The manuscript has upon it the signatures of several men of Conneaught, Ohio, who had heard Spaulding read it and knew it to be his. No one can see it and question its genuineness. The manuscript has been printed twice, at least;—once by the Mormons of Salt Lake City, and once by the Josephite Mormons of Iowa. The Utah Mormons obtained the copy of Mr. Rice, at Honolulu, and the Josephites got it of me after it came into my possession.
This manuscript is not the original
of the Book of
James H. Fairchild.
The “Manuscript Story” has been published in full, and comparisons between the same and the Book of Mormon may be made by anyone who has a mind to investigate the subject.
[Footnote 1: For a fuller account of the Book of Mormon, see the author’s “Articles of Faith,” Lectures 14 and 15; published at Salt Lake City, Utah, 1913.]
But we have anticipated the current of events. With the publication of the Book of Mormon, opposition grew more intense toward the people who professed a belief in the testimony of Joseph Smith. On the 6th of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized and thus took on a legal existence. The scene of this organization was Fayette, New York, and but six persons were directly concerned as participants. At that time there may have been and probably were many times that number who had professed adherence to the newly restored faith; but as the requirements of the law governing the formation of religious societies were satisfied by the application of six, only the specified number formally took part. Such was the beginning of the Church, soon to be so universally maligned. Its origin was small—a germ, an insignificant seed, hardly to be thought of as likely to arouse opposition. What was there to fear in the voluntary association of six men, avowedly devoted to peaceful pursuits and benevolent purposes? Yet a storm of persecution was threatened from the earliest day. At first but a family affair, opposition to the work has involved successively the town, the county, the state, the country, and today the “Mormon” question has been accorded extended consideration at the hands of the national government, and indeed most civilized nations have taken cognizance of the same.
Let us observe the contrast between the beginning and the present proportions of the Church. Instead of but six regularly affiliated members, and at most two score of adherents, the organization numbers today many hundred thousand souls. In place of a single hamlet, in the smallest corner of which the members could have congregated, there now are about seventy stakes of Zion and about seven hundred organized wards, each ward and stake with its full complement of officers