Continued on Pace El even.. ,
wlfery" this -; branch of the church de
nounces as^ pernicious.-; .'. ,
"We are > visionary. people,", 'says this
big; : common-sense i looking man. -Which
is ¦; perhaps • the kindest \ thing ; to * say ¦ of
those \ who X believe in Joseph ¦' Smith , the
prophet. Unbelievers; are divided as to
whether he was a fraud or a dupe. "Ours
is . the only ; church : that believes in \ living
prophets and apostles. - ; We believe in rev
elations now i as >rell as -when* Christ i was
onr earth: T- It -was ' revealed - to • my \ father
that he should found a. church, of which
he was to be the prophet; and before he
died, if was revealed to him that my
brother Joseph should succeed him as
prophet. Prophets: succeed each other In
a' direct ' line, but where a prophet ; has
PROPHETS and patriarchs have been
out of fashion a long time. Now and
then some one ir«cs to start the
tty'.c asaln. and the strange part
of it is hf t*nal**y* rtnd saxre followers.
Ju«t now there is a men on the Western
coast who claims hiimulf to be a P a^i
arch. the son of x -.jropliet dead, the
brother of a propfaA living.. This la Al
exander II. Smith. 5on of Joseph Smith,
the prophet and founder of the Church
of Jesus- Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Joseph Smith; hi* brother, is now tli«?
of tho chVrch.
% Alexander Sn;iih hails from Lamonl.
Iowa, ar.d is out here on a proselyting
tour. Down Los Anseles way the saints
have been hcvins a reunion— a sort of
pood, old-time Methodist camp-meeting,
with tents In a rrove and ten days of
prayer and sermons and picnic lunches.
Of course, toe patriarch is the feature of
To tnlnlc or prophets ana patriarchs is
to think of flowing lifir and beard and
robes, eyes that KM over, above and be
yond the everything of *very day, and a
voice that comes out of the future, weary
with Its wight of wisdom of the past.
Cut prophets and patriarchs have
charged since the davs of Aaron and
Elijah, cf Abraham. I?aac and Jacob.
Nowadays they patior.lze barbers— at
Jrr.si occasionally. They near orthodox
nnd Ufflivcoat. v.-alstc«iat and trousers.
ThcJr eyes may have the farav.'ay look
of the visionary, but In the voice.- the
tone of weariness Is f.sily born of much
answering of foolish questions, the irk
sonieness of being doubled.
Alexander Smith is «t big, round, genlrtl
man in a pepper-and-salt suit. He wears
a full beard, but It does not make him
look patriarchal. He; has. rather the. air
of a well-to-do farmer. He : is quick . In
action and speech and when : he , talks : of
they have an unholy /sJf&k
prejudice against hU .^jflP^
church and . that '
they sacrifice Justice /*£___^__^ 1 '
to their reprehensl-. V" — : —
tlonal headlines. , lie
resents such questions as • wnether he Is
the son of his father, and whether every
one who becomes: asalnt must 'take the
name of Smith. Above all, does he resent
being , classed . with ; the . Utah Mormons,
whose heretical . doctrine V of . "spiritual
This record was written on plates of.
gold, about eight inches long and seven
wide, fastened together by three rings.
Each sheet was thinner than tin. and tho
Hidden away on Cumorah Hill. In West
ern Xew York, were tho records, which
to the Saints form the true connecting
link between the New World, and the Old.
They are said to have been written by
the Prophet Mormon, only . some claim
that his name was not Mormon at all, but
Moroni, and that the term Mormon U but
a nickname given to the Saints by their
enemies. At all events, the prophet waa
the last of a prehistoric race that lived
In America both before and after the time
of Christ; and the book of Mormon even
tells of a visit of Christ to America after
Alone In tbe woods he thought and
prayed. One day an anpel came to him
and told hinv if he would live uprightly
his course would be made clear. This he
tried to do and was finally rev/arded by
the return of. the angel, who told him
where to find the plates.
The Saints have always been perse
cuted. There are many stories of their
struggles. Alexander Smith tells how his
father, when about 11 years of age, at
tended a camp-meeting in New York and
had a spiritual awakening. The meeting
was one of al! denominations and when
It ended the different churches squabbled
over the division of converts. This set
the boy to thinking, but he could not
decide which church was right. He was
advised to read his Eible, and turning to
a passage In James he read: "He that
lncketh understanding, let him ask of
God. who giveth liberally and upbraldeUi
Alexander Smith looks well fed. and his
pepper-and-salt suit Is far from thread
bare. Knowing that all his time Is de
voted to church work and that the leaders
of the Saints receive no salary, one nat
urally wonders wherewithal shall proph
ets and patriarchs be clothed and fed.
It is by voluntary contribution. When
ever a Saint f>cls he can afford it he slips
a quarter, half-dollar, a dollar or more)
Into the hand of the leader. It Is said that
the Saints have a sort of personal pride
In eeeing that their priests and bishops
and prophets and patriarchs are well
cared for. Each- donation the patriarch
puts down in a book and at the next
fathering he reads the amounts that have
been given. Perhaps if Saints are no more
than human this performance stimulates
their liberality. The ordinary citizen likes
to see his name at the head of a sub
scription list or to read In the paper that
he bid highest for a box at the charity
circus, or contributed most to the famln*
It was about this time that Joseph
Smith the younger was operated upon by
an Influence that revealed to him that ho
was to be the leader of the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
After the murder of Jo<»er>h Smith, the
first prophet. In 18 H. his 200.000 followers
had scattered to the ends of the earth.
except the handful— some 2^.000 or S.OOO—
which followed Brlgham Young to Utah.
In 1S60 the scattered member* began to
be acted upon by the same Influence that
touched Joseph Smith the younger.
"You see." said Smith, the patriarch.
"we believe In the operation of tho Holy
Ghost, that by Its Influence we are In
formed and directed: and those men who
held the priesthood under my father were
commanded to come together. The Chris
tian church as organized by Christ had
been lost and could not be found among
any of the so-called Christian churches.
It was necessary that there should be a
restoration, and this took place at Am
boy. 111., where my brother became the
leader of t e reorganized church."
The system of the Saints Is based on
that of the primitive church. There is a
confusing number of leaders, at th» head
of which Is the president, now Joseph
Smith, and two counselors, one of which
Is Alexander Smith, who has but recently
been raised to the degrree of patriarch.
Below thi3 presidency of three are the
twelve apostles, the seventies, high
priests, patriarchs, elders, bishops, teach
ers and deacons. Of each of these a cer
tain number constitutes a quorum, and
there are a given number of quorums.
Nexf In Importance to the apostles are
the seventies, or seventy elders, who con
stitute tbe traveling ministry and are sub
ject to be called on missions. When the
church Is fully organized there will ba
seven quorums of seventy, but this, they
say, will not take place until Christ comes
to earth again. There are row but two
quorums. . hence the present activity
among the Saints, for In a measure the
millennium depends upon their zeal.
"In a vision," said Alexander Smith,
"the lives of these four men passed before
me and I saw them meet the fate of that
other lying eenseler* and bleeding In the
glare of the light. It was enough for me.
But It was three or four years before I
entered the church."
It may. seem strange to the unbeliever
that a "prophet, seer and revelator**
whosp relation to the church Is that of
mouthpiece of the Supreme Being, should
have Bpent a good share of his life trav
eling unholy paths. But Alexander Smith
says that after his father's death th»
mother married autside of the church,
and both he and his brother were any
thing but godly men. They were of t he
arth earthy. They loved the dance, the
card table, the bottle. Perhaps they wer«
no worse than other young men; certain
ly they were no better.
It was in a saloon that Alezandsr
Smith's first revelation came. One night
four young men s»at at cards, each Intent
on the game. An old man wan brought
Into the room, dead drunk and hurt by a
fall In the gutter. The younc men played
on. with never a thought of the drunkard.
dors than one son tt mast-to* rcr«a!«4
which son shall succeed him. There w«r«
four of us boys. One Is dead, and th«
fourth one was In the church until W»
Mr. Smith admits that be ml«fct possibly
be the next prophet, but It would hav* to
be revealed to h!s brother Joseph, and
not to hfm.
The patriarch of the church may .b« a
"prophet, seer and revelator." but his
prophecies, seelngs and revelation* are
for his own personal guidance, ar.d tha
church will have none of them. The
church grants that he may have th»»pow
er. but It refuses to recognize any reve
lations but those of the official prophet.
Alexander Smith says he has had many
revelations. Indeed, revelations from God
soem as common to htm as bits of josslp
gathered from his neighbors. It waa a
revelation that caused his conversion.
3 ffLff&TT O^U
PROPHETS AND SONS
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