, for we have good and just men who are lawyers, and we would like to have a great many more. You go to one [113] of the pettifogging class of lawyers, and get him to write a deed for you, and he will do it so that it can be picked to pieces by other lawyers. Employ such a man to write a deed, bond, mortgage or any instrument of writing, and his study will be to do it so that it will confound itself. This is the way that such men make business for their class. (JD 16:9)

  1. They misrepresent the facts and deceive the judge and jury.

I will refer to what I witnessed no longer ago than yesterday, in the courtroom. A lawyer rose to make his plea before the jury; he took up the laws of Utah, which are strict and pointed in reference to lawyers making pleas, binding them to fairly array the facts in the case, whether they are for or against their clients, and he was so serious, so religious, so pious, and so honest, that he appealed to high heaven to witness his honesty before the jury. When he had induced the jury to believe that he was honest, he stood there and misrepresented the merits of the case, for half an hour at a stretch, in regular lawyer style.

* * * As I have already said, a lawyer commenced his plea yesterday, by appealing to high heaven to witness his honesty before the jury, and this he did to decoy their feelings, to throw them off their guard, and in all this he was true to his client, in accordance with the approved mode of the Gentiles. He has been a Gentile lawyer for many years before he entered this Church, and therefore I do not think that he really merits such severe censure as he otherwise would for taking the Gentile shoot so faithfully, as the strong power of tradition and habit still enfolds him. Instead of setting before the jury the true merits of the case, and nothing else, he never touched upon them, but avoided them at every turn and threw dust in their eyes, that they might give an unrighteous decision. (JD 3:237-238)

[114] It requires a lawyer–a man who is well schooled in all that men know–to make things appear what they really are not. (JD 11:215)

Then what good does it do to reiterate the testimony of witnesses before the jury? It is an endeavor to make white black and black white, to make the jury believe that they do not know anything, but that “I know it all,” and “I tell you law,” etc. Lawyers will quote law that has been obsolete for years before a jury who may not be so well acquainted with the letter of the law, and this they will do to endeavor, if possible, to blind the eyes and confuse the minds of the judge and jury, to make out something that is different from the facts in the case. Is this the business and duty of a lawyer? It is not. His duty is to place facts before the court. The jury can hear the witnesses as well as the lawyer can, and when the simple facts are told, then let just men decide. (JD 11:259)

Also mentioned here should be the corporate lawyer who is hired to protect the corporation–regardless of its innocence or guilt. His primary object is to have the company cleared of any crime, regardless of the facts in the case.

  1. Bewilder people with Latin and complicated legal terms.

The same is applicable, in a great measure, to our lawyers, doctors, and priests. They make use of terms that nobody can understand but the initiated. If you study medicine, law, or botany, and many of the sciences, you must study Latin first because the doctors and professors make use of that language to convey their ideas in; and the calculation is for all except men of science or linguists to be befogged and bewildered–yes, all except the initiated few who have been able to bestow the same amount of time as they have in learning some of the dead languages. (John Taylor, Gospel Kingdom, p. 270)

[115] 4. They get paid for just giving advice.

Once I had the pleasure of hearing of a lawyer in old Massachusetts, who attended strictly to his duty. He came into the western part of Massachusetts and bought him a farm. He was probably as sound a lawyer as Boston ever produced. They wanted to know why he went to farming instead of following the profession of the law. He replied that according to the present practice a man could not answer the demands of his clients and be honest. When any of the people would come to him for advice, if he was ploughing in the field, he would stop his team and request them to tell him the truth, to state the case as it was, keeping nothing back on their side of the question. When he had heard their case he would advise them to settle the affair without going to law, telling them what was right and just. When they would ask him what he charged for his advice, he would receive nothing; his team had been resting while he had been conversing, and he would go to ploughing again. One lawyer has actually lived in the United States who did not depend upon the practice of the law for a living, but followed a legitimate business and gave legal advice freely to all who asked it. In pursuing this course, he did not follow the practice of picking the pockets of the widow and the fatherless. (JD 11:258)

  1. They promote unnecessary lawsuits.

I have a few things to lay before the Conference, one of which is–and I think my brethren will agree with me that this is wise and practicable–for from one to five thousand of our young and middle-aged men to turn their attention to the study of law. I would not speak lightly in the least of law, we are sustained by it; but what is called the practice of law is not always the administration of justice, and would not be so considered in many courts. How many lawyers are there who spend their time from morning till night in thinking and planning how they can get up a lawsuit against this or that man, and get his [116] property into their possession? Men of this class are land sharks, and they are no better than highway robbers, for their practice is to deceive and take advantage of all they can. I do not say that this is the law, but this is the practice of some of its professors. The effort of such lawyers, if they are paid well, is to clear and turn loose on society the thief, perjurer and murderer. They say to the dishonest and those who are disposed to do evil, “Go and lay claim to your neighbor’s property, or to that which is not your own, or commit some other act of injustice, and pay us, and we will clear you and make your claim appear just in the eye of the law;” and officers and judges too often join in the unrighteous crusades for the lawyers to wrong the just. (JD 16:9)

  1. They destroy the peace of a community.

It makes me think of what Bissel said to Paine in Kirtland. In a lawsuit that had been got up, Bissell was pleading for Joseph, and Paine was pleading for an apostate. Paine had blackguarded Bissell a good deal. In his plea Bissell stopped all at once, and, turning to Mr. Paine, said he: “Mr. Paine, do you believe in a devil?” “Yes,” said Mr. Paine, who was a keen, smart lawyer. Said Bissell, “Where do you think he is?” “I do not know.” “Do you not think he is in hell?” said Bissell. “I suppose he is.” “Well,” said Bissell, “do you not think he is in pain (Paine)?” They almost act to me as if they were in pain. They must excuse me if there are any of them here today. I cannot see the least use on the face of the earth for these wicked lawyers who stir up strife. If they would turn merchants, cattle breeders, farmers or mechanics, or would build factories, they would be useful; but to stir up strife and quarrels, to alienate the feelings of neighbors, and to destroy the peace of communities, seems to be their only business.

For a man to understand the law is very excellent, but who is there that understands it? They that do and are peacemakers, they are legitimate lawyers. There are many lawyers who are very excellent men. What is the advice [117] of an honorable gentleman in the profession of the law? “Do not go to law with your neighbor; do not be coaxed into a lawsuit, for you will not be benefited by it. If you do go to law, you will hate your neighbor, and you will finally have to pick some of your neighbors who hoe potatoes and corn, who work in the cabinet shop, at the carpenter’s bench, or at the blacksmith’s forge, to settle it for you. You will have to pick ten, twelve, eighteen or twenty-four of them, as the case may be, to act as a jury, and your case goes before them to decide. They are not lawyers, but they understand truth and justice, and they have got to judge the case at last.” Why not do this at first, and say we will arbitrate this case, and we will have no lawsuit, and no difficulty with our neighbor, to alienate our feelings one from another? This is the way we should do as a community. (JD 15:224-225)

It should be considered beneath the profession of a lawyer to endeavor to clear the guilty, and place the innocent in bonds or bring them into disrepute. I wish to say to that class of gentlemen who are here, that if they expect to break up this people by lawsuits, I think they will have a hard time. I will use my influence with every good man, whether he is in the church or out of it, never to think of going to law. What comes of litigation? Poverty and degradation to any community that will encourage it. Will it build cities, open farms, build railroads, erect telegraph lines and improve a country? It will not; but it will bring any community to ruin. It draws hundreds of men within the circle of its influence, who crowd the court rooms and spend days and weeks and months of their precious time for naught, time that should be employed in getting lumber from the kanyons, in building houses and in providing comfortable means of subsistence for their families. Does it make peaceable, honest, and industrious citizens? It does not, but it engenders strife and habits of intemperance and idleness. Instead of crime being lessened by its influence, it only helps to swell the dark stream. (JD 11:259-260)

[118] What is the true relationship of lawyers to the law and to the community? They should be the true representatives of peace; it should be their business to promote it. (JD 11:257)

  1. They have misplaced values and goals.

We want to make these valleys of the mountains teem with the products of our own labor and skill and intelligence. * * * They [the boys] don’t like even to be farmers; they would rather be lawyers or doctors than to be farmers. This is the case with too many of our boys, and it is a great mistake. I hope the time will come when the children of the Latter-day Saints will learn that all labor that is necessary for the happiness of themselves and of their neighbors, or of mankind in general, is honorable; and that no man is degrading himself because he can lay brick, or carry on carpentry or blacksmithing, or any kind of mechanism, no matter what it is, but that all these things are honorable, and are necessary for the welfare of man and for the building up of the commonwealth. (Jos. F. Smith, Conf. Rept., Oct. 1909, p. 8)

  1. They have an obsessive desire for wealth.

Lawyers have a reputation for charging excessive fees for their services. In their eagerness to gain wealth, they will often unnecessarily extend a case for weeks or months when it could have been settled in a matter of hours or days. But the longer it takes to do the job, the more money they make–a law firm sometimes getting over one million dollars for one case.

This section includes several quotations from various Church leaders to illustrate this.

Lawyers will plead law for the Latter-day Saints as well as for anybody else in the world if they can get their pay for it. I have seen too much of this for 34 years past. In the days of [119] Joseph Smith lawyers would get together and hatch out a vexatious lawsuit; one would agree to defend him and another would agree to plead against him, and this with a view to get his money. Thousands, and tens of thousands of dollars have been collected to pay lawyers’ fees. (Brigham Young, JD 11:260)

The esteem in which I hold law prompts me to keep out of it. You recollect the story of the lawyer and the two farmers. The farmers had quarreled about a cow, and they went to [the] law, and the result was the farmers held the cow and the lawyer milked her. I never see law going on much without the lawyer getting the milk and the cream, while those who go to law hold the cow for him to milk. I know you think my esteem is not very high for lawyers. (Brigham Young, JD 14:85)

Joseph Smith represents that before leaving Missouri he paid the lawyers at Richmond $34,000.00 in cash and land. One tract for which he was allowed, on account, $7,000.00, the lawyers were soon offered $10,000.00 for, but they refused to accept it. In vexatious suits other than those at Richmond, Ray County, he paid his lawyers $16,000.00, making in all fifty thousand dollars, “for which,” he remarks, “I received very little in return.” (CHC 1:533)

Cyrus Walker charged ten thousand dollars for defending Joseph in his political arrest, or the attempt at kidnapping him at Dixon, Ill., in 1843. There were four other lawyers employed for the defense besides Walker. The expenses of the defense in this trial were enormous, involving the amounts incurred by the horse companies who went in pursuit to aid Joseph, and the trip of the steamer “Maid of Iowa” from Nauvoo to Ottawa, and may be fairly estimated at one hundred thousand dollars. (George A. Smith, JD 13:110)

I want to say to all who profess to be saints, do not harbor blacklegs, counterfeiters and bogus-makers; wipe them [120] away. It is time to carry out the design of our Prophet; do cease to employ doctors, lawyers, and merchants who will empty your purses and then mob you. (DHC 7:259)

You cannot find a lawyer in the Church or out of it, it is the same. What does he do? [He does nothing] but what he stands all the time anxiously waiting, ready to thrust his fingers into your pockets to pull out a fat living to himself and I will not accept even the State’s attorney who is sitting by me here. They are all the time watching for the poor immigrant with itching fingers to pick his pocket. they are one of the meanest set of men that ever disgraced God’s footstool. * * *

. . . for if you give them one half for collecting it, they will certainly steal the other half. This is their living to cheat the innocent and get everything from them they have got in the world.

If they talk five minutes for you, the next is, “Hand over your money here, I want all you’ve got.” (Tchgs. of B.Y., 3:111)

Now, I ask every man and woman who wishes an honorable name in the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth, if they have entertained any idea of going to law, to banish it from their minds at once. *** the less we have to do with this class of professional men the easier and cheaper will our difficulties be settled. (Brigham Young, JD 11:259)

I am now taking the liberty of discharging a duty I owe to the lawyers in telling them what their duty is. They read the law; they do or should understand the law of the United States, of the States, and of the territories and cities in which they live, and whenever they have an opportunity of telling the people how to live in a way to avoid litigation, it is their duty so to do. Then if they wish to get a living, instead of picking people’s pockets, as is too commonly the case, let them have their stores, and bring on goods and trade, buy farms and follow the healthy and honorable profession of farming, and [121] raise their own provisions, and stock enough for themselves and some to part with, and when their services are wanted in the law, give it as freely as we do the Gospel. It is said by lawyers, “We cannot spend our time without some remuneration.” You have no need to spend your time only in some way to produce means for your subsistence. You can give legal advice freely, and pursue an honorable and productive business for a living. (Brigham Young, JD 11:257-258)

Hugh Nibley also spoke his mind regarding lawyers:

When uranium, oil, and coal were discovered on these reservations, originally given to the Indians as their last holding since the land was considered absolutely worthless, the heat was on. In 1985 lawyers of the coal companies severely rebuked the Navajos for wishing to raise the royalties they were getting for their coal to more than fifteen cents a ton; in righteous wrath the lawyers lectured the natives on the sacredness of a contract and the need to keep one’s word under all circumstances and not be carried away by barbaric greed–and that for not being satisfied with fifteen cents a ton for coal by plundering from their land amid scenes of appalling ruin and destruction, merciless strip-mining with machines ten stories high. The New York Times went out of its way to point out that the lawyers in question were Mormons. (Approaching Zion, Collected Works Vol. 9, Nibley, pp. 454-455)

This week it was announced that judges must have higher pay if lawyers are to respect them, the corollary being that no one respects anyone who has less money than he has. Not that they need it–these old duffers who are tapering off spend all their days in closets, so why do they need more than $125,000 a year? Oh, to make them more respected by the lawyers. You can’t respect a man who is making less than you, can you? That is the sentiment expressed by the late great [122] lawman John Mitchell. The Latter-day Saints reverenced Howard Hughes and resented any criticism of the sickly and unbalanced billionaire; his money sanctified him. (Ibid., p. 478)

Reporters who are investigating the O.J. Simpson trial in California have projected that the cost for his defense attorneys will take all of his millions of dollars. They suspect there will be nothing left for his children when the lawyers are finished with the case.

If lawyers use the law for the purpose of acquiring wealth, then they make merchandise of a sacred thing. The object of the law is to help educate and protect the people in avoiding lawsuits and court cases if at all possible. A lawyer should seek to be a peacemaker rather than one of the richest men in town.

* * *

Many other references could be included here in support of these eight statements, but hopefully these will suffice in proving the point that lawyers, in most cases, have definite weaknesses and corrupt practices, and we today need to be aware of them and try to avoid being ensnared by them.

The State of Utah has more lawyers per capita than any other state. Salt Lake City has more lawyers per capita than New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Utah State Government employs more lawyers than any other state (over 114). Utah is one of very few states that has two law colleges. The Mormon Church has proved their support for the study and practice of law when they built one of the nicest and largest buildings on the BYU Campus for their Law School. Even the leadership of the LDS Church has had more than its share of lawyers, i.e.:

[123] Stephen L. Richards

Charles A. Callis

  1. Rueben Clark

Albert E. Bowen

Henry D. Moyle

Hugh B. Brown

Howard W. Hunter

Bruce R. McConkie

James E. Faust

Dallen H. Oaks

The number of lawyers in stake presidencies, bishoprics, and high councils are far too numerous to mention.

According to the words of the prophets, the worthiness of a society can be determined by how few lawyers it has. If that is true, then Utah is in terrible condition! In the 1994 yellow pages of the phone book it lists 5,631 lawyers for just the Salt Lake City area! This, of course, does not include all the associate attorneys who are working for or with another lawyer; nor does it include the staff members, researchers, secretaries, investigators, para-legals, etc., who also are in that business.

An experienced attorney for 30 years, Blaine Simons wrote in his book, “Attorneys have always considered the ratio of one lawyer to every 1000 people as being ideal.” (Games Lawyers Play with Your Money, Blaine Simons, p. 2) Using this criteria, then, Salt Lake City should be a community of nearly six million people! Mr. Simons dedicated his book “to that endangered species, the honest lawyer.”

Another important point for all lawyers and perspective lawyers to consider is the final and eternal result of their craft. Defending a man who is guilty and knowing he is guilty, yet [124] pleading that he is innocent, and intentionally misleading judge and jury, will eventually bring judgment on his own head. How many lawyers have helped guilty men go free because of the deceptive manner in which they have practiced their craft?

The Prophet Joseph Smith warned:

Our acts are recorded, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow-beings, they may there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence, and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express. (DHC 2:25)

And from George A. Smith:

Now, from the early history of this Church, almost every man, every Elder, or member that has undertaken to study or practice law, was in a very short time on the high road to apostacy and destruction; and every member of this Church who has undertaken to practice law as a profession has gone neck-and-heels to the Devil. (JD 6:160)

Certainly one should weigh heavily the eternal consequences as compared with the temporal gains!

[125]                             God’s Law

Part of the problem with lawyercraft is that their schools teach mostly legality, not true law and justice. The legal jurisprudence system is no longer based on the U.S. Constitution; in fact, there is usually about one school day spent in studying the Constitution.

Neither are law students taught much, if anything, about the laws of God. Those practicing lawyercraft have become so entangled in case law and civil law that they have forgotten the ecclesiastical study of the laws of God, which should be considered as the foundation for all law.

Brigham Young was not that he opposed the study of law; indeed he wanted everyone to know and understand law. He objected to the way that it was used and abused. He once said:

We want from one to five thousand of our brethren to go and study law.

If I could get my own feelings answered I would have law in our school books, and have our youth study law at school. Then lead their minds to study the decisions and counsels of the just and the wise, and not forever be studying how to get the advantage of their neighbor. This is wisdom. (JD 16:9)

And from the wisdom of Solomon:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

[126] As a Christian nation, America should lead all others in the study and enforcement of God’s laws. One can only imagine how it would be if the rulers of each nation today would uphold the same pledge as did King Josiah of the Old Testament:

And the King [Josiah] sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem,

And the King went up into the House of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord.

And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. (II Kings 23:1-3)

Without the study, use and administration of law, anarchy would exist on every level of our society. We must have law, but it should be good law, administered correctly and not for self-aggrandizement or personal wealth.

Enforcing righteous laws should bring peace to a society not fill it with contention and lawsuits. So the ore people understand law, the better our society would be, and every man could be his own lawyer, if necessary.

The ideal, of course, would be if everyone lived by God’s law thus eliminating lawsuits, serious contentions and prisons. Such a righteous society would parallel the city of Enoch, and the people would be drawn to God in thought, word, and action.

[127] We would do well to heed the warnings of a Japanese businessman who spoke in Salt Lake City a few years ago and said that America is being eaten alive by all the lawsuits of people wanting to get rich. He warned that America should get back to inventing, constructing and using their intuitive minds (which surpass all other nations) instead of educating lawyers. He observed that there are more lawyers in Utah than in the whole nation of Japan. Even China, with half the world’s population, has fewer lawyers than Utah.

We never seem to learn our lessons from the experiences of others. This nation is following the same course taken by the Nephites of old–the foundation of “the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.” (Alma 10:27)

Paul the Apostle gave a solution to the problem when he said, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom. 13:10) When will the time come that we practice the fulfillment of the law? Perhaps only in that day (after the mighty destructions) will the words of Isaiah and Micah be fulfilled when they saw many nations flowing to the mountain of the Lord because “out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3; see also Micah 4:1-3.)

In that day, lawyercraft, as we now know it, will have perished, and God’s law will be honored and obeyed.

Section 3


… where there is a priest of God–a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 271)



Priestcraft — “Usurped Authority” .               .               .               .               .129

Ancient Biblical Priestcraft             .               .               .               .               .               .132

Christ and the Priestcrafters           .               .               .               .               .               .142

Their Creeds Were an Abomination             .               .               .               .               .148

The Power of Priestcraft  .               .               .               .               .               .               .152

Priesthood versus Priestcraft     .               .               .               .               .152

Practices of Priestcraft                .               .               .               .               .               .155

Wealth and Money

A False God

Superstition, Error and Ignorance

Darkness of Mind

Prejudice and Persecution

From Protesters of Priestcraft    .               .               .               .               .173

[129]                             Section 3


Priestcraft–“Usurped Authority”

Priestcraft is defined as “the unscrupulous use of a priestly office.” (Webster’s New World Dic., 2nd College ed., 1982, p. 1128) Also, “Cunning or skill, especially as used with ignoble motives; guile, artifice.” (New Intern’l. Dic. 1:301) Of all people and of all professions, the priests and religionists should be the last to be guilty of such conduct. The Book of Mormon states that, “Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world. . . .” (2 Nephi 26:29)

The practice of priestcraft is not found only in some small, out-of-the-way band of apostates. It is one of the larger professions in the world and has become a multi-million dollar business. And that is the problem–preaching religion has become a business, a holy craft in which preachers can make a lucrative livelihood.

There is a distinction between true priests and priestcrafters as obvious as the difference between true and false prophets. Joseph Smith explained:

A man of God should be endowed with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, in order to teach and lead the people of God. The sectarian priests are blind, and they lead [130] the blind, and they will all fall into the ditch together. They build with hay, wood, and stubble, on the old revelations, without the true priesthood or spirit of revelation. (TPJS, p. 311)

It would make little difference in the world if the priestcrafters were just going off on their own tangent, but they take many innocent followers along with them. George Teasdale cautioned:

The Lord Jesus Christ, when He sent His disciples forth, said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe.” Then He went on to enumerate the signs that were to follow the believer, so that His disciples might not be deceived; because there are two opposite principles in existence. Wherever you will find darkness there is also light–light and darkness, sweet and bitter, priesthood and priestcraft. If we were in subjection to priestcraft, which is usurped authority, we would be deceived. (Coll. Disc. 1893, 3:251-252)

Priestcraft–including men who pretend to be prophets, priests, and servants of God when they are not–is one of the most perilous areas of deception. If a person deceives us out of a few dollars, it is not very serious, but when it reaches the point of losing a job, a house, a friend, or a position, it becomes much more critical. And if a person deceives us to the point that we lose a close relationship with the true God, it may be an injury that has eternal implications, and could greatly effects one’s personal salvation.

No matter what closeness we may have with the Lord, it can be stripped from us in an instant, just as Delilah deceived and destroyed the great strength of Samson. (See Judges 16:4-20) Thus we need to constantly be on guard and pray daily for the gift of discernment in our lives.

[131] Among all the frauds, imitators and counterfeits that exist in nearly every profession of our society, priestcrafters are among the most convincing deceivers of them all because of their positions of trust; and they can be the most dangerous because they can affect people’s eternal salvation.

[132]                    Ancient Biblical Priestcraft

One of the first accounts of priestcraft on this earth was when Cain offered an unacceptable sacrifice to the Lord, and it was rejected. Although it was perhaps offered in earnest and with good intentions, the Lord nevertheless was displeased with it because it was not offered in faith, as the Prophet Joseph explained:

Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. * * * To offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. (TPJS, p. 58)

Deception and deviation, ever so slightly from what God has given, can be the difference between good and bad, exaltation and damnation; and, as Joseph Smith explained, to do something contrary to the order and plan of the Lord is sin.

After the Lord established His laws and ordinances among Israel, he strongly warned against following after those who suggested serving “other gods.”

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, [133] to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. (Deut. 13:1-11)

So terrible was the Lord’s hatred for a deceiver or false prophet that their very lives were in jeopardy. To Moses the Lord said:

[134] But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deut. 18:20-22)

The Lord made it clear that any deviation from His laws would be considered as priestcraft and sin. According to the Lord, there was only one religion for the house of Israel; how strange that there are over a thousand now. Competition has not only been allowed and invited, but they even prosper very nicely.

An example of Old Testament penalties for priestcraft was related in the story of the false priests of Baal:

And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.

Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtly, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.

And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.

And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.

[135] And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only.

And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.

And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.

And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.

Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. * * *

And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. (II Kings 10:18-28, 30)

Such instructions by the Lord seem to be very harsh, but apparently He would rather have them dead than worshipping a false god.

Another example of obeying the Lord by destroying the altars, temples and false priests is found in the 23rd chapter of II Kings. King Josiah, although only “eight years old when he began his reign” of 31 years, “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” (II Kings 22:1-2) There was hardly a religion that didn’t suffer some type of destruction, and “he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars.” (23:20) He also took “the workers with familiar spirits, [136] and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations” and put them away, “that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.” (23:24)

Josiah was a valiant and devoted king in Israel, for it was written:

And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. (II Kings 23:25)

Elijah tired to teach the people who the true God was, but it was an expensive lesson for the “prophets of Baal,” who were all killed:

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning [137] even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. (I Kings 18:21-40)

Even men of God can have weaknesses and make errors, resulting in severe punishment. There once “came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord” (I Kings 13:1), who prophesied of certain signs and events that would happen. He spoke against evil and spoke the word of the Lord that came [138] to him. But a strange thing happened; the man of God made a seemingly minor mistake and disobeyed the word of the Lord. The story goes that when an old prophet in Bethel heard of the wonderful things this “man of God” did in their city, he followed after him–

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.

Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.

So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back:

And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee,

But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

[139] And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. * * *

And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him. (I Kings 13:14-24, 25)

It was by exercising priestcraft that the old prophet deceived “the man of God.”

In Old Testament times judgment from the Lord was quick and devastating. Even a small deviation could be disastrous. But nowadays the worst form of villany, deception, disobedience and fraud are perpetuated by those who say they are “men of God,” but God seems to be doing little or nothing about it. For this reason, they are all the more deceptive and dangerous.

It is critical for one’s temporal and spiritual salvation to be sure he is not following a false prophet, for some prophets prophesy lies:

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

[140] And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them. (Jer. 14:13-16)

Both the false prophets and the people who believed them were destroyed by sword and famine. Clearly then, the fate of these following false prophets and priests can be as disastrous as the fate of the deceivers themselves.

Throughout history many self-appointed men have claimed to be sent of God, when they were not. What is even more amazing is the large number of people who believe in their false claims. The Prophet Jeremiah experienced and recorded such a condition:

And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.

[141] Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.

So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month. (Jer. 28:11-17)

The Prophet Zechariah foretold a time when the Lord “will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land” (Zech. 13:2), and they shall be known for what they are. He said:

And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

But he shall say, I am no prophet, . . . (Zech. 13:3-5)

But that time has not yet come. There are more false prophets and deceivers claiming to be men of God now than ever before. Deception is at an all time high, but that, too, is a fulfillment of prophecy by the true prophets.

[142]                   Christ and the Priestcrafters

The coming of the Messiah in the meridian of time should have been considered by all mankind as the greatest event in the history of the world. But He was a thorn in the side of wicked rulers, and was an object of contempt and hatred among many of the people as well.

Who were the first to point the finger of scorn at Him and defame His character and deny His teachings? It was the priests–the very persons who should have been the first to proclaim their support and joy that He had come!

Why did Jesus receive such ridicule, persecution and even death at the hands of religious people? To understand this, we need to look into the life and beliefs of their leaders in that day.

The foremost religious leaders were the Pharisees. Zondervan gives an accurate description of them and their superficial deeds:

In the gospels, it is clear that Jesus was not attacking a straw man; His criticisms of the Pharisees may be regarded as appropriate and justified. These criticisms center on the areas of teaching and practice. In the first instance–and here it is primarily the Pharisaic scribes that are in view–the content of the oral law was called into question. With devastating irony Jesus exclaimed, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!” (Mark 7:9; cf. Matt. 15:3) The “tradition of men” had taken the place of, indeed had nullified, the commandments of the word of God (Mark 7:8, 13). Jesus did not question the rightful authority of these scribes, nor would He have questioned everything that they taught. They “sit on Moses’ seat” and accordingly the people should “practice and observe whatever [143] they tell you” (Matt. 23:2f). Although there certainly are the “weightier matters of the law,” not even the Pharisaic custom of tithing mint, dill, and cummin should be neglected (23:23). At the same time much of the legal minutia of the oral tradition constituted too difficult and unnecessary a burden, which the Pharisees made no move to alleviate (23:4; cf. Acts 15:10). Their apparent inability to maintain a consistency between their tradition and the written law made them, as Jesus put it, blind leaders of the blind (Matt. 15:14; cf. 23:16, 17, 19, 24, 26). Their culpability lay in the fact that they did not enter the kingdom of God, nor (what is even worse) would they by their teaching “allow those who would enter to go in” (23:13).

Even more pernicious than the teaching of the Pharisees, however, was the gap between their profession and their practice. Their over-concern with externals led almost naturally to a neglect not only of the weightier parts of the law, but also of the inner man and matters of the heart. The resultant hypocrisy Jesus described in the words of Isaiah (29:13 in Mark 7:6f.), about a people who honor the Lord with their lips while their hearts are far from him. In fact, the Pharisees were intent upon cleansing the outside of the cup and plate whereas the inside remained dirty (Matt. 23:25f.); they were like whitewashed tombs, disguising an inner corruption (23:27f.). Some of this may well have been the inevitable product of the Pharisaic legalism. What was not inevitable, however, was the pride of which the Pharisees were simultaneously guilty. Their motive in holding to their observances was a wrong one: “They do all their deeds to be seen by men” said Jesus (23:5). They loved the special honor that was paid to them as men who were reputedly serious about their godliness (23:6ff.), but their pride was totally without foundation–for the truth was, as Jesus summarized it, “they preach, but do not practice” (23:3). (Pict. Enc. of the Bible, Zondervan 4:751-752)

Even in the Talmud the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was exposed. They were hypocritical and lived in pretense of their [144] righteousness, which was, in itself, a factor of their unrighteousness. It would have been a stunning blow for someone like Jesus to call them “serpents,” “vipers,” “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” “fools,” “Whited Sepulchres,” and “unclean”. But He went further and said they would be guilty of persecution, scourging and murder. This was very difficult for the Pharisees to take when they thought they were the most righteous people on earth.

Jesus pronounced seven woes of condemnation on the Pharisees and said they would not escape the damnation of hell. He rebuked them with some of the most severe condemnations and curses written in the Bible. (See Matt. Chap. 23.)

The Sadducees received much condemnation, too. They were different in many beliefs from the Pharisees, but they still held on to their pride and status.

In manner the Sadducees were rather boorish, being rude to their peers as to aliens, and counting it a virtue to dispute with their teachers. They had no following among the populace, but were restricted to the well-to-do. They were more severe in judgment than other Jews. Many, but not all, priests were Sadducees; nearly all Sadducees, however, appear to have been priests, especially of the most powerful priestly families. (Tyndale’s Illustrated Bible Dic. 3:1368)

Zondervan also described the Sadducees:

The determinative trait of the Sadducean party seems not to have been its priestly associations as is commonly believed, but rather its aristocratic character. * * *

Accordingly, that which was common to the Sadducees was not clerical status, but aristocratic eminence. It is natural then that the Sadducean circle was a very exclusive one, [145] remaining closed to the populace as a whole. Josephus states that only a small number of men knew the doctrine of the Sadducees, that these were “men of the highest standing” (Antiq. XVIII. 1.5), and that the Sadducees had “the confidence of the wealthy alone” (Antiq. XIII. 10.6).

The aristocratic makeup of the Sadducees, together with their power in the Sanhedrin and their control of the high-priesthood, made it inevitable that their dominating interests should be political in nature. Their wealth and position on the one hand and on the other hand the fact that their power was delegated to them by the Roman occupation, combine to account for the most outstanding trait of the Sadducees, their rigid conservatism. This conservatism, of course, was inevitably tempered by the dictates of the Romans. Since their political involvements were conditioned by their vested interests in the preservation of the status quo, it followed that they pursued policies designed to appease the governing authorities of Rome. (Zondervan Enc. of the Bible 5:213)

With a people of such pride and love of status and position, even Jesus could not persuade them to believe in all of the gospel. According to John, they were afraid that Jesus would cause them to lose their pleasures and treasures:

Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

[146] And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. (John 11:47-54)

The people that arose to trouble Jesus were not so much the common people, but the religious priests and leaders. They finally got Jesus before Pilate, and–

When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. (John 19:6) [After which] Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” (19:15)

They said they would rather have His blood be upon them and their children than to acknowledge Him as their Lord and King. And so it was.

Thus the seeds of priestcraft were planted in the Church of Christ even before the Savior’s death and before His apostles had left this earth. Paul wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel;” (Gal. 1:6) and “all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.” (II Tim. 1:15). And he knew it would get worse after the apostles were gone: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29)

Peter also observed, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. . . .” (II Peter 2:1)

[147] Heresy and priestcraft arose at the time the Church of Christ was organized, and they gradually and subtly infiltrated into the church until completely overtaking it. From this great and abominable “Mother Priestcrafter” spawned a thousand little priestcrafters during the next 2000 years.

[148]                  Their Creeds Were an Abomination

It is easy to understand why there was an apostasy of Christianity, with over 1000 Christian churches all claiming to be right, yet teaching different gospels. It is an indication that none of them really knew the voice of the Master, since there can be only one real Master and one true church.

Such was the condition in which Joseph Smith found himself at the time he sought the God of heaven to be led to the one true church. He received a revelation from God about which he wrote:

I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right–and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight. (P of GP, Jos. Smith 2:18-19)

Two important points should be emphasized here: (1) the creeds of Christianity had been corrupted through nearly 2000 years of man-handling. That which had been true was now false, and modern Christianity was worthless. A religion whose principles lead men away from God is an “abomination” in His sight. (2) Secondly, the ministers who use religion to make money are corrupt. Their religion has become a business. Their lips speak nice things about God, but their hearts are not devoted to Him. Such priestcraft is defined in the Book of Mormon:

. . . behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. (2 Nephi 26:29)

[149] There are four main conditions of priestcraft which make it an abomination:

  1. The preacher makes himself appear to be a light to the world, and he puts himself between man and God.
  2. Religion becomes a tool for money-making, with the gospel as the merchandise.
  3. Ministers love praise. Their ego is built up faster in religious marketing than in any other profession because they think they are so holy.
  4. Priestcraft is wickedness because it turns people away from the whole truth and eternal life.

It is interesting to note that the ministers of priestcraft today preach about the power of God and the miracles that He can do, but yet they don’t have enough influence with God for Him to provide them with the means to live–so they have to sell the Gospel! George A. Smith commented:

. . . we have been the subject of vile scandal, simply because our religious views were different from those of the hireling clergy who occupy the pulpits of Christendom. We taught that men should preach the gospel without purse or scrip–preach it freely; and a man who depended upon a congregation for a salary by which to obtain his black coat and fit-out, was ready to denounce preaching without purse and scrip as a heresy; why? Because it would reduce him to the necessity of going to some useful calling, instead of making merchandise of the Gospel, which God has made free. It endangered his bread and butter; and thus priestcraft has raised a constant howl. . . . (JD 11:179)

Even if making money for preaching was not objectionable enough, ministers have learned it is even more profitable for them to preach only what the people want to hear, as Henry W. Naisbitt observed:

[150] In fact, they have become money-making institutions. Ministers have become professionals. They preach for money and divine for hire. They are more content to ask the congregation what they shall preach than to stand valiantly for the truth as preached by Jesus Christ and His Apostles, and as recorded in the book which, from first to last, they profess to reverence and sustain. (JD 26:237)

Moses Thatcher noticed the same condition:

Read the recent articles published in magazines and newspapers respecting the reason why 33-1/3 per cent of the sixty-three millions of people in this country do not attend church. Some of them say it is because the ministers of the various denominations have departed from the doctrines of Jesus. The churches are made gorgeous by the display of the rich trappings. Their pews are sumptuous to the highest degree; and when communicants lease those pews, they lease them with the understanding that the minister whom they hire for money and buy with price shall not say anything that will offend the ear of the purchaser. (Coll. Disc. 2:316)

A great deal of the persecution that Joseph Smith received when he restored the Gospel came from ministers and preachers–the very men who preached about the love of God and love for all fellowmen. If they were truly righteous men, they would never think of persecuting someone else for their religious views. However, since “those professors were all corrupt” and “their hearts are far from” God, then it is understandable that they would use every device and means to protect their money-making craft.

And who was it that stirred up these ministers to anger and persecution and promoted priestcraft among them? According to John Whitmer–

[151] The adversary of all righteousness being crafty, and beguiled the people, and stirred them up to anger against the words spoken, and has blinded their eyes, and is leading them down to darkness, misery and woe. This generation abounds in ignorance, superstition, selfishness, idolatry, and priestcraft, for this generation is truly led by priests, even hireling priests, whose god is the substance of this world’s goods, which waxeth old and is beginning to fade away: who look for their hire every one from his quarter. (Book of John Whitmer, typescript, BYU-A, p. 2)

So today false priests abound. The gospel is being torn apart by deceivers and false prophets who set up their priestcrafts among the children of God. No wonder the people are groping in every direction. It is truly a day of testing!

[152]                      The Power of Priestcraft

Priesthood versus Priestcraft

The Lord and the devil present two different plans for man’s salvation. They might be classified under the headings of Priesthood and Priestcraft.

Priesthood elevates to the worthy of the true and living God; priestcraft degrades to the slavery of the soul. Priesthood saves; priestcraft destroys. (Contributor 10:24)

Since the devil does not have a genuine plan of his own, he tries to corrupt the Savior’s plan. Everything good is perverted–changed slightly so that it is no longer the Lord’s program. The imitation of the Gospel is often so close to the truth that it is easy for men to mistake it for the genuine article. George Q. Cannon describes the difference between the two plans:

But men have seen priestcraft in the world, and they confound that with Priesthood; but I want you to understand that there is a wide distinction between Priesthood and priestcraft. Men who exercise priestcraft become wrong-doers and oppressors, and commit great sins under the guise of religion, while trying to appear in the eyes of the world as being in the service of God. But the Priesthood is not of that character. It is beneficent in its operations. It blesses, it upholds, it strengthens, it diffuses love, union, peace, and every Godlike quality among mankind. (Coll. Disc. 5:294)

Previously Elder Cannon also said:

There is a difference between priestcraft and Priesthood. Priestcraft builds up itself; it is not authorized of God. Priestcraft oppresses the people; but the Priesthood of God emancipates men and women and makes them free. (JD 13:55)

[153] Another distinction is that Priesthood does not persecute, but priestcraft usually does!

After living in a basically priestcraft society for so long, many people are looking for something better. Parley P. Pratt ran across one such man on his mission:

We then entered the town and called at a hotel. We told the landlord that we had come in the name of Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to the people, being sent by him without purse or scrip. “Well,” said he, you are welcome to my house and such fare as we have; and we will meet together and hear your religion, and if it proves to be better than ours we will embrace it; for we confess that our religion is to fiddle and dance, and eat and drink, and be merry, and gamble and swear a little; and we believe this is better than priestcraft. * * *

“No,” said he, “I have not attended a religious meeting this five years; I have long been disgusted and tired of priestcraft and religious ignorance and division, and have concluded to stand aloof from it all.” (Parley P. Pratt Autobiography, 1985 ed., p 66-67)

Those embracing priestcraft often put on an artificial facade in order to deceive. Dr. Hugh Nibley explained:

It is not enough for the wicked to make excuses or explanations; in order to live with themselves and succeed in their undertakings, they must stand forth and be counted as pillars of righteousness, raising a hue and cry with practiced skill against those who would jeopardize their position, demonstrating, usually with the aid of paid rhetoricians, ministers and lawyers, that it is not they but their opponents who are wicked. This is a leitmotif, a main theme, in the Book of Mormon: “We know that the people . . . in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; . . . and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away” (1 Nephi 17:22) Thus said the self-righteous Laman and Lemuel. (Approaching Zion, Collected Works Vol. 9, p. 46)

[154] Mormonism became an offense to priestcrafters because it presented the truths of the Gospel, which in turn exposed the falsehoods of artificial religions. Truth became their enemy. It destroyed their craft. They became angry and fought against it. H. W. Naisbitt commented:

Few men love to have their discrepancies of theory or thought exposed even to themselves, much less is it enjoyed when proclaimed from the housetops; so the public preaching of Mormonism became an offense, in that it wounded the self-love, the self-sufficiency, and self-satisfaction of even those who had but little of the Pharisaic spirit. (Cont. 7:128)

One of the main reasons for a division between Christ’s followers and the chief priests of that time was the exhibition of the gifts and powers of the Lord. Though the chief priests were learned scholars and occupied the “upper seats,” it was the humble disciples of Jesus that enjoyed the gifts and blessings of heaven. Orson Pratt observed:

After having received the Holy Ghost or Comforter, it immediately began to make manifest a supernatural power upon those men of God. They were unlearned men, most of them, or most of the principal ones, at any rate, were unlearned; they had been engaged, as we heard this forenoon, at the business of fishing, and no doubt had lacked the opportunities for the acquisition of learning which many of the scribes, pharisees, high priests and religious people of that day enjoyed. The Apostles and disciples of the Lord Jesus were not doctors of law and divinity, they had not been educated and qualified for the ministry in any theological school, seminary or university, but they received the Spirit of God, which manifested unto them the will of Heaven, and though they understood only their mother tongue, the power of the Spirit bestowed upon them enabled them to speak in the various languages and tongues of the earth, and to declare the things of God therein on that occasion. (JD 14:174)

[155] Similar spiritual gifts were enjoyed by the early Saints, too, which was an irritation to the proud scholars and lawyers and ministers of that time.

Since false priests of the Jews were incapable of receiving revelation, they began to teach that it was not necessary. They had the scriptures and that was all that was required. This idea was soon transferred into the Catholic and Protestant churches. Because of this background of apostate ideology, the restoration of the Gospel was a difficult task. Orson Pratt stated:

The conduct of millions in relation to the Book of Mormon goes to show that they would reject all true revelations as well as false ones: they are determined to reject at all hazards, without the least inquiry, everything under the name of new revelation. They seem to be absolutely certain, as their conduct abundantly indicates, that God will never favor men with another communication of His will concerning them. (Divine Authenticity of the B of M, Pratt, No. 1, p. 2)

This was a popular but fatal error invented by priestcrafters and passed down to succeeding generations.

Practices of Priestcraft

Priestcraft embraces and promotes several erroneous and dangerous practices and conditions. Five major ones will be discussed here:

  1. Wealth and money
  2. A false God
  3. Superstition, error and ignorance
  4. Darkness of mind
  5. Prejudice and persecution

[156] Wealth and Money

Like doctorcraft and lawyercraft, priestcraft is also influenced greatly by the acquisition of wealth and material things.

I am happy to say, that the religion of Christ is continuing to gain ground in this vicinity; there is a church of about 40 or 50 members in this place, and are some of the most respectable and intelligent part of the community. It is the baser sort, and the false teachers in sheep’s clothing that reject the gospel of Christ–the drunkard reviles the religion of the saints because it takes away his cup–the priests who teach for hire, and divine for money will not come to the light because their crafts will be in danger. “The heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things,” and the cry of “these men that have turned the world upside down have come hither also, and “great is goddess Diana” is invariably set up by the learned theologians of the day and by their flocks, who are blinded by their teachings. (William Smith, May 1841, T & S 2:444)

Men are educated to promulgate and sustain false theories to make money, and to create and uphold powerful sects. “And they teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.” “Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted; and their churches are lifted up, because of pride they are puffed up. They rob the poor, because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor, because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart because in their pride they are puffed up.” And all this because the fathers transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broke the everlasting covenant delivered unto them. The truth is easily understood, and as easily told. (Brigham Young, JD 11:214)

[157] What do speculators care about our principles? Nothing whatever. They run here to line their pockets with the golden god in the mountains. Yes, they come one after another to offer their worship at the shrine of the golden god. If this is not idolatry, I would like to see it, and to know where it is. Where does this idolatrous worship prevail so much as it does in the Christian world? Among the nations it seems to be the object of both merchants and ministers to get the people’s money. (Daniel Wells, JD 9:83)

Thousands are misguided and deceived by priests who preach for money and divine for hire; ministers who make merchandise of the souls of men. The mother of harlots has “made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,” just as John the Revelator saw, she would do, . . . (Moses Thatcher, JD 23:214)

The only principle upon which they judge me is by comparing my acts with the foolish traditions of their fathers and nonsensical teachings of hireling priests, whose object and aim were to keep the people in ignorance for the sake of filthy lucre; or as the prophet says, to feed themselves, not the flock. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 315)

When the Elders went out, seeking to evangelize the world, without purse or scrip, it was an eloquent protest against large salaries, fat livings, chartered privileges and usurped authority, such as before had never been revealed. (H. W. Naisbitt, Cont. 7:130)

Since money is such an important influence on modern ministries, it tends to attract the least spiritual into that profession. They enter the ministry for personal gain, not necessarily to teach and help people or for charity purposes. If it involves big money, naturally it draws big businessmen, as Eustace Mullins discovered:

[158] The Rockefeller monopoly influence has had its effect on some of New York’s largest and wealthiest churches. Trinity Church on Wall Street, whose financial resources had been directed by none other than J. P. Morgan, owns some forty commercial properties in Manhattan and has a stock portfolio of $50 million, which, due to informed investment, actually yields a return of $25 million a year! Only $2.6 million of this income is spent for charitable work. The rector, who receives a salary of $100,000 a year, lives on the fashionable Upper East Side. Trinity’s mausoleum sells its spaces at fees started at $1250 and rising to $20,000. St. Bartholomews, on Fifth Avenue, has an annual budget of $3.2 million a year of which only $100,000 is spent on charity. Its rector resides in a thirteen-room apartment on Park Avenue. (Murder by Injection, Mullins, p. 342)

A False God

Priestcraft includes men who claim to be sent of God–but which God? They teach about a false god–a far-off god who has no body, parts, or passions–one who saves people by grace alone.

Singular as it may seem, all Christendom, Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Universalists, Deists, and all other denominations, (but the Mormons) worship a God afar off, and not near at hand; and add to this idea, the refinement of the age, and the spiritual wisdom of priestcraft, and a majority of the Christian population, actually worship nothing. (T. & S. 5:745)

It is this eternal Gospel of truth (which has been restored in this dispensation through the instrumentality of an inspired man, a Prophet of the living God) that we have to offer to the people of the world. It has many features distinct from the gospels that are being taught by hired ministers in the world. As Brother A. P. Kesler has been telling us, the [159] Gospel which Jesus taught was a Gospel of deeds, and not a gospel of words. It was indeed a Gospel of action. It required unbounded faith and obedience to the commands of God. It not only required this, but it required a man’s whole heart and mind–his whole being. * * *

This is one of the principle distinguishing features between the doctrine of Jesus, or of the Latter-day Saints, and the doctrines advocated by men who preach for hire and divine for money. I myself heard one of those eminent preachers of the latter days, called an evangelist, declare in solemn words, to a congregation of more than 8,000 people, that it was not works which would save the world; it was not obedience to this commandment or to that commandment; it was not an acceptance of this ordinance or that ordinance, that would save the world; for these, he claimed, were only outward works, which were intended to satisfy the conscience. He said there was only one thing needful, simply requiring the exertion of the mind, and that was, that we should believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and we would be saved. It was not essential to be baptized; it was not essential to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; it was not essential to go through any form of confirmation. These were only forms, and were not essential. The only thing essential was, belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Joseph F. Smith, 1898, Coll. Disc. 5:447-448)

Apostle Orson Pratt wisely explained the ridiculous doctrine of the Godhead as taught by many modern ministers:

There have been various species of idolatry in different ages of the world. The sun, moon, stars, beasts, crocodiles, frightful serpents, images of wood, of stone, and of brass, have been erected into gods, and worshipped by innumerable multitudes. But the system of idolatry, invented by modern Christianity, far surpasses in absurdity anything that we have ever heard of. * * *

Using the terms as we use them of ourselves, God is not here or there, any more than he exists now and then. This species of idolatry, according to the foregoing quotations, [160] approaches so near to atheism, that no one can tell the difference. Reader, can you see the difference? A god without a body! A god “without parts!” A god that cannot be here or there! A god that is nowhere! A god that cannot exist now and then! A god that exists in no time! A god that has no extension–no “parts”–no conceivable relation to time or space! O, blush for modern Christianity!–a pious name for atheism! Some, perhaps, may think that I have not sufficient charity. But why should I have charity for a god that has no parts–no relation to space? Let him first have charity for himself. But this would be impossible; for he is a god without passions. He can have no charity nor love for himself nor anyone else. There is no danger of offending him; for a passionless god is not capable of anger. (Orson Pratt’s Works, pp. 35-36)

Believing in a god made of nothing is bad enough; but to try to teach about and protect such a ridiculous person by unrighteous means is another. Missionaries have been outlawed, prosecuted and driven from cities and states simply because they believe in the personal God that’s described in the Bible, but many of their listeners want nothing to do with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The First Presidency of the Church confirmed this:

Latter-day Saints, were you in countries ruled by some of the Christian potentates, you would not have as much liberty as you now have, neither could our hopes be so bright for the future. For priestcraft and sin and misrule are very great in many nations, so much so that we cannot preach the Gospel there at all. (Joseph F. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Mess. of 1st Pres. 3:286)

Apostle Parley P. Pratt also attested to this:

Priestcraft reigns triumphant in all these countries, as by law established; and by law paid and supported by [161] marriages and christening fees, forgiving sins, etc. (P.P.Pratt Auto., 1985 ed., p. 363)

Superstition, Error and Ignorance

I have been here now until a general excitement prevails amongst both priest and people, but mostly with the priests, who excite and encourage the common people, for I have not seen a people so completely priest ridden in any place as in these eastern states. Superstition and bigotry seem to have attained their highest pinnacle, while the minds of many are bound down by the shackles and chains of modern priestcraft. Error, confusion, anarchy and misrule, are the only spirits that govern. Nothing but the power of God can in any way, beneath the heavens, break the league of the iron grasp of the Devil, that appears to be riveted upon the minds of almost all the people. (Edwin D. Woolley, June 1843, T. & S., 4:226)

I would like to see the footsteps of the Almighty (and they are now beginning to be visible) in his going forth to cut off the bitter branches; and by-and-by the stone cut out of the mountain will begin to roll, and if it does not soon crush some of the toes of the great image, I am mistaken. From present appearance I think the toes will be pretty well mutilated before the stone reaches them. I pray for this constantly, for I would be glad to see the inhabitants of the earth have the privilege of believing the Gospel for themselves, and not any more be bound by the blighting influences of priestcraft. (Brigham Young, JD 9:273-274)

The adversary of all righteousness being crafty, and beguiled the people, and stirred them up to anger against the words spoken, and has blinded their eyes, and is leading them down to darkness, misery and woe. This generation abounds in ignorance, superstition, selfishness, idolatry, and priestcraft, for this generation is truly led by priests, even hireling priests, whose god is the substance of this world’s [162] goods, which waxeth old and is beginning to fade away: who look for their hire every one from his quarter. (Bk. of John Whitmer, typescript, BYU-A, p. 2)

Darkness of Mind

Am I going to weep over the condition of the world? No. God made it, and if He suffers millions to dwell upon it in ignorance of Him, I have nothing to do with it. All I have to do is, when God sends me, to go and teach the people the principles of light, intelligence, and truth, so far as I know them, and no further; and if they reject them, it is none of my business. In many instances, they do it for want of information, and according to the government, priestcraft, prejudices, etc., of which they are under the dominion. It is difficult for them to comprehend correct principles when they hear them, or to know the light when they see it shine. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. They understand many things, perhaps better than you do, but they do not understand the principle of the Gospel as you do, for want of the light of the Spirit of God. No man can understand that without the Spirit. (John Taylor, JD 1:156)

Here is the difference between us at the present time and the priestcraft and kingcraft and the craft of the various systems among the nations. They have tended to befog, bewilder, bind down, and lead the masses into ignorance; but the principles of the Gospel are calculated to expand the mind, enlarge the heart, unfold the capacity, and make all men feel their relationship to God and to each other, that we may be all partakers of the same blessing, that we may all be intelligent, that we may all be learned in the things of the kingdom of God, and all be prepared for the celestial inheritance in the eternal worlds. This is the difference between the system that we have embraced and the systems of the world–they are of men, this is of God. Among the Gentiles, they tread upon one another and ride into power and influence [163] on the ruin of others; and they do not care who sinks, if they swim. The Kingdom of God exalts the good, blesses all, enlightens all, expands the minds of all, and puts within the reach of all the blessings of eternity. (John Taylor, JD 5:260)

About twelve o’clock a number of young persons called to see the Egyptian records. My scribe exhibited them. One of the young ladies who had been examining them, was asked if they had the appearance of antiquity. She observed, with an air of contempt, that they had not. On hearing this, I was surprised at the ignorance she displayed, and I observed to her, that she was an anomaly in creation, for all the wise and learned that had examined them, without hesitation pronounced them ancient. I further remarked, that it was downright wickedness, ignorance, bigotry and superstition had caused her to make the remark; and that I would put it on record. And I have done so, because it is a fair sample of the prevailing spirit of the times, showing that the victims of priestcraft and superstition would not believe though one should rise from the dead. (Joseph Smith, DHC 2:329)

Men generally, although very particular about financial matters, and things pertaining to time; although very careful about the acquisition of wealth and desirous of knowing which is the best way to invest it after they have obtained it; although desirous to obtain honor and fame and wealth; yet in regard to religious matters it seems that they are perfectly willing that anybody should think for them and act for them, and be their dictators and guides; and hence they have a hireling priesthood whom they pay to take care of their souls, just as they pay physicians to take care of their bodies and lawyers to take care of their property. Religion is not a thing, according to the estimation of a great many, that everybody ought to be dabbling with: it belongs to the priests, teachers, etc., who are paid for teaching their dogmas, theories, creeds, and opinions. I was brought up a member of the Church of England, the same as my friend, the [164] speaker who preceded me. It is customary among the Episcopalians to prepare men for the ministry just the same as they prepare men for doctors, lawyers, or the military profession. In examining their boys to find for what they are the best capacitated, if one is pretty shrewd, he must be a lawyer; if one is full of fire and energy, they try to make a military officer of him; but those who are dull, dumpish, and ignorant are generally made parsons of. These are they who are teachers of religion, and who the great mass of men are ready to follow; and as the scriptures say, when “the blind lead the blind they both fall into the ditch.” (John Taylor, JD 14:250-251)

Let all the bishops, and clergy, and priests of every denomination repent and cease to preach false doctrines, and let them be baptized and come into the Church of Christ, and seek no more to fight against the Lord’s work, for unless they do this, the Lord shall visit them in swift judgment and they shall perish quickly out of the earth; for they are the ones that have corrupted the earth with their false, vain, foolish and powerless doctrines; they are the ones who have blinded the eyes and hardened the hearts against the Lord’s great and last message; therefore, except they repent, there is in reserve for them a heavier judgment and they shall gnaw their tongues for pain. (Div. Auth. of B of M., O. Pratt, p. 96)

Prejudice and Persecution

When a man’s craft is in danger, he will use drastic means to defend it and prevent competition. Joseph Smith found this out for himself, as he presented a threat to local ministers who heard his story.

I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, [165] and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects–all united to persecute me.

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself. (P of GP, Jos. Smith 1:22-23)

When Joseph Smith received his first revelation from the Lord, he was told that the present-day religions were all wrong and that “their creeds were an abomination in His sight;” that “those professors were all corrupt;” that “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;” and that “they teach for doctrines the commandments of men: having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (DHC 1:6)

It was these “professors of religion” that petitioned the politicians in Washington to destroy the Mormons. They continually fed their flocks with ideas of how wicked, immoral and criminal the Latter-day Saints were. With all their letter writing, preaching and leading mobs against the Mormons, they proved to be the most bitter toward the new church. Their zeal drove them to fanaticism. They were not preaching the Gospel of Christian love and tolerance; they were advocating persecution, destruction and death. Talk about “abomination” –no word could describe it better!

Regardless of the errors, false doctrine and priestcraft of the ministers and priests in this dispensation, one thing is [166] worse than all the rest. It is their treatment of their fellowmen. They disagree with Mormonism and so they create persecution and violence against them. They preach about brotherly love, kindness and doing good to your neighbor, but that is not what they practice. Persecution became the most negative feature of modern Christianity, and Joseph identified where it came from:

I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyercraft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women–all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. (DHC 5:401)

In 1911 the LDS First Presidency again labeled Christian ministers as their worst enemies:

“Mormonism’s” earliest and bitterest opponents were professed ministers of Christ. Thundering from the pulpit their angry protests and fierce denunciations against “Old Joe Smith” and his followers, they misrepresented them in every conceivable way, poisoning the minds of their parishioners against them, slandering them in public and in private, publishing defamatory and hate-inflaming articles, instituting vexatious lawsuits against the leaders and members of the new religious body, and even instigating and leading lawless mobs in their violent assaults upon the persons and properties of the despised and execrated “Mormons.” (Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, John Henry Smith, Mess. of 1st Pres. 4:236)

[167] It is difficult to believe that men who claim to be the servants of the Lord would go to such extreme measures to cause other people so much trouble. They were not satisfied to arouse the anger of just the local people, but would exert every effort to spread that hatred nationwide. Newell Knight described these scenes:

The sectarian priests and missionaries around us were among the first to come out both secretly and openly against us. Among the more active of these was a Mr. Pixley, who did not content himself in slandering us to the people of Jackson County, but also wrote to eastern papers, telling horrible lies about us, with the evident intention of rousing a spirit of hatred against us. His talk was of the bitterest kind, his speeches perfectly inflammatory, and he appeared to have influence among the people, to carry them with him in his hellish designs. . . . His efforts were seconded by such men as Reverends McCoy, Fitshugh, Bogard, Kavanaugh, Lovelady, Likens, Hunter, and others. (Newell Knight’s Journal, in “Scraps of Biography,” p. 76)

When the Mormons say that all the religions of the world are corrupt and led by the devil, it is merely an opinion; but when these religions all join together to persecute, plunder, drive and murder the Mormons, then they are proving that it is a fact.

Jesus said that criticism and persecution would be the heritage of the faithful, and they could expect others to “revile you” and to “say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matt. 5:11). But, when the ministers of Christianity go out of their way to cause such persecution and prosecution upon a people for their difference in beliefs, it is totally unChristian. Some of them even led mobs to kill the Mormons.

[168] Mormons soon acquired the enmity of ministers and adherents of the Christian churches in Missouri. The Saints were ever aware that their message was, to say the least, irritating to the various professors of religion. Not only were they Yankees, and mighty peculiar people even for northerners, but they professed that a New Dispensation of the gospel had become necessary, and that the upstart Joseph Smith, not one of the learned prelates, had been called of God to re-establish the true church. And to add to the resentment, some Mormons, lacking in tact, openly stated that God had promised them a place in Missouri.

The sectarian priests inhabiting Jackson and the surrounding counties became some of the most zealous foes of the Saints. Reverend Finis Ewing, head of a noted Cumberland Church, stated in print that “the Mormons are the common enemies of mankind and ought to be destroyed.” (Mormonism, Americanism, and Politics, Vetterli, pp. 82-83)

The leaders of the Mormon Church acknowledged the villainous activities from our nation’s ministers, and reminded the Saints that it was the fulfillment of one of the Book of Mormon prophecies. From Orson Pratt:

Here, then, was the beginning, as it were, of the fulfillment of that saying in the Book of Mormon. That abominable church, among one of the nations of the Gentiles at least, was gathered together under a religious influence to persecute the Saints contrary to the Constitution of our country. They could not do it legally; they could not be upheld in it by true and legal authority: but they could do it illegally, under the sanction of priestcraft, under the advice of those who proclaim from the pulpit. (JD 7:184)

There were some Americans, however, that recognized the atrocities being committed against the Mormons, and one such man, William R. Vance, wrote to Joseph Smith.

[169] When I read in the Times and Seasons of the persecution of the church of Latter Day Saints, I am struck with astonishment to think of such horrid and bloody persecution in our land of boasted liberty, and in the midst of Christendom; good Lord! Is blood and slaughter the religion of the Prince of Peace? What! To see a bloody mob, headed by a band of men denominating themselves the ministers of the gospel, marching forth with sword in hand, taking the lives of innocent men, women and children, in order to maintain their religion, instead of maintaining it by the sword of truth, and power of the word of God: Ah! but their craft is in danger. (T & S 2:349)

Even years later when the Mormons were beyond the borders of the United States, away from those ministers, other “men of the cloth” still continued their tirades against the Saints. In 1877, at the death of Pres. Brigham Young, Reverend DeWitt Talmage suggested the following abusive program for the government to handle the Mormon problem:

Now, my friends, now at the death of the Mormon chieftain, is the time for the United States government to strike. Let as much of their rich lands be confiscated as will pay for their subjugation. If the government of the United States cannot stand the expense, let Salt Lake pay for it. Set Phil Sheridan after them. Give him enough troops, and he will teach all Utah that 40 wives is 39 too many. (Brigham Young, M. R. Werner, p. 492)

Other hateful feelings were expressed about this time by many religious sources, i.e.:

. . . the Reverend Dr. Crosby of New York advocated in sermon after sermon that “Mormon-ism ought to be dynamited.” Professor J. M. Conyer affirmed that he had analyzed “Mormonism” and “found it [170] included diabolism, animalism, Mohammedanism, the bigotry, cunning and treachery of Judaism, and Thugism, which made a dose for Columbia, and he wondered how long she could stand it.” The Presbyterian Chicago Interior offered this “Christian” example of a solution to the “Mormon question”:

“Let the lands and the tenants of the Mormons be thrown open to original entry by civilized settlers. . . . Let it be understood that the army will keep out of the way in Utah for four years, and that the use and occupation of Mormon property for one year is to give a pre-emption title. There are enough young men in the west and in the south who are seeking homes to finish up the pest, fumigate the territory, and to establish themselves in ninety days after the word `go’ is given.”

The Episcopal Convention held in New York City in 1881 prescribed “the use of the strong force of the military arm” to deal with them. (Mor., Amer., & Pol., p. 628)

In some cases persecution has the opposite effect of what was intended by the persecutors. For instance, instead of destroying the early Saints, it caused them to unite even more and strengthen each other. Instead of making the Saints disburse and disappear, they became more publicized and in some cases sympathized with.

In one of the classic articles produced under the rod of persecution, Pres. John Taylor and George Q. Cannon wrote an article that should be read by everyone. This rather lengthy article was written in 1886 during some of the most severe persecution from the government. A few passages follow:

In the providence of the Almighty persecution serves a most useful purpose. Every faithful Saint must perceive and acknowledge this. Each one feels its effect upon himself; he sees its effect upon his friends and neighbors. Persecution develops character. Under its influence we all know ourselves better than we did before we felt its pressure; [171] and we discover traits in our brethren and sisters of the existence of which, perhaps, we were in entire ignorance. The persecution from which we have been suffering during these eighteen months past, though very painful, has not been without profit to the Latter-day Saints. It has strengthened and infused new zeal, courage and determination into the faithful. It has also caused many who were careless and indifferent to arouse themselves from their lethargy and to renew their diligence in the work of God. It has also brought to light the hypocrisy of many, and caused them to throw off the mask of friendship and fellowship which they wore, and to exhibit themselves in their true lineaments. * * *

Religious and irreligious, ministers in sacerdotal robes and atheistic scoffers, business men of integrity and blacklegs, temperance men and drunkards, men of strict morality and pimps and harlots, are crowded together on the platform they have constructed, and they find no inconvenience from each other’s companionship. Each is made to believe that it is to his direct interest to combine to destroy “Mormonism.” A more motley collection of human beings was never witnessed. Differ as they may upon everything else, there has been one common thought and purpose running through the whole and holding them together, and that is hatred of the religion of the Latter-day Saints and a determination to destroy it and them. The conspirators have appealed to the prejudices of each one to induce him to work in concert for this common end. In the ministers they have found ready and willing allies; in fact, these have been the chief authors and promoters of the conspiracy. The Pharisees in the days of the Savior were no more ready to egg the multitude on to cry out, “Crucify him, crucify him,” than many of the ministers of our time are to urge Congress to enact measures for our destruction. It is now some years since the sectarian ministers here (with the exception of the Catholic clergymen) combined in a document to Congress, urging that body to legislate against us.

This action they have often repeated since. Destitute of confidence in their own religious systems and their power to [172] cope with the truth which we possess without aid from the secular power, they make the air resound with their clamors for Congress to pass laws to crush us and our religion. They enlist men of their cloth elsewhere in the same unchristian business. (Mess. of 1st Pres. 3:50-51)

* * *

When Moses tried to give the Israelites the higher laws of the gospel, they rejected them. Then Jesus tried to teach them to the Jews, but they too refused to accept such laws and killed Jesus for teaching them. Once again, the Prophet Joseph Smith tried to reveal these higher laws to the people with the same reactions and was killed by the hands of his enemies. The parallels are identical. Harvey Cluff explains it in more detail:

The martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith in cause and effect marks a chapter in the history of the world paralleled only in the crucifixion of the Savior. The cause which the Prophet Joseph represented was the same gospel which was introduced by the elder brother–the Redeemer. The persecution which followed the King of the Jews by his countrymen, was very like the persecution inflicted upon the Prophet Joseph Smith by his countrymen. Christ came as the great Redeemer of mankind, a sacrifice for the atonement of the original sin. Joseph Smith came as a restorer of the gospel under Christ, and his blood had to be shed in order to seal the divinity of his mission and make it as valid as the mission of Jesus Christ. Joseph, therefore, walked in Christ’s footsteps and bore the cross to the sacrifice of his own blood. Christ’s mission was to all the world. The world was fully represented at his crucifixion. There were the Jews, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, Syrians, Rabbis, Priests, Sadducees, and Scribes all crying crucify him. The Prophet Joseph Smith’s mission was to all the world. The world was fully represented at this martyrdom, if not directly, the world acquiesced in the deed. [173] There were the Americans, English, Scotch, Welch, Irish, French, Germans, Spanish, Scandinavians, clergymen, ministers, Rev. divines, doctors, lawyers and judges all saying kill him, martyr him. The parallelism cannot be refuted. It stands as an unperishable pillar which reaches to the throne of God. (Harvey Cluff Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, pp. 7-8)

As it was with Jesus Christ, so it was with Joseph Smith. Those who should have been their greatest friends became their worst enemies. Death was in their hearts, and blood was on their hands. What power the adversary has over “men of the cloth” to cause such atrocities to be carried out in order to preserve their priestcrafts!

From Protesters to Priestcraft

Where did the priestcrafters of today come from? What happened to Christianity that it has veered so far off the path established by Christ? It is a story of intrigue and deception, sinister plotting, and covert operations–the equal of any motion picture production.

John the Revelator saw the whole scenario long before it happened and tried to warn the people. He saw a great whore that sat upon many waters. She was the matriarch of all priestcraft, and her father was the devil. This great mistress roamed over the earth committing fornication with the kings of every nation. From these illegitimate alliances were spawned thousands of baby priestcrafters–all different, all raised in deception, and all becoming a disgrace before God.

Many of these offspring were educated in excellent schools, trained by the most learned scholars, and graduated with honors. They were specialists in the knowledge of how to shear their sheep–learning that the more cunning they were in their craft, the richer they could become.

[174] So how did John’s prediction actually come to pass? One of the strangest, yet most successful, illegitimate offspring of Mother Babylon became known as Rome. His beginnings originated from the superstition that his two founders (Romulus and Remus) were raised by wolves. It was a far-fetched tradition, but it was a good personification because Rome was sustained by robbery, plunder, kidnapping and rape.

Rome was raised as a gang member and became the biggest bully in the neighborhood. As Rome grew in power, he formed an army that plundered and conquered other nations and a government with rulers from a continuous line of insane politicians called Caesars. Their entertainment consisted of witnessing the atocious killing of Christians.

Over the next several decades, conditions in Rome went from one extreme to the other: first they killed the Christians, then they slept with them, changed them, and joined with them. It was one of the most bizarre conspiracies ever pawned off on the innocent. Rome dressed up with all his pomp and splendor and played the role of a seducing king. He came with kindly words, rich presents, and alluring promises. He seduced and cohabited with the Church of Christ! Priestcraft was born–a blend of politics and religion–the most formidable force known for good or evil–but in this case it was evil. The Church of Christ became the queen of whores. The union of these two forces turned into a totalitarian kingdom that set out to change and rule the world–and indeed had a permanent effect upon all nations.

In this grand merger, the Roman master taught the student Church to force monogamy upon all its followers, or entice them into celibacy; but in any case plural marriages were absolutely not to be tolerated. Other arts, crafts, and laws were learned. For example, this growing kingdom made war upon [175] other nations, and the killing of gentiles became their most important activity. But Rome still had time to torture and destroy any of their own people who did not support the program.

Many wicked and rebellious children, with traits of their wicked parents, protested against the system and its rulers and decided to leave home. Out on their own they each took different paths, but they still carried with them the basic customs, teachings and influences of their parents. These little protesters soon became priests and kings themselves and created crafts of their own making. Such are the priestcrafts of today!

* * *

God uses good people; the bad ones use God!

Section 4


For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. (Psalm 74:12)

We understand that we are to be made kings and priests unto God. … I may become the father of many fathers, or the king of many kings. (Brigham Young, JD 3:266)



The Dangers of a Strong Central Government           .               .               .177

The New American Religion           .               .               .               .               .               .               .183

Kingcraft Extends to the Rocky Mountains               .               .               .               .200

Under the Color of Law  .               .               .               .               .               .               .212

[177]                             Section 4


The Dangers of a Strong Central Government

Kingcraft, according to the definition given by Brigham Young, pertains to our political leaders and politicians. Actually the dictionary definitions also apply: “a person or thing of great importance, position or power” (New Internl. Dic. 1:702); and “the art of ruling as a monarch” (Webster’s New World Dic., 1982, p. 776).

Our federal politicians certainly think they are of great importance in the art of ruling. They have assumed that whatever they do is right and should be appreciated and accepted by the people. Rather than serving as public servants, they assume the roles of masters and kings over the people. The Constitution was designed to have checks and balances in order to prevent kingcraft. It was meant to be a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” not a dictatorship of self-made kings.

From becoming the greatest form of government among nations, our government has become, as Thomas Jefferson warned, “as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” (Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, E. Boykin, p. 33)

[178] This section on politics will demonstrate how corrupt and apostate a good government can become in just a short time. This is evident by the way it has reacted toward God’s people and laws and His kingdom on earth. Government has changed from the will of the people to the decadent sovereignty of kingcraft. The Prophet Joseph pinpointed the time and conditions that our government began its decline:

At the age, then, of sixty years, our blooming Republic began to decline under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren! Disappointed ambition, thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage, perquisites, fame, tangling alliances, priestcraft, and spiritual wickedness in high places, stuck hands and revelled in midnight splendor.

* * * No honest man can doubt for a moment but the glory of American liberty is on the wane, and that calamity and confusion will sooner or later destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling pseudo-priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings and “human rights” into Congress, and into every other place where conquest smells of fame. . . . (DHC 6:203, 204)

Political ambition has probably led to more wars, destruction and death than any other force, yet it seems to be the most sought after power. The unfortunate part of this sad story is that political power always seems to get into the hands of the very people who shouldn’t have it. Political ambition was the power that the devil himself sought for. His greatest pride was claiming to rule over all the governments and nations of the world. He said to Jesus, “All these things (kingdoms of the world) will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (See Matt. 4:8-10.)

[179] History has shown that every great nation that has risen in power and riches has soon lost it all. What nation of the past has not risen to greatness only to eventually lay in ashes and rubble? Furthermore, whenever God has had His kingdom established on the earth, the devil is there to destroy it. Joseph Smith noticed this: “In relation to the kingdom of God, the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God.” (TPJS, p. 365)

The writings and teachings of the Reformers, the discovery of America, the coming of the Pilgrims, the American Revolution, the writing of the Constitution, and the restoration of the Gospel were the fulfillments of prophecy, and were inspired of God. The men who had a part in these historical events sacrificed blood, sweat, tears and even life itself. They paved the path for others to follow–the path of freedom and liberty.

America became the light of the world, but did not achieve that status without acquiring a few enemies along the way. The leaders of despotism were envious and became a threat to that sacred liberty. The founding fathers of America realized this, and Jefferson warned that “the last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us.” (Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, E. Boykin, p. 3) Jefferson knew, as few men have ever known, that the most dangerous force against the freedom of a nation is its own government. He warned Americans against this power that could bring America down to the same level when he said:

Centralized Government Leads to Dictatorship

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and [180] overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens, and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder and waste. And I do verily believe, that if the principle were to prevail, of a common law being in force in the United States . . . it would become the most corrupt government on the earth. . . .

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the State powers into the hands of the General Government. * * *

Let the General Government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our General Government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very unexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants. * * *

When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, . . . (Wisdom of T. Jefferson, pp. 32-33)

His statements have become more of a prophecy than a declaration.

Most politicians want to get into office to gain wealth and popularity. They consider themselves as little kings rather than public servants. Our nation gets more and more bound down with laws, codes and regulations. One year Congress passed 70 laws, and the government made over 7,000 rules and regulations which are called “laws.” If this continues for a few years, the government will be even larger in order to enforce all those laws, and the people will have very little freedom left.

[181] The best weapon against an oppressive government is the Constitution. Thus, in proportion to the destruction of the Constitution will be the rise of oppression and dictatorial rule. Politicians seeking for more power and more money are the most dangerous threat to the Constitution.

Mormons, more than any other people in America, have reason to defend and support the Constitution. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth. In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights.” (TPJS, p. 326) How much more sublime were Joseph’s views than those of our politicians today who seek to destroy it. He also declared:

Hence we say, that the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun. (TPJS, p. 147)

The Constitution was created for two main purposes: (1) to control the power and size of government; and (2) to offer protection for its citizens. The Prophet Joseph realized this and said, “. . . all men who say that Congress has no power to restore and defend the rights of her citizens . . . have not the love of truth abiding in them.” (Political Interpretation of Mormon History, G. Homer Durham, p. 137)

We have learned of the struggle of the early Saints in defending the U.S. Constitution and at the same time have seen politicians subtly destroying it–usurping power and stripping away the wealth of the people. Prophecy abounds [182] describing the final destruction of the American government through the wicked works of corrupt politicians. Correspondingly, there are numerous prophecies of the rise of the Kingdom of God upon the earth. We are standing at this critical time as witnesses to the first condition, and possibly to the second as well.

[183]                     The New American Religion

The American-restored Latter-day Saint religion lasted less than 20 years within the boundaries of the United States. Lawyers, priests and politicians could not tolerate it, so the new religion of revelation was driven out of the country that boasted of freedom and liberty for all. Even at that early date the Constitution was almost “hanging by a thread” with only a few honorable men to defend it. The Prophet declared:

The different states, and even Congress itself, have passed many laws diametrically contrary to the Constitution of the United States. * * * Shall we be such fools as to be governed by its laws, which are unconstitutional? No! (TPJS, p. 279)

Politicians do almost anything to gain or maintain votes. On November 4, 1833, the state militia, under order from Lieutenant Governor Boggs, marched into Jackson County to disarm the mobbers and the Mormons. But only the Mormons were disarmed, enabling Boggs, the militia and several ministers to perform repeated acts of violence against the unarmed Saints. Parley Pratt said it was a heart-rending sight to see the Mormons scattering in every direction and trying to cross the Missouri River to keep from being killed.

Verbal attacks by the various ministers of religion and the newspapers were relentless. Word of the difficulties with Mormons spread throughout Missouri, and soon several thousand Missourians, especially those from Jackson County, crossed the Missouri River into the northern part of the state to help their fellow southerners rid the state forever of the Yankee-Abolitionist-Mormons. (Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, Vetterli, p. 90)

[184] Governor Boggs broke his oath of office when he issued an extermination order upon the Mormons because of public pressure. Joseph Smith voiced his solution on how to handle the problem of politicians not obeying the laws of the Constitution:

The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment;… (TPJS, p. 327)

Among the mass of corrupt politicians, however, there occasionally is an employee of the government who stands up and valiantly defends freedom and liberty. Such a man was General Doniphan. On November 1, 1838, Samuel Lucas issued an order to Brig. Gen. Doniphan:

Brigadier-General Doniphan:

Sir–You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.

Samuel D. Lucas,

Major-General Commanding

But General Doniphan, in great and righteous indignation, promptly returned the following reply to his superior:

“It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God.”

  1.                                                                                    W. Doniphan, Brig.-Gen.

(DHC 3:190-191, ftnt.)

The Prophet Joseph related this same incident from his point of view:

[185] Brothers Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were brought prisoners into camp. The officers of the militia held a court martial, and sentenced us to be shot, on Friday morning, on the public square of Far West as a warning to the “Mormons.” However, notwithstanding their sentence and determination, they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution. Having an opportunity of speaking to General Wilson, I inquired of him why I was thus treated. I told him I was not aware of having done anything worthy of such treatment; that I had always been a supporter of the Constitution and of democracy. His answer was, “I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you, or have you killed.” (DHC 3:190)

General Doniphan continued to help the Mormons, and he labored for the release of Joseph and the others. They were imprisoned until the summer of 1839, when they escaped to Illinois. From that time on to his death, Joseph was considered a fugitive from justice.

Joseph, Sidney Rigdon, Elias Higbee and O.P. Rockwell journeyed to the nation’s capital to present their grievances and a redress appeal before the President of the United States and to Congress. Pres. Martin Van Buren, however, was one of those politicians who would not risk losing any political votes. He listened to Joseph Smith relate their grievances of pillage, plunder, rape, robbery and murder. He looked at the claims Joseph gave him against Missouri “from 491 individuals for about $1,381,000”. (Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences, p. 116) Joseph described in detail:

During my stay I had an interview with Martin Van Buren, the President, who treated me very insolently, and it was with great reluctance he listened to our message, which, when he had heard, he said: “Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you;” and “If I take up for you, I shall lose the vote of Missouri.” His [186] whole course went to show that he was an office-seeker, that self-aggrandizement was his ruling passion, and that justice and righteousness were no part of his composition. (DHC 4:80)

Joseph had earlier commented on how flippant and foolish the Congressmen acted:

There is such an itching disposition to display their oratory on the most trivial occasions, and so much etiquette, bowing and scraping, twisting and turning, to make a display of their witticism, that it seems to us rather a display of folly and show, more than substance and gravity, such as becomes a great nation like ours. (DHC 4:41)

When Van Buren came up for re-election, the Saints had every reason to reject him, and they had little more reason to vote for Henry Clay:

The candidates for the office of President of the United States at present before the people are Martin Van Buren and Henry Clay. It is morally impossible for this people, in justice to themselves, to vote for the re-election of President Van Buren–a man who criminally neglected his duties as chief magistrate in the cold and unblushing manner which he did, when appealed to for aid in the Missouri difficulties. (DHC 6:187-188)

In speaking of Mr. Clay, his politics are diametrically opposed to ours. He inclines strongly to the old school of Federalists, and as a matter of course would not favor our cause, neither could we conscientiously vote for him. And we have yet stronger objections to Mr. Van Buren on other grounds. He has sung the old song of Congress–“Congress has no power to redress your grievances.” (DHC 6:216)

[187] When the president of the United States proved to be worthless in helping the Mormons, church leaders turned to the legislative branch of government. Joseph prepared a memo reviewing the acts of violence, and it was submitted to Congress by Senator Richard M. Young from Illinois. This must be one of the most gory, inhuman records of injustice ever recorded, and sounds more like it came from some heathen nation rather than from a nation living under the heavenly banner of the U.S. Constitution. The document was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; one of the concluding paragraphs is included here:

For these wrongs, the “Mormons” ought to have some redress; yet how and where shall they seek and obtain it? Your constitution guarantees to every citizen, even the humblest, the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. It promises to all, religious freedom, the right to all to worship God beneath their own vine and fig tree, according to the dictates of their conscience. It guarantees to all the citizens of the several states the right to become citizens of any one of the states, and to enjoy all the rights and immunities of the citizens of the state of his adoption. Yet of all these rights have the “Mormons” been deprived. They have, without a cause, without a trial, been deprived of life, liberty and property. They have been persecuted for their religious opinions. They have been driven from the state of Missouri, at the point of the bayonet, and prevented from enjoying and exercising the rights of citizens of the state of Missouri. It is the theory of our laws, that for the protection of every legal right, there is provided a legal remedy. What, then, we would respectfully ask, is the remedy of the “Mormons?” (DHC 4:37; see pp. 24-38 for entire 15-page memo.)

On March 4, 1840, the Committee on the Judiciary released their decision that this case did not justify or authorize any interposition by the federal government. It was kingcraft at work!

[188] The Saints also appealed to the legislature of the State of Missouri, to state and federal courts, and before judges and juries and governors. Many Mormons were descendants of the founding fathers who established the Constitution; now they were being deprived of the very rights their ancestors had tried to secure for their posterity.

On May 18, 1843, Joseph met with a Missouri Judge, Stephen A. Douglas, and related to him the account of the terrible persecutions and also his interview with President Martin Van Buren. On this occasion Joseph related two monumental prophecies:

Dined with Judge Stephen A. Douglas, who is presiding at court. After dinner Judge Douglas requested President Joseph to give him a history of the Missouri persecution, which he did in a very minute manner, for about three hours. He also gave a relation of his journey to Washington city, and his application in behalf of the Saints to Mr. Van Buren, the President of the United States, for redress and Mr. Van Buren’s pusillanimous reply. * * *

President Smith, in concluding his remarks, said that if the government, which received into its coffers the money of citizens for its public lands, while its officials are rolling in luxury at the expense of its public treasury, cannot protect such citizens in their lives and property, it is an old granny anyhow; and I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers, that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair name of this great republic, the very thought of which would [189] have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame. Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and if ever you turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of Almighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life. (Mess. of 1st Pres. 1:182-183)

Douglas, like most candidates in the kingcraft system, chose to ignore the Constitution and the inalienable rights of its citizens and catered to the clamor of a vicious populace who hated Mormons. In his flowery political speech against them in 1857, he said:

. . . it will be the duty of Congress to apply the knife and cut out this loathsome and disgusting ulcer. No temporizing policy, no half-way measures will then answer. In my opinion the first step should be the absolute and unconditional repeal of the Organic Act–blotting the Territorial Government out of existence, on the ground that they are alien enemies and outlaws, denying their allegiance and defying the authorities of the United States. (Missouri Republican, 6/18/57)

From that moment on, his political career and his health went downhill. Within a year of his defeat, the 48-year-old Douglas died, a broken-hearted man–thus fulfilling the prophecy of Joseph Smith.

When the Mormons had voted against the Whig Duncan because of his position against the Mormons, the Whigs cried “dirty politics” and claimed that the Mormons had exchanged religion for politics. They entered into a crusade against the Mormons which knew no bounds, as Governor Ford wrote: “The Whigs generally, and a part of the Democrats, determined [190] upon driving the Mormons out of the State; and everything connected with the Mormons became political.” (Ford’s History of Illinois, p. 319)

Without a presidential candidate they could support, the Saints existed in a hostile political climate in Illinois that was mixed with hatred and self-defense. Without being able to cast a favorable vote, the Mormons decided on a candidate of their own–Joseph Smith. On May 17, 1844, a convention was called and the Reform Party was born, with Joseph Smith as its presidential candidate. He declared his views thusly:

I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence; and if I lose my life in a good cause, I am willing to be sacrificed on the altar of virtue, righteousness and truth, in maintaining the laws and Constitution of the United States, if need be, for the general good of mankind. (DHC 6:210-211)

The position of the controlling politicians was then similar to the chief priests and Pharisees who moaned, “If we let him [Christ] thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:48) Politically corrupt men will resort to even murder to keep their “place and nation,” and that’s why Joseph said, “If I lose my life in a good cause.” The Lord had once warned him that “the enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives.” (D & C 38:28) So the kingcrafters immediately began holding such secret meetings, and plotting Joseph Smith’s destruction.

But surprisingly, Joseph Smith’s nomination was taken seriously by many voters throughout the country. State and Federal politics had sunk to such a low in the United States, that a new candidate presented a refreshing hope. Joseph once [191] remarked, “When I get hold of the Eastern papers, and see how popular I am, I am afraid myself that I shall be elected.” (DHC 6:243)

One of the ministers at that time, a Peter Cartwright, also noted, “When Joe Smith was announced a candidate for President of these United States, almost every infidel association in the Union declared in his favor.” (Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, p. 346) Of course, to him anyone voting for Joseph Smith was an infidel.

Another non-Mormon, W. M. Daniels, clearly saw the reason for Joseph Smith’s increasing popularity:

. . . he presented such an array of wisdom and talent that the rotten theories of demagogues began, one by one, to become odious, and he rapidly grew in popularity and strength. The principles and measures he proposed, struck at the root of every vice that infected the government, threatening future calamity to her institutions. . . . His principles harmonized with the primitive organization of the government, from which it has been twisted by disloyal spirits. (as quoted in Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, Vetterli, p. 166)

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Mormon Elders mounted the circuit in support of their candidate, and presented his views on the powers and policies of government. They disseminated copies of his political platform and also sent them to leading newspapers throughout the nation. One item that he mentioned was that when the poor people of the country can be trampled on by a mob, when will such a lawless mob move on to others? He wrote a letter to James Bennett saying, “Where, sir, will be your safety or the safety of your children, if my children can be led to the slaughter with impunity by the hand of murderous rebels?” (DHC 5:158)

[192] Joseph Smith said that it was time for someone to hold that office who would be a president FOR the United States, instead of using it for personal gain, power and recognition. He challenged Henry Clay:

Can anything be drawn from your life, character, or conduct that is worthy of being held up to the gaze of this nation as a model of virtue, charity or wisdom? * * *

I hate the imbecility of American statesmen; I detest the shrinkage of candidates for office from pledges and responsibility. (T. & S. 5:547)

Joseph saw the destiny of this nation, but knew ways of averting the Civil War. According to George Q. Cannon and stated in his book on the Prophet:

Certain it is that had Joseph Smith been elected President of the United States and had been sustained by Congress in his policies, this land would have been spared the desolating war which filled its hamlets and fields with carnage and its homes with sobbing widows and orphans. (The Life of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, Cannon, p. 187)

But because of the general wickedness of the American people and their leaders, Joseph Smith prophesied in 1832 of the Civil War (See D & C Sec. 87.), which commenced 28 years afterwards, and he said it was because of a chastening hand and retribution by Divine power.

How interesting that Missourians David Atchison and Samuel Lucas, who wanted the Mormons driven out and killed, said in 1838, “From late outrages committed by the Mormons, civil war is inevitable.” (DHC 3:176) At that time, however, they thought it would be a battle against the Mormons, but their words were fulfilled in the war among their own people.

[193] Similarly in a public meeting at Liberty, Missouri, in 1836, the chairman, John Bird, wrote some propositions, one of which was:

2nd. that it is the fixed and settled conviction of this meeting that unless the people commonly called Mormons will agree to stop immediately the emigration of their people to this county, and take measures to remove themselves from it, a civil war is inevitable. (DHC 2:452)

He, too, thought this war would be between the American people and the Mormons, but it was a prophecy to fall upon his own head and among his own people.

The people of Missouri thought about war, talked about war, and wanted war. “Civil war,” they cried, and civil war they got! Joseph prophesied of this war again just before he was killed:

Several of the officers of the troops in Carthage, and other gentlemen, curious to see the Prophet, visited Joseph in his room [in Carthage Jail]. General Smith asked them if there was anything in his appearance that indicated he was the desperate character his enemies represented him to be; and he asked them to give him their honest opinion on the subject. The reply was, “No, sir, your appearance would indicate the very contrary, General Smith; but we cannot see what is in your heart, neither can we tell what are your intentions.” To which Joseph replied, “Very true, gentlemen, you cannot see what is in my heart, and you are therefore unable to judge me or my intentions; but I can see what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see that you thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. It is not for crime of any description that I and my brethren are thus continually persecuted and harassed by our enemies, but there are other motives, and some of them I have expressed, so far as relates to myself; and inasmuch as you [194] and the people thirst for blood, I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present shall have an opportunity to face the cannon’s mouth from sources you think not of; and those people that desire this great evil upon me and my brethren, shall be filled with regret and sorrow because of the scenes of desolation and distress that await them. They shall seek for peace, and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen, you will find what I have told you to be true. (DHC 6:566)

Years later, the very forces that caused such pain and persecution for the Mormons would in turn receive even more upon themselves, as Richard Vetterli stated:

The same forces, commanded by many of the same officers, that had murdered and driven the Mormons from Missouri, crossed into Kansas there to wreak their bloody designs upon the inhabitants of that territory and thus to set the stage for the terrible conflict that was soon to engulf the nation. (Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, p. 225)

Details of this conflict and subsequent bloodshed were explained by B. H. Roberts:

The struggle began by the abolition party of the north organizing “Emigrant Aid Societies,” and sending emigrants of their own faith into Kansas. The slave holders of Missouri also sent settlers representing their faith and interests into the new territory in the hope of bringing it into the Union as a slave state. This brought on a border warfare in which the settlements of western Missouri and eastern Kansas alternately suffered from the raids and counter raids of the respective parties through some six years before the outbreak of the Civil War. As to which were the more lawless or cruel, the fanatical abolitionists or the pro-slavery party, the [195] “jayhawkers,” as the organized bands of ruffians of the former party were called, or the “bushwhackers,” as the similarly organized bands of the pro-slavery men were called, is not a question necessary for me to discuss here. Both held the laws in contempt, and vied with each other in committing atrocities. The western counties of Missouri, where the Latter-day Saints had suffered so cruelly at the hands of people of those counties some eighteen or twenty years before, were in this border warfare laid desolate, and all the hardships the Missourians had inflicted upon the Saints were now visited upon their heads, only more abundantly. (DHC 3:lxii-lxiii, Introduction)

While this description confines the scenes of violence and rapine to the border counties south of the Missouri River, it included Jackson County, however, which was one of the heaviest sufferers both in this border warfare and subsequently during the Civil War–still, the counties north of that stream also suffered from lawlessness and violence. (Ibid., p. lxiv)

And Missouri, when all things are considered, and especially western Missouri, suffered more than any other state of the Union. In other states the war lasted at most but four years; but counting her western border warfare in the struggle for Kansas, the war was waged in western Missouri from 1855 to 1865, ten years; and for many years after the close of the Civil War, a guerrilla warfare was intermittently carried on by bands of outlaws harbored in western Missouri–especially in Jackson, Ray, Caldwell and Clay Counties–that terrorized the community and shocked the world by the daring and atrocity of their crimes–including bank robberies in open day, express train wrecking and robberies, and murders. Not until 1881 was this effectually stopped by the betrayal and murder of the outlaw chief of these bands. (Ibid., p. lxxii)

[196] The Prophet Joseph knew that there were men in political offices who were not fit to be there, and he warned the people about “those galvanic cronies” who do “nothing but draw money from the treasury,” and promote their “bogus democracy.” (T & S 5:509) There was the hiring of excessive government employees, too many were living on public payroll, government was becoming a bureaucracy, and it was an open forum for jobs, favors and contracts. With government so large, the usurpation of unconstitutional powers, inevitable controls, and a tide of laws and regulations would soon drown the citizens with taxes and loss of free agency. As Joseph said, “The Philistine lords have shorn our nation of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.” (DHC 6:205)

And over 100 years later, Barry Goldwater said in retrospect:

Throughout history, government has proved to be the chief instrument for thwarting man’s liberty. Government represents power in the hands of some men to control and regulate the lives of other men. And power, as Lord Acton said, corrupts men. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (Conscience of a Conservative, Goldwater, p. 17)

Joseph knew that he would suffer death, not from the common mobocrats themselves, but from orders given by those in higher political positions. The situation is comparable to the drug peddler on the street who is guilty of criminal activity; but it is actually the manufacturer, the man in high and secret places producing the poison, that is the real culprit. Conspirators behind the scenes are the worst offenders.

Political demagogues became more determined to destroy Joseph Smith than they were in trying to promote themselves. Meetings were held to determine the plan of action:

[197] 9:40 a.m.–Mr. Woods and Mr. Reid called. They said another consultation of the officers had taken place, and the former orders of the governor for marching to Nauvoo with the whole army were countermanded.

Dr. Southwick was in the meeting, seeing what was going on. He afterward told Stephen Markham that the purport of the meeting was to take into consideration the best way to stop Joseph Smith’s career, as his views on government were widely circulated and took like wildfire. They said if he did not get into the Presidential chair this election, he would be sure to the next time; and if Illinois and Missouri would join together and kill him, they would not be brought to justice for it. There were delegates in said meeting from every state in the Union except three. Governor Ford and Captain Smith were also in the meeting. (DHC 6:605)

Brigham Young referred to the councils and meetings in which Joseph Smith’s death was planned:

He [Joseph Smith] stepped forth like a man and proffered his services to save the nation that is now breaking; and he would have saved it, if they had permitted him. What did they bestow upon him in return? They made a martyr of him. * * *

They succeeded in shedding his blood and that of the Patriarch Hyrum. They shed the blood of the innocent, and the nation said amen to it. Were they aware of it at the seat of Government? I have no doubt they as well knew of the plans for destroying the Prophet as did those in Carthage or in Warsaw, Illinois. It was planned by some of the leading men of the nation. I have said here once before, to the astonishment of many of our own countrymen, that there was a delegate from each State in the nation when Joseph was killed. These delegates held their council. (JD 8:320-321)

In 1887 William Law admitted that there had been a plot to kill Joseph Smith, and he had attended the meeting at the Carthage Courthouse in June of 1844. He said that “many [198] people were present and it was considered what should be done regarding the Mormons.” (The Prophet of Palmyra, T. Gregg, p. 504) He said that Stephen A. Douglas was also in attendance at that meeting.

Governor Ford insisted that Joseph be fairly tried in Carthage and also pledged his faith as governor for his safety. This was a contradiction of terms. It was like a hangman putting a noose on a man and saying, “I’m doing this for your own good.”

Joseph requested that he be given an escort for protection, but Ford refused to comply with his request. There were several warnings delivered by messenger that both Carthage and Warsaw had mobs. Apparently Ford was implicated in the whole plot. It was a repeat of New Testament history, as Helen Mar Whitney explained:

It was the popularity of Joseph as candidate for the Presidency, and the power and influence that the Mormon people were gaining, that created a feeling of fear among the apostates and corrupt politicians, and a deeper hatred took possession of their hearts, similar to that which was felt by the Jews towards Jesus Christ, and like them they were determined to put an end to his earthly career. (Woman’s Exponent 11:114)

Governor Ford is reported to have attended another secret meeting with those who were involved in the murder of Joseph Smith. Orrin Porter Rockwell made a deposition statement with Thomas Bullock, part of which reads:

. . . that about the hour of 3 o’clock in the afternoon of the 27th day of June, one thousand eight hundred forty-four, a short time only before Governor Ford addressed the citizens of Nauvoo, he (Ford) and his suit occupied an upper room in the [199] mansion of Joseph Smith, in the city of Nauvoo, when he, the said Rockwell, had of necessity to enter said upper room for his hat, and as he entered the door, all were sitting silent except one man, who was standing behind a chair making a speech, and while in the fact of dropping his right hand from an uplifted position, said, “The deed is done before this time,” which were the only words I heard while in the room, for on seeing me, they all hushed in silence. At that time I could not comprehend the meaning of the words, but in a few hours after I understood them as referring to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage Jail. (DHC 6:588-589)

So on the 27th of the same month, the secret combination was permitted to carry out the hellish purpose. The Warsaw Stinkall (Signal) seemed to be the paper to give the signal when to strike the fatal blow, that sealed the doom of the state of Illinois. It seems also that wherever the headquarters of the Kingdom of God is established over the earth, there the head of Beelzebub is established also, for that paper was a true representative of the dark legions of Sheol and its editor was a true representative of his father Balial. (George Morris Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p. 36)

With the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the kingcraft and the political corruption of this government reached its lowest depths. Killing religious and political enemies; supporting the destructive work of mobs; denying people their inalienable rights; driving innocent citizens from their homes, businesses and lands; and corrupting all levels of government with such immoral filth that it was a stench in its own nostrils–all this painted the picture of what a great nation and government had become.

[200]              Kingcraft Extends to the Rocky Mountains

The killing of Joseph Smith was not enough for the corrupt politicians. On January 1845, the state legislature repealed the Nauvoo Charter, leaving the Mormon city without a secular government nor any military protection.

One of those indicted for the murder of Joseph and Hyrum was Senator Jacob C. Davis, but he never winced under the charges, although he, too, had played his part in the deed. Again, on October 29, 1845, Governor Ford sent a letter to the leaders in Nauvoo in which he told them to leave Illinois rather than to stay there in a continual war–as he was to willing to offer them any protection.

So in the dead cold of winter nearly 20,000 Mormons began to move westward beyond the boundaries of the United States. As they made their journey, however, the government interfered again. Another political edict demanded that 500 Mormon recruits help in fighting a war for them. If they refused, an army would be sent out to destroy the Saints. And this was happening in America?!

The Saints were being driven out of the United States by its politicians; yet at the same time these kingcrafters were enlisting the able-bodied and much needed Mormon men to go fight a war for the very country that was expelling them. Insanity seldom makes for common sense or logical reasoning.

Brigham Young described the calling of this Mormon Battalion in further detail:

Previous to this, when we left Nauvoo, we knew that they were going to call upon us, and we were prepared for it in our faith and in our feelings. I knew then as well as I do now [201] that the Government would call for a battalion of men out of that part of Israel, to test our loyalty to the Government. Thomas H. Benton, if I have been rightly informed, obtained the requisition to call for that battalion, and, in case of non-compliance with that requisition, to call on the militia of Missouri and Iowa and other states, if necessary, and to call volunteers from Illinois, from which state we had been driven, to destroy the camp of Israel. This same Mr. Benton said to the President of the United States, in the presence of some other persons, “Sir, they are a pestilential race, and ought to become distinct.” (JD 10:106-107)

And when, in addition to all this, and while fleeing from our enemies, another test of fidelity and patriotism was contrived by them for our destruction, and acquiesced in by the Government, (through the agency of a distinguished politician who evidently sought, and thought he had planned our overthrow and total annihilation), consisting of a requisition from the War Department, to furnish a Battalion of five hundred men to fight under their officers, and for them, in the war then existing with Mexico. I ask again, could we refrain from considering both people and Government our most deadly foes? * * *

Our Battalion went to the scene of action, not in easy berths on steamboats, nor with a few months’ absence, but on foot over two thousand miles across trackless deserts and barren plains, experiencing every degree of privation, hardship, and suffering during some two years’ absence before they could rejoin their families. Thus was our deliverance again effected by the interposition of that All-wise Being who can discern the end from the beginning, and overrule the wicked intentions of men to promote the advancement of His cause upon the earth. Thus were we saved from our enemies by complying with their, as hitherto, unjust and unparalleled exactions; again proving our loyalty to the Government. (JD 2:173, 174)

[202] The Mormon Battalion began its march in August 1846 from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with Lt. Col. George Cooke commanding. They marched over the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, Tucson, Arizona, and then on to Los Angeles. This march of over 2,000 miles was the longest infantry march in the history of the world. It was also an outstanding example of high morality, physical endurance, spiritual strength and patriotism.

A week before the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the Mormon Battalion was disbanded in Los Angeles. The first of the men from the battalion arrived in Salt Lake in October 1847. At that time (1847-1850) this area still belonged to Mexico, but it was soon after annexed as a territory of the United States.

When the Mormons wanted to petition Congress for a territorial form of government, Col. Thomas Kane advised them:

You are better off without any government from the hands of Congress than with a territorial government. The political intrigues of government officers will be against you. You can govern yourselves better than they can govern you. * * *

You do not want corrupt political men from Washington strutting around you, with military epaulettes and dress, who will speculate out of you all they can. They will also control the Indian agency and the Land agency, and will conflict with your calculations in great measure. You do not want two governments. You have a government now (alluding to the provisional state government of Deseret then in existence), which is firm and powerful, and you are under no obligation to the United States. . . . If you have a state government, men may come along and say, “I am judge,” “I am colonel,” “I am governor.” You can whistle and ask no odds of them. But while you have a territorial government, you cannot do it. And then there are so many intrigues to make [203] political parties among you. The first thing you know, a strong political party is rising in your midst, selfish and against your interests. (CHC 3:432)

Col. Kane’s remarks were as true as though they had been spoken in prophecy. It was only a short time later that government officials brought their power, corruption, and unjust administration with them from Washington.

One of the first appointed political officials was Judge Drummond, a gambler who had accepted this position in order to make money, saying, “Money is my God.” (Bancroft’s History of Utah, p. 490) He had deserted his wife and family in Illinois without means of support, and had picked up a harlot whom he passed off as his wife. He was disliked and distrusted by both Mormon and Gentile alike. Because of a mess he created by having a man beaten up and because of his exposure for that and other rotten deeds, he suddenly left the territory. But when Drummond returned to Washington, he falsely reported that the Mormons were in a state of rebellion, that territorial records had been destroyed, and that government officials had been murdered.

These false charges received widespread coverage among political chiefs in Washington. On May 28, 1857, President Buchanan, without any investigation, ordered the United States Army, complete with federal appointees, to march to the Salt Lake Valley to suppress the rebellion and to replace Brigham Young and other Mormons in their political positions. Within 60 days a secret “expedition” was on its way west from Fort Leavenworth.

It was at this time that Senator Stephen A. Douglas made his famous anti-Mormon speech, which ended his career as prophesied by Joseph Smith.

[204] Bancroft said this expeditionary force from Kansas had over 5,000 personnel, and “It is probable that no expedition was even dispatched by the United States better provisioned and equipped than was the Army of Utah.” (Ibid., p. 404) It was the “flower of the American Army” and was commanded by its elite. This Utah War was to cost the Federal Government over $40,000,000 “at a time in the nation’s history when men and money could least be spared.” (Ibid., p. 538)

It was just another example of political blundering, money pouring into pockets of leeches, and absolute waste–traditions which have unfortunately been continued to the present. A few men, like Gen. Sam Houston of Texas, tried to plead with Congress and the President to use common sense and recall the Army and work out negotiations, but to no avail. It became known as “Buchanan’s Blunder”!

On the other side of the fence stood Brigham Young’s forces, though not nearly so well “provisioned and equipped.” Brigham was fully aware of the consequences the United States Army could have. Capt. Van Vliet conversed with Gov. Young on the grave possibilities of such a war:

“Why,” said he, “The United States, with an over-flowing treasury, can send out ten, twenty, or fifty thousand troops.” I replied, “I do not care anything about that.” The Captain then asked whether I had counted the cost; and I said, “Yes, for this people I have; but I cannot estimate it for the United States; for if they actually persist in their present tyrannical course, before they get through, they will want to let the job to sub-contractors.” They do not know the Captain of the armies of Israel; and although they profess to believe in him, they do not realize that he is about to hold a controversy with them for their iniquity. (Oct. 1857, JD 5:331)

[205] About five months earlier Brigham Young had declared:

Those whom the Government sends here are a most miserable set; and, as a general thing, they do [not] know enough to tell a decent lie. But this is not altogether to be wondered at, for they are under the same difficulty as we are sometimes: it is hard for them to tell a man who has got brains in his head from one who is filled with pudding. The President and his Cabinet know nothing about the characters whom they send here: if they did, many who have come here never would have been sent. If we cannot always discern the children of men, it is no wonder that they are blind, and cannot send men here capable of making a decent lie. If they have not already told every falsehood about us that they can invent, they will be mighty sorry when they think of it; for, if they could have told any more, they would have done so. They have made and told every lie that they knew how to; and if there is any blame on them for not lying more, it must be attributed to their ignorance. (June 1857, JD 4:348)

Brigham was not going to surrender to such a force. He had no more confidence in them than he did with General Lucas in Missouri or with Gov. Ford in Illinois. He was not going to quietly submit to being murdered as Joseph was. He and his people had had enough of the Christian pillaging, plundering, raping, robbing and outright murdering. Brigham said the Army would find Utah a burned out wasteland and his people gone before he would submit to such rotten political forces again.

When Elder John Taylor later spoke about this situation with Vice President Schuyler Colfax in 1869, he said:

We had men in all the camps, and knew what was intended. There was a continued boast among the men and officers, even before they left the Missouri River, of what they [206] intended to do with the “Mormons.” The houses were picked out that certain persons were to inhabit; farms, property, and women were to be distributed. “Beauty and Booty” were their watchword. We were to have another grand “Mormon” conquest, and our houses, gardens, orchards, vineyards, fields, wives and daughters were to be the spoils. (CHC 4:259)

Commander-in-chief of the Utah militia, Daniel H. Wells, ordered the Mormon troops to “Take no life, but destroy their trains, and stampede or drive away their animals, at every opportunity;” also to “keep them from sleeping.” (CHC 4:280) Government and military officers soon watched their wagon trains of food, supplies and arms go up in smoke, after Mormon leader, Lot Smith, rode into their Army camp.

Glancing over his shoulder as he [Lot Smith] rode into the campfire light, he discovered that his men apparently stretched out indefinitely, and trusting to the camp’s being deceived by this false appearance of numbers, he proceeded with his enterprise, notwithstanding the odds against him.

Calling for the commander, a Mr. Dawson answered, to whom Major Smith explained his intention of burning the train, but informed him that the men might take from the wagons their private property if they would do so quickly. “For God’s sake,” said Captain Dawson, “don’t burn the trains!” “It is for his sake that I am going to burn them,” replied Major Smith coolly. (CHC 4:282)

It was reported that 51 wagons and their contents were burned in the first engagement and 23 in the second. The Mormons had set up a defense that proved most formidable. According to Lot Smith, “The positions occupied by our men in Echo [Canyon] would have enabled them to successfully defeat an army of a thousand times their force.” (Contributor 3:270)

[207] At another Army camp, Lot demanded the surrender of all their weapons. The camp obediently gave up their guns, fearful of the consequences if they refused. Among the guns that were confiscated were those belonging to the famous “Buffalo Bill Cody” and “Wild Bill Hickock.” This embarrassing account was later described by Cody. (See The Great West by Charles Neider, pp. 221-226.)

Lot Smith continued his narrative:

I told him [Capt. Simpson] that I would give him a wagon loaded with provisions. “You will give me two, I know it by your looks!” I told them to hurry up and get their things out, and take their two wagons for we wanted to go on. Simpson begged me not to burn the train while he was in sight, and said that it would ruin his reputation as a wagon master. I told him not to be squeamish, that the trains burned very nicely, I had seen them before, and that we hadn’t time to be ceremonious. We then supplied ourselves with provisions, set the wagons afire and rode on about two miles from the stream to rest. (Cont. 4:28)

In reality the wagon trains and supplies were burned to prevent a war, not to be a part of one. Besides all the arms, supplies and the wagons, there were 368,000 pounds of food destroyed. What a foolish way for the Government to spend taxpayers’ money, when a simple investigation into the false reports could have prevented the whole catastrophe.

In addition to the other turns of fate against them, the United States troops watched the freezing snows and storms also hinder their march. Johnston’s Army was hopelessly trapped by heavy snow and temperatures that ranged from 15 to 44 degrees below zero. The entire route between Ham’s Fort and Fort Bridger was lined with frozen carcasses of army cattle. Leland Creer recorded the event:

[208] The day was memorable in the history of the Expedition. Sleet poured down upon the column from morning until night. On the previous evening, five hundred cattle had been stampeded by the Mormons, in consequence of which some trains were unable to move at all. After struggling along until nightfall, the regiment camped wherever they could find shelter under the bluffs or among willows. That night more than five hundred animals perished from hunger and cold, and the next morning the camp was encircled by their carcasses, coated with a film of ice. (Utah and the Nation, p. 74)

The great General Albert Sidney Johnston had just marched into his “Waterloo.” He was defeated before the battle began. Starting out with the “best” of the U.S. Army and beaten by a few Mormon upstarts who wouldn’t even shed any blood, would have been the epitome of any general’s humiliation and embarrassment. For Buchanan it was his great “blunder;” for the rest of the federal bureaucracy, it was just another bungle; and for the Mormons it was a message from their God. Little David had just conquered another Goliath for Israel.

Brigham Young sent a message to Gen. Johnston, offering food, clothing and salt. He did send 800 pounds of salt, which at that time was selling for $7.00 a pint. Young said that it was a gift, but that if the good general would not enjoy placing himself under obligation to the Mormons, he could pay for it if he wished. Johnston was furious. He wanted nothing to do with lessening the tension between them.

Gov. Cumming and Col. Kane arrived in Salt Lake City to discover all the government records still in tact and no uprising even threatening. Gen. Johnston had wanted more troops, not peace, but now the game was up. Newspapers around the country began to tell the whole story, and Buchanan was in deep political mire. The President signed a “Proclamation of [209] Pardon” for the people of the Territory, which was quite unnecessary because no one could figure out what wrong had been done in the first place. Representatives from Washington arrived in Utah to settle up all difficulties, but Johnston still wanted to engage the enemy and kept preparing for battle. However, he was called to return to the United States with his army to fight in the Civil War. He became a Southern general, fighting against the United States, and died early in the war of wounds received at Shiloh.

When the report was released that all the government records in Utah were still intact, there was a furor in Congress and Pres. Buchanan was under fire. The press had a hey-day exposing to the nation the reports of graft, phony army contracts, and personal profiteering. Once Brigham Young had been termed the worst menace in the country; but now he was lauded for the stand he had taken. Even the New York Tribune gave their full support to the Mormons for what they did.

It was Buchanan’s turn to be on the receiving end of bad publicity and public criticism. Little did he know he would fulfill a sorrowful prophecy of Brigham Young’s:

You will see the old man go down to the grave in disgrace. He has cast off his political friends, and they cast him off as a thing of naught, and he will become a hiss and a byword. (Juve. Inst. 19:43)

James Buchanan became one of the most despised of all the presidents. He died a lonely, wifeless, and childless recluse. After the death of this 15th U.S. president, the New York Times editor wrote:

The last five years must have been full of bitter days to James Buchanan. To live in silence, and retirement and [210] obloquy,–his name the most detested of any name in America; to sit in his home, with the years rapidly bending him to the grave, and feel that, after so much power and honor, and above all, so many opportunities, he was the most unpopular of Americans. (as quoted in the Mill. Star 28:57)

Perhaps Buchanan’s last contribution to the Utah Saints, though somewhat indirect, was the fact that the Mormons were able to buy $3 million worth of property at auction for less than $100,000. This could be considered as partial retribution for the lands and property the Saints had lost in Missouri and Illinois. It was estimated by Col. Kane that “the value of the property of which the Mormons were dispossessed in Missouri is currently estimated at over $20 million.” (Mormonism, Americanism, and Politics, p. 562)

It is interesting to note that the four most active Mormon leaders in the Utah War–Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, Lot Smith, an Robert T. Burton–were three years later (1862) enlisted in the service of the U.S. Cavalry to protect the mail and telegraph lines during the Civil War. Ironically, Jefferson Davis, John B. Floyd, and Albert Sidney Johnston, who previously had wanted to destroy the Utah Mormons, fought with the Southern rebels against the United States.

In retrospect, the bloodless Utah War actually proved to be influential in the starting of the Civil War, and it set up the U.S. Government for a conflict that would be much more costly. With the cream of the American Army out in the west, involving its top military men and officers, supplies and equipment, it gave the South a reason to feel secure in starting a war with the North.

The turnabout in the Utah War earned the Mormons a slight glimmer of respect, but it was short-lived. That tiny glow of light on the political horizon was a sunset rather than a [211] sunrise. The kingcrafters of the country again sat in their secret chambers plotting better ways for economic and political sovereignty over the Mormons. Since they had lost militariy, they would have to try a different approach.

[212]                       Under the Color of Law

Government politicians and kingcrafters succeeded in driving the Mormons out of the United States and then enjoyed taking over their lands and buildings. With the sweet taste of success, they decided to once again benefit from the assets of the hard-working Saints in the Salt Lake Valley; so they tried to use their military powers to rob them again. Since this attempt was unsuccessful, they approached it from another angle–they would resort to lawyers. By acting under the color of law, the kingcrafters could continue their legal piracy until both church and personal property would be confiscated. After all, politicians and lawyers are close bedfellows.

In 1852 Brigham Young announced publicly that plural marriage was a tenet of the Mormon faith. In 1856 the Republican party included polygamy along with slavery as one of the twin relics of barbarism. By February 15, 1860, the Republican senator from Vermont introduced a bill to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the territories. This was definitely a law against the first amendment in the Bill of Rights. Congress had no power to act against the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof. But that didn’t matter. Since this bill was directed only at the Mormons in the territories, it was bound to be approved.

On April 5, 1860, the House of Representatives passed the anti-polygamy bill by a vote of 149 to 60. One year later the Civil War began. In April of 1862 Senator Morrill added a part about “the accumulation of property and wealth of the community in the hands of what may be called theocratic institutions, inconsistent with our form of government.” (Mor., Amer., & Pol., p. 498) This would limit the Mormon Church holdings to $50,000 or else it would have to be forfeited to the United States Government. On July 2, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the anti-polygamy bill.

[213] Lincoln, like Stephen A. Douglas, had met the Prophet Joseph Smith, and had even sat in a session in which he heard the Nauvoo Charter read. He once exclaimed that he would treat the Mormons like a large tree in his field–too hard to burn and too big to remove, so he would leave it alone and just plow around it. But “Honest Abe” soon changed his view.

Strange as it may seem, many of the states were seceding from the Union at the time when the Mormons were trying to join it. Some of the states were discarding the Constitution, while Mormons were defending it. The Union was trying to keep the rebels as states, but was refusing the admission of Utah as a state.

Lincoln’s destiny to be president of the United States came about because he took the place of a man who had turned against the Mormons. However, shortly after taking the oath to support the Constitution, he, too, turned against the Saints and was later “tipped” from the glory, honor and power of his office.

By the use of his political power, Lincoln promulgated a hatred against the Mormons together with a diabolical unconstitutional law that put many good men in jail, causing poverty and sorrow to their families. Just as Douglas and Buchanan, Lincoln would suffer the consequences of Divine justice. In 1857 Heber C. Kimball had pronounced a prophecy upon both Buchanan (1857-61) and Lincoln (1861-65) when he said:

Will the President that sits in the chair of state be tipped from his seat? Yes, he will die an untimely death, and God Almighty will curse him; and He will also curse his successor, if he takes the same stand; and he will curse all those that are his coadjutors, and all who sustain him. * * * They shall be cursed, every man that lifts his heel against us from this day forth. (JD 5:133)

[214] Lincoln described his antagonism toward the Mormons in a letter to a Protestant minister:

. . . two cankers are biting the very entrails of the United States today; the Romish and the Mormon priests. Both are equally at work to form a people of the most abject, ignorant and fanatical slaves, who will recognize no other but their supreme pontiffs. Both are aiming at the destruction of our schools, themselves under our grand and holy principles of liberty of conscience to destroy that very liberty of conscience and bind the world before their heavy and ignominious yoke. The Mormon and Jesuit priests are equally and uncompromising enemies of our constitution and our laws; but the more dangerous of the two is the Jesuit–the Roman priest, for he knows better how to conceal his hatred under the mask of friendship and public good; he is better trained to commit the most cruel and diabolical deeds for the glory of God. (Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, by Pastor Chinequy, p. 488)

How often when men gain wealth, power, and position they soon use it for abusive and evil means! With all that power and authority come temptations which few men can withstand, and they begin to “exercise unrighteous dominion” over others (D & C 121:39), even at the cost of lives and the destruction of their country. It was observed in 1860 that–

While these men (politicians) were drawing pay from the treasury of the United States, they were plotting for the destruction of the Union of the states, and while they were holding confidential relations with the chief executive, they were in constant communication with the insurgents, sending them information accessible only to the high officials of the government; and they remained in place as long as they could best serve their fellow conspirators, without exceeding the bounds of their personal safety. (History of the United States, Bryant, Gay, Brooks, 4:440)

[215] John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, wrote a secret letter as early as November 20, 1860, describing the states he wanted to secede from the Union. Even the death of Lincoln was a conspiracy within a conspiracy. Political ambition seems to cause an over-zealous desire for two things–more money and more power.

The kingcrafters in Washington, D.C., of all people, decided that they were worthy to make legislation on morality. How much positive influence does a minister have with the public when they know he visits prostitutes? Or how much confidence do legislators inspire when their own morals and standards are corrupt?

The people in holy offices have been forbidden from passing judgment in civil legislation; so, too, should political leaders restrain themselves from passing laws on religious morality. The first of the “Blue Laws” was now instituted and was directed to the Mormons.

About this time, a new political scheme was invented: sell land to the citizens; then keep raising the property taxes until they have difficulty paying the tax; then take the land away from them. Here was another piece of political corruption which has been going on ever since. Orson Pratt described how this applied to the Mormons:

By and by, after having secured this soil to our government by the Mormon Battalion, and having redeemed it from its sterility, and built upwards of a hundred towns and settlements, it was sold to us. Did we find fault at having to pay for it? No. When the land office was opened in this territory two or three years ago, we considered it all right and we were willing to pay our money for it. but what now? A bill is before Congress the object of which is to deprive us of the lands which we have paid for. The Government has got our [216] money in its Treasury for lands we have bought and paid for, and for which it bargained to give us a deed and entered into a compact that we and our children after us should possess this land forever, and now Congress has got up a law to deprive every man in this territory, whose religious faith happens to differ from Congress, of these lands. Because we happen to differ on certain religious points with the General Government, we are to be deprived of our homestead rights, guaranteed to us, and to the people of all the territories of the United States by the laws of Congress. (JD 13:137)

In 1870 another anti-Mormon bill was proposed by Shelly M. Cullom of Illinois. It stipulated that all probate judges, justices, judges of elections, notaries and sheriffs be appointed by the governor of the territory. Anyone who even believed in polygamy was judged incompetent for public office, jury duty, or voting. A test vote was to be used.

This political masterpiece afflicted the Mormons with packed juries, test oaths, a wife to testify against her husband, confiscation of property without due process, and deprivation of self-government.

This corrupt law caught Brigham Young in its sweep and he was arrested and sent to jail. It was a part of the great “crusade” against Mormons, where politicians were telling people what they could believe and do within their own religion.

The wonderful Protestant “Christians” of the United States Government were demonstrating an age-old form of political pressure once practiced by Catholicism. The Protestants once suffered horrible injustices under the priestly powers of the Catholics, so now it was their turn to do the same against the Mormons. Eventually Congress would introduce over 20 anti-polygamy bills, mostly because of so many letters from the clergy.

[217] In 1874 another piece of legislation was introduced against the Mormons known as the Poland Bill. It was designed to take the power away from local courts in prosecuting polygamists and to hand it over to federal officers.

However, both the Poland and Cullom Bills were still not enough to satisfy the Washington politicians. Next they presented a bill written by Senator Edmunds. Hubert H. Bancroft described the questionable value of these three bills:

Both of these measures were sufficiently ill-advised and rank, perhaps among the clumsiest specimens of legislation as yet devised by man; but it remained for the Edmunds Bill to cap the climax of absurdity. (Bancroft’s History of Utah, p. 683)

The Edmunds Bill would take away rights without a trial by jury or an opportunity of appeal. This bill was passed in 1882 with applause from these “patriots” who swore with an oath to God to support liberty and the Constitution. It was political despotism and kingcraft in the extreme!

The wilful depredation of the government was very obvious to most Americans, but the politicians delighted in the destruction of Mormonism–lawful or unlawful. It was an abomination that made the heavens weep and caused the wrath of the Lord to be aroused. In 1880 He revealed the following to Wilford Woodruff:

The hour is at the door when My wrath and indignation will be poured out upon the wicked of this nation. Their murders, blasphemies, lying, whoredoms, and abominations have come up before my face and before the heavens, and the wrath of my indignation is full.

[218] I have decreed plagues to go forth and waste my enemies, and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute my heritage.

The devil is ruling over his kingdom and my spirit has no place in the hearts of the rulers of this nation, and the devil stirs them up to defy my power and to make war upon my Saints. * * *

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed, and with famine and plagues and earthquakes and the thunder of heaven and the vivid lightnings shall this nation and the nations of the earth be made to feel the chastening hand of an Almighty God until they are broken up and destroyed and wasted away from under heaven, and no power can stay my hand. (Revelations, 1880-1890, Pioneer Press, pp. 8, 11)

In spite of such outrageous anti-Mormon laws, the gentile politicians devised further measures to gain the power they wanted in this territory. In the 1874 election in Tooele County, they dishonestly managed to receive more than a thousand votes over the number of eligible voters. The outcry of “fraud” didn’t matter–the end justified the means.

Many Mormons were refused the right to vote simply because they were Mormons. On the other hand, many votes were cast by dead people and also–

It was charged that the railroads had brought in loads of men to vote the Gentile ticket, who, through the cooperation of the registrars and judges of the election, had been permitted to vote. (The Utah Commission, Stewart Lofgren Grow, doctoral dissertation, Univ. of Utah, p. 211)

Another point to be considered was that the term “unlawful cohabitation” referred only to plural marriage. If a man had a mistress, a prostitute or was an adulterer, it did not apply to him, and such actions were of minor consequence. It was all right to have more than one woman, but not more than one wife!

[219] With the passage of the Edmunds Bill, a new war began against the Saints–not of bullets and bombs, but of bribes, trials, prisons, and always “rewards.” The battle began during the administration of Brigham Young and continued through John Taylor’s and Wilford Woodruff’s presidencies. The crusade included surprise raids on men’s homes, farms, businesses and families. Some wives and mothers were imprisoned along with the men. Many women went to jail for contempt of court when they would not testify against their husbands or fathers.

Federal officials used a “segregation ruling” so a man could be convicted for every day he was found living with a plural wife–meaning it was possible to go to jail for the rest of his life.

To avoid arrest many polygamists went into “the underground,” to Mexico, or to Canada. There was little protection of a man’s inalienable rights within the United States or among its territories. The land of liberty was fast becoming a land of tyranny, as far as the Mormons were concerned.

As a result of harsh enforcement of the law, the whole community was terrorized. Special government funds had been provided for the purpose, a large force of deputy marshals was employed, and a system of espionage inaugurated. “Hunting cohabs” became a lucrative employment. (Whitney’s History of Utah, p. 388)

Deputies were disguised as hobos, tourists, or salesmen. They would snoop around at night peeking at potential victims through windows, stopping and questioning children coming home from school, and even breaking into homes in the middle of the night and hauling men and women off to jail.

[220] The First Presidency of the Church had to go underground to avoid such injustices and prison. However, they did write a letter to be read at the April 4, 1885, General Conference, which stated:

Juries have been selected for the express purpose of convicting men who are prominent in the Church; and their partisan bias has become so thoroughly known in the community, that the common expression is, that an accusation in the courts, as now constituted, is equivalent to a conviction. The rule of jurisprudence which has come down for ages past has been that the accused shall be deemed innocent until proved guilty. In our courts, we are sorry to say, this has been reversed. * * *

We are fully conscious of our innocence of all violation of the laws of God or of Constitutional laws enacted by man. But if there are laws made to entrap us, because of our belief in and practice of the revelations which God has given to His Church, which a court and jury shall decide we have violated, we desire at least that it shall be upon what all the world calls good evidence and substantial proof, and not upon religious prejudice, and through a determination to convict and punish, evidence or no evidence. We ought, at least, to have the same rights that burglars, thieves and murderers are accorded under the law. (Mess. of the 1st Pres., 3: 6, 8)

However, the war was not considered won until all political rights were taken away from the Mormons; until all polygamists were locked up in jail; and until all their land was taken away from them. This would take another act of Congress.

It came in 1887 in the form of the Edmunds-Tucker Act. Included in its conditions was that all female suffrage in the territory was abolished, thus reducing the Mormon vote by at least half. A Mormon could be prevented from voting, holding [221] office, or serving on a jury if he even believed in polygamy. The Perpetual Emigration Fund was abolished and its property confiscated. President Grover Cleveland supported this himself. The Mormon Church was disincorporated and all property over $50,000 was confiscated.

The two Democratic administrations of Buchanan and Cleveland–the only ones of the kind in thirty-one years–stand out as the blackest pages in American History, so far as the treatment of the people of Utah is concerned. . . . (Lights and Shadows of Mormonism, Josiah Gibbs, p. 335)

The Deseret Weekly printed the following article describing the appalling conditions of the Church and its members at this time:

A direct effort to destroy the temporal power of the Church, the enactment of the Edmunds-Tucker Act brought added pressure to an already difficult situation. Almost every Mormon male of any distinction was in prison or hiding, and many women were also forced to flee their homes. The economy stagnated and businesses were abandoned or limped along under inexperienced management. The Church, which had always been a central factor in the stimulation of the Saints’ economy, was forced out of this activity when it was needed most. In addition, the expenses of the Church were now greater than usual, and income was much less. Under the mounting debt, the Church found it increasingly difficult to fulfill its missionary, educational, charitable, and business responsibilities. * * *

It appeared that the warning of one of the judges would be fulfilled: “The will of the American people is expressed, (severely) and this law will go on and grind you and your institution to powder”. (Oct. 21, 1885, p. 625)

The Edmunds-Tucker Act was just what the national politicians had been hoping for. This was the bow that would [222] propel the arrow to their target–the land, buildings and money of the Mormons. The day after the death of President John Taylor, the government lawyer, George S. Peters, commenced suit to confiscate all Church property over $50,000, which was estimated to be over $3 million. U.S. Marshal Frank Dyer began taking over all the assets.

In succeeding weeks, upon the request of the receiver and with the reservation that an appeal would be made, church authorities voluntarily surrendered the structures built on Temple Block, the General Tithing Office, the Church Historian’s Office, the Gardo House, the Church Farm in Salt Lake City, the Office of the President of the Church (including all financial records), and the assets of the Perpetual Emigrating Company. (Great Basin Kingdom, Arrington, p. 368)

Then these “claim jumpers” thought up another money-making scheme: after all this Mormon property had been seized, since they had no use for it, they would rent it back to the Church. The Temple Block, the General Tithing Office, and the–

. . . Church Historian’s Office were rented back to the church for $300 (later reduced to $200) per month until March 1890, when the rent was raised to $500 per month; the Gardo House was rented to the church for $75 per month until April 1890, when the rent was raised to $450 per month; and the Church Farm was leased to the church for $50 a month until June 1889, when the rent was raised to $401 per month. Clerks in the Office of the President of the Church were discharged and two deputy marshals were placed in charge. (Ibid., p. 369)

Greed never seems to be satisfied, so the confiscation of all this property was not enough. The federal agents then decided that since they were so successful in obtaining the [223] large assets of the Church, they would continue by taking over the smaller ones, too. They took stock in the Salt Lake Street Railroad, the Provo Woollen Mills, Z.C.M.I., and Zions Savings Bank. They were delighted with their loot and continued to take coal mines, the Deseret News, Deseret Telegraph Co., and the Salt Lake Dramatic Association, plus nearly $300,000 in cash. Then they grabbed cattle, sheep, horses, hay, grain and other farm products. It was amazing how profitable a little legislation by politicians and lawyers could be! This was turning out to be the most profitable craft of all crafts!

If the stories about the Mormons as printed in the Eastern newspapers in the 1880’s were true, then Salt Lake City was becoming one of the worst communities for crime in the United States. By simple investigation, however, the facts proved otherwise, as a non-Mormon Utah commissioner, A. B. Carlton, wrote:

It is a fact, shown by statistics, that while only about one-fifth of the population are Gentiles, they contribute at least four-fifths of the crimes of a heinous character. (CHC 6:56)

Federal political leaders were planning to bring all of their “arts and crafts” into the area so we could be more like them!

Our outside friends say they want to civilize us here. What do they mean by civilization? Why they mean by that, to establish gambling holes–they are called gambling hells–grog shops and houses of ill fame on every corner of every block in the city; also swearing, drinking, shooting and debauching each other. Then they would send their missionaries here with faces as long as jackasses’ ears, who would go crying and groaning through the streets, “Oh, what a poor, miserable, sinful world!” That is what is meant by civilization. That is what priests and deacons want to introduce here; tradesmen [224] want it, lawyers and doctors want it, and all hell wants it. But the Saints do not want it, and we will not have it. [Congregation said Amen.] (Brigham Young, JD 12:286-287)

Out of the twenty counties of the territory, most of which are populous, thirteen are today without a dram-shop, brewery, gambling or brothel-house, bowling or billiard saloon, lawyer, doctor, parson, beggar, politician or place-hunter, and almost entirely free from social troubles of every kind; yet these counties are exclusively “Mormon;” and with the exception of a now-and-then domestic doctor or lawyer, the entire territory was free from these adjuncts of civilization (?) till after the advent of the professing Christian element, boastingly here to “regenerate the Mormons,” and today every single disreputable concern in Utah is run and fostered by the very same Christian (?) element. Oaths, imprecations, blasphemies, invectives, expletives, blackguardism, the ordinary dialect of the “anti-Mormon,” were not heard in Utah till after his advent, nor till then, did we have litigation, drunkenness, harlotry, political and judicial deviltries, gambling and kindred enormities. (John Taylor, JD 23:59)

The Gentiles believed that women in polygamy were slaves, so they decided to save them. A huge mansion, or hotel, was constructed by the government so the polygamous wives who escaped would be able to find refuge. However, once again, this turned out to be another bureaucracy blunder, as the following news article reported in 1928:

Old Fifth East Hotel is Sold. Property built by government for $300,000 finally sold for $15,000. Built forty-four years ago as a reputed cost of $300,000, what is now know as the Fifth East Hotel, was placed on the auction block Saturday and “knocked down” to $15,000 before it found a purchaser.

The Fifth East Hotel was built originally as a home for the polygamous wives of Utah, but was not long devoted to that purpose. (S.L. Tribune, Apr. 29, 1928)

[225] Built for “women struggling in the chains of polygamy,” it had four unsuccessful years and the project had to be abandoned. “The Home for Polygamous Wives” soon became one of those private territorial jokes and by 1892 it was recognized as a failure. (Utah Chronicle, Nov. 27, 1978, p. 1) On June 15, 1893, the home closed its doors.

Samuel W. Taylor wrote made an interesting comment about this fiasco:

The “slave wife” issue so captivated the public imagination that . . . the Gentiles actually raised the money and built an imposing building in Salt Lake as a “refuge”. Much to the dismay of the backers, only one woman took advantage of the refuge, and the project was abandoned in confusion when it was discovered that she was not a slave wife, but a prostitute. (I Have Six Wives, Taylor, p. 11)

This building, pictured below, was a monument to the stupidity of our Washington politicians and kingcrafters:

(Picture of building)

[226] Notwithstanding the great political strides made by the Edmunds-Tucker Act in legalizing the confiscation of Church property and imprisonment of its leaders, more new bills were proposed. One was the “Cullom-Struble Bill”. It would disenfranchise the Mormon people and take away all their personal property. In the election of 1888, in order to rid themselves, if possible, of intolerable political conditions–

. . . large numbers of the Latter-day Saints withdrew from membership in the Church, that they might qualify as electors by taking the test oath to the effect that they were not only not bigamists or polygamists, but that they were not even members of “any sect or organization which teaches, advises, or encourages the practice of bigamy or polygamy, or any other crime defined by law, as a duty or privilege resulting, or arising from the faith or practice of such order or organization.” (CHC 6:213)

The Federal Government was administering Test Oaths to Mormons on religious issues. The Catholic Church had used similar oaths, but they had been confined to their own church. The political progress of America was reversing itself to a kingcraft of over 600 years ago, superseding the darkness of the Dark Ages.

Were the Washington politicians so blind and naive as to think that their restrictions and laws would cause a devout people to give up their beliefs and practices of eternal Gospel principles? Where did these government leaders get the right to prohibit people from voting and holding public office and incarcerating them because of religious differences? Why was such a belief in plural marriage so terrible that they sought to destroy a whole church and take away all of its property?

These politicians didn’t include in their tirades any other “immoral” acts such as prostitution, homosexuality, adultery, [227] etc. They even thought it was fashionable to have their mistresses. In fact, most of them were guilty of immoral sins themselves. It was strictly the polygamist who was to be destroyed–religiously, socially and financially.

How strange that the Bible sanctioned plural marriage but recommended death for serious moral sins. A reversal in moral standards was now in force: that which was sanctioned by the Lord was forbidden, and that which was forbidden by the Lord was sanctioned by the politicians. Kingcrafters were claiming more and more victories.

In the local elections city after city passed into their hands. In 1889, after a close and hotly contested municipal election in which the Saints again levied charges of fraud, Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah’s principal cities, were captured by the Liberals whose jubilation knew no bounds. The dominant influence of Utah public life by the Mormons was at an end, and with it died a fascinating and challenging era in American History. (Mor., Amer. & Pol., Vetterli, p. 683)

From both outside and inside the Church, people clamored for some form of compromise with the U.S. Government. President Wilford Woodruff finally decided to issue a political compromise:

National leaders and church leaders are said to have entered into a “compact”. We do not know whether such a “compact” was actually made, but at least the agreement and actions which it is said to have involved did take place. (“Religion and Economics in Mormon History,” Arrington, BYU Studies 3:31-32)

Leonard Arrington recalled further:

As a part of the “deal” by which this was arranged, church officials are said to have given congressional and [228] administration leaders to understand that they would support a proposition to prohibit forever the practice of polygamy in Utah; that the church would dissolve its Peoples’ Party and divide itself into Republican and Democratic supporters; and that the church would discontinue its alleged fight against Gentile business and relax its own economic efforts. Some or all of these pledges may not have been made, but certain people later alleged that they were made and that the granting of statehood to Utah in 1896, the restoration of church property in 1894 and 1896, and the amnesties granted to Mormon polygamists in 1893 and 1894, were all conditioned upon this understanding. (Great Basin Kingdom, p. 379)

Thus, the Mormons gave up plural marriage, the United Order, and their political system. The pledge was the Manifesto. Tensions were alleviated, prosecutions diminished, and better feelings between Mormons and Gentiles ensued. But what a price to pay!

History records the similarities between the Latter-day Saints and the Israelites of the Old Testament. They, too, chose to become as the rest of the world and begged Samuel for a king “like all the nations.” The Lord told Samuel to–

Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (I Sam. 8:7)

The Lord said to “make them a king,” but to first warn them what would happen under a king’s reign. The rest of Chapter 8 in 1 Samuel describes the servitude that would result; but the people still insisted on a king!

Today, Americans have insisted on having the kingcraft of politicians rather than the Kingdom of God. And, as before, the King of kings has granted their wish.

[229]                            CONCLUSION:


We Can’t Serve Two Masters

Nearly everything pertaining to God can be, and usually is, duplicated by the devil, who is the master imitator, forger, counterfeiter, and deceiver. Lehi warned his son Jacob, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11) And in our day, Joseph Smith warned us:

False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones. * * * In relation to the kingdom of God, the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God. (TPJS, p. 365)

When doctors, lawyers, priests and kings use their skills and talents to benefit themselves before their fellowmen–thus turning their profession into a craft–they then become part of the devil’s counterfeit system. They become an integral part of the kingdoms of the world–the devil’s kingdom, whose power currently covers the earth. The Kingdom of God is now merely a small stone in comparison. However, it will roll forth and become mighty and eventually overcome the kingdom of the devil. H. Verlan Andersen defined these two kingdoms:

The kingdom of the Devil is as much a physical reality as the kingdom of God. The scriptures describe both as actual organizations among men her on earth. If the kingdom of [230] God is “an order of government established by divine authority” as the prophets have said, we may assume that the kingdom of the Devil is an order of government established under his influence and subject to his control. This conclusion is supported by the thesis advanced herein that the devil’s church is prostituted government because according to the words of Nephi, the Great and Abominable Church and the Kingdom of the Devil are one and the same. (The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil, Andersen, p. 154)

The devil and Christ are antagonists. They will never make a peace treaty. They won’t even shake hands! They are both dedicated to their own cause and always will be. There can be no union between the Prince of Light and the prince of darkness. They each represent good and evil, right and wrong, negative and positive. Compromises, mergers, and manifestos are not even a possibility between these two opposite forces.

Both Christ and Satan have a priesthood, and they each have their apostles and devoted followers. It should be impossible, likewise, for these two groups of followers to make compromises and treaties with each other, for the Savior said:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt. 6:24)

… “they that are not for us are against us.” So say I, and who can’t see that all these merchants, lawyers, and doctors are not for us. Their interests are not identified with ours, neither do they care for our welfare and property. (T & S, editorial, 5:675)

Yet most Christians want to take some kind of a middle road and serve Christ without offending the devil. But as the scripture says, this just can’t be done.

[231] The nations, governments, and businesses of the world are part of one huge “corporation” named “Babylon, the Great.” The power, glory and dominion of today’s Babylon would make ancient Babylon green with envy. But in reality, the great world leaders who appear so marvelous in the eyes of the people are not pleasing before Lord:

But you take those who bear the sway among men, those who hold the affairs of the nations in their hands, catch them in the dark, and they are the lowest of the creations of God. (Brigham Young, JD 14:83)

As in the days of Noah, God will not let this condition continue much longer. Because of this universal wickedness, great destructions will take place, and all corrupt powers and false crafts, even all nations, will be destroyed:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Dan. 2:44)

Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you and thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain–and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. (Ether 8:23)

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and [232] chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations. (D & C 87:6)

And any kingdom, or government, or dominion that is not under my direction, and does not acknowledge me, I will not acknowledge, saith the Lord of hosts;

And if they fight against me and my laws, and my Church, and my Kingdom, they shall be overthrown in mine own due time, for I have so decreed. Even so, Amen. (“1882 Revelation to John Taylor”, Revelations, 1880-1890, Pioneer Press, p. 34)

What is the responsibility, then, of the righteous Saints who have to live in such worldly conditions? Is there any hope for them to survive all this destruction? There is if they first recognize the false crafts and wickedness that exist and then remove themselves from it.

There is such unlimited power to do evil, which the wicked use for the oppression of the feeble, to oppress the poor, the honest in heart, whom they rule by priestcraft, kingcraft, and every other wicked craft that mankind in their degeneracy can devise, so that it would seem almost impossible even for the Almighty to establish His kingdom and save His people, without withdrawing them from the wicked nations. (Daniel H. Wells, JD 9:261)

As this has been the case in every former age and dispensation, so it is now; hence the Latter-day Saints in every part of the globe are commanded to gather out from the midst of wickedness, corruption and priest-craft, and every abomination that exists, and assemble themselves in one place. For what purpose? That we may be separated from the world and its corruptions, which would otherwise work our temporal and spiritual destruction. (Orson Pratt, JD 12:303)

Many times early LDS Church leaders warned that if the Saints did not reject wickedness and live righteously that God [233] would raise up a people from among this people to accomplish His purposes, i.e.–

God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and the humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His priesthood; for it is the last time, the last gathering time. (Brigham Young, Cont. 10:362)

. . . a people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good works, willing to do the bidding of the Lord, who will be taught in His ways, and who will walk in His paths. (Daniel Wells, Des. News, Nov. 6, 1875)

I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew. . . . (Orson Pratt, JD 15:357)

The Savior used three parables in referring to this great separation between the righteous and the wicked–comparing the people to fish, sheep and wheat:

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. (Matt. 13:47-49)

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matt. 25:31-33)

[234] The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. * * * Let both (wheat and tares) grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matt. 13:24, 30)

If there is to be this great sifting between the good fish and bad, the sheep and goats, and the wheat and tares, then where is the dividing line? Who will be burned and who will be saved? Certainly those who support or practice the four crafts spoken of here will not be on the right hand of Christ.

Christians throughout the world offer up the Lord’s prayer, saying, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) But are we really sincere in this prayer when we continue support to doctorcraft, lawyercraft, priestcraft and kingcraft–crafts that don’t even exist in heaven?

If we understood the doctrines of Christ and would practice them, we would not stand in need of much government. Being possessed of a knowledge of the truth, and having a desire in our hearts to obey it, we would not need judges and lawyers, governors and rulers, for God would be our governor, and Christ would be our lawgiver, and we would delight to obey Him. (Joseph F. Smith, Coll. Disc. 4:295)

It stands to reason, then, if we support these four crafts, we do not understand the doctrines of Christ, nor do we possess “a knowledge of the truth, and have a desire in our hearts to obey it.” Thus, it is difficult today to find many Saints who stand valiantly for Christ and His Kingdom.

[235]                      Four Righteous Pursuits

What a difference it would make if all doctors, lawyers, priests, and kings would heed the advice of the Savior when He said:

But he that is greatest among you, shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matt. 23:11-12)

Those engaged in the practices of medicine, law, religion, and politics can all play important roles in the building of God’s Kingdom if they use their knowledge and abilities in the true service of their fellowmen. We will close this book with passages showing how this can be done in each of these four areas:

Doctors–using the power of God to heal the sick and promote good health

And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy. (3 Ne. 17:6-7)

And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus. (4 Ne. v. 5)

[236] I [Joseph Smith] preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison. (TPJS, p. 190)

Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane to any community. Give your children, when sick, a little simple herb drink; and if they have eaten too much let them go without food until their stomachs are cleansed and purified, and have faith in the name of Jesus and in the ordinances of His Church, and they will live. That is my faith with regard to this thing. (Brigham Young, JD 14:109)

Who is the real doctor? That man who knows by the spirit of revelation what ails an individual and by the same spirit knows what medicine to administer. That is the real doctor, the others are quacks. (Brigham Young, JD 15:226)

Lawyers–teaching the laws of God and settling disputes peacefully

. . . the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 51)

If, then, we admit that God is the source of all wisdom and understanding, we must admit that by His direct [237] inspiration He has taught man that law is necessary in order to govern and regulate His own immediate interest and welfare; for this reason, that law is beneficial to promote peace and happiness among men. And as before remarked, God is the source from whence proceeds all good; and if man is benefited by law, then certainly law is good; and if law is good, then law, or the principle of it emanated from God; for God is the source of all good; consequently, then, he was the first Author of law, or the principle of it, to mankind. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pp. 55-56)

Lawyers are called upon to explain the civil law, and we must be lawyers in the law of the Priesthood, to read, comprehend, and correctly teach the writings of Moses, of the Psalmist, of the Prophets and Apostles, or to tell the truth as it comes fresh from heaven, independent of reading from any book. (Brigham Young, JD 7:202)

If a wrong arises, the party wronged will go to his neighbor and quietly investigate whether wrong was designed; and if the seeming transgressor is living according to the spirit of his religion, it will be found that he had designed no wrong, and that he will make ample amends, forgiveness will be accorded, and the trouble will end. This is the spirit and teaching of the Gospel. Peace prevails. There are no lawsuits or contentions; no work for a poor miserable lawyer, who is seeking to breed disturbance in a community. I do think very low of that class of men! If I had no better business than stirring up strife in a community, I would pray for my end on this earth, that I might go where I belonged. The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles inculcated peace and prevented contention, discord, strife, quarrelling and lawsuits; and the Gospel, today, has the same effects as then. (Brigham Young, JD 13:218)

[238] Priests–teaching the revealed word of God and administering in the                                             saving ordinances

Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed his word and gave power and authority to administer in his name, and where there is a priest of God–a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 271)

Those holding the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 322)

Kings–governing in righteousness and promoting peace and goodwill among all   men

Dan Jones heard Wilson Law . . . declare that while he [Mr. Smith] was once preaching from Daniel 2nd chapter, 44th verse, [he] said that the kingdom referred to was already set up, and that he was the king over it. (DHC 6:568-569)

We understand that we are to be made kings and priests unto God; now if I be made the king and lawgiver to my family, and if I have many sons, I shall become the father of many fathers, for they will have sons, and their sons will have sons, and so on, from generation to generation, and, in this way, I may become the father of many fathers, or the king of many kings. This will constitute every man a prince, king, lord, or whatever the Father sees fit to confer upon us.

In this way we can become king of kings, and lord of lords, or father of fathers, or prince of princes, and this is the only course, for another man is not going to raise up a kingdom for you. (Brigham Young, JD 3:266)

[239] There is not a king, governor, or ruler, but what desires, and is endeavouring to obtain the influence that I and my brethren possess and are lawfully striving to obtain. Do you suppose that there was ever a President of the United States but what desired the confidence of his constituents? No, never. Was there ever a senator, a representative, a governor of a state, a politician, or a priest, but what desired the same power in his sphere that I have in mine? They cannot get it, because they do not know how. What is the reason? They have not got the Kingdom of God, which binds the people together. They are ignorant of it, though we have travelled, barefooted and almost naked, to preach it to them; and I say that they are to be pitied. (Brigham Young, JD 5:75)

This Priesthood, including that of the Aaronic, holds the keys of revelation of the oracles of God to man upon the earth; the power and right to give laws and commandments to individuals, churches, rulers, nations and the world; to appoint, ordain, and establish constitutions and kingdoms; to appoint kings, presidents, governors or judges, and to ordain or anoint them to their several holy callings, also to instruct, warn, or reprove them by the word of the Lord. (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1885, p. 66)

* * *

Our test now is learning the difference between the work of the Lord and the crafts of the devil, and then supporting the one and condemning the other. We have been instructed to prepare to build up Zion and not spend another day building up Babylon. Brigham Young made this very clear:

Brother Joseph Smith gave us the word of the Lord; it was simply this: “Never do another day’s work to build up a Gentile city; never lay out another dollar while you live, to advance the world in its present state; . . .” (JD 11:294-295)

[240] Establishing Zion was the constant theme of the ancient prophets. The term Zion is used in over 100 references in the Doctrine and Covenants. These great patriarchs longed for the time when the Zion of Christ’s Kingdom was once again be established on earth. Then it would be as it was in the days of Enoch when “the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (P of GP, Moses 7:18)

The Lord certainly was talking to the people in our day when he said:

Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.

Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;

Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.” (Doc. & Cov. 27:15-18)

Through truth, righteousness, preparation, and faith, the valiant Saints will receive His Spirit. The crafts of the devil will be detected, overcome, and eliminated, and the Zion of our God and Christ will be established.


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