Lyman H. Johnson encounters Mormons.
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The History of the Church.
An Introduction and Notes by B. H. Roberts Seven Volumes
This history was produced by assignment from Church leaders at the beginning of the 20th century. The History editor was B. H. Roberts, a prominent LDS leader. Roberts’ assignment was to take the manuscript history produced by Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and his clerks between 1838 and 1857 and publish it together with explanatory notes. The history was written as though dictated by Joseph Smith, however he dictated only a small portion of it. The bulk of the manuscript was based on Church records, Church newspaper excerpts and journals of Joseph Smith kept by various men who recorded his activities as well as the diary entries of men who were with Joseph Smith at various times and places or who performed Church missionary efforts, or other tasks of historical importance. The first six volumes of the history cover the life of Joseph Smith, while volume seven concerns the period of time from the death of Joseph Smith (1844) through 1847 and part of 1848. The purpose of volume seven was to cover various matters about and resulting from Joseph Smith’s death as well as the important problem of who would succeed him as the leader of the Church. The manuscript history was completed only up to 1838 when Joseph Smith was killed. The bulk of the manuscript history text was written following his death. This scan came from the 1902 edition.
ZION’S CAMP–ITS JOURNEY FROM KIRTLAND TO MISSOURI.
A Puzzling Religious Service.
Sunday, June 1.–We had preaching, and many of the inhabitants of the town came to hear. Elder John Carter, who had formerly been a Baptist preacher, spoke in the morning, and was followed by four other Elders in the course of the day, all of whom had formerly been preachers for different denominations.
When the inhabitants heard these Elders they appeared much interested, and were very desirous to know who we were, and we told them one had been a Baptist preacher, and one a Campbellite; one a Reformed Methodist, and another a Restorationer. During the day many questions were asked, but none could learn our names, professions, business, or destination; and, although they suspected we were “Mormons,” they were very civil.6
Our enemies had threatened that we should not cross the Illinois river, but on Monday the 2nd we were ferried over without any difficulty. The ferryman counted, and declared there were five hundred of us, yet our true number was only about one hundred and fifty. Our company had been increased since our departure from Kirtland by volunteers from different branches of the Church through which we had passed. We encamped on the bank of the river until Tuesday the 3rd.
6In addition to confirming the
above narrative of the services on June 1, Elder Heber C. Kimball, in his
journal, adds some very interesting details, as follows:
“On Sunday, June 1, we preached all day, and many of the inhabitants of the town came out to hear. Brother John Carter preached in the morning. By this time the inhabitants began to flock down in companies to hear preaching, as they understood we were professors of religion and had had a meeting in the morning. Brother Joseph then proposed that some of the brethren should set forth different portions of the Gospel in their discourses, as held by the religious world. He called upon Brother Joseph Young to preach upon the principle of free salvation. He then called upon Brigham Young to speak, who set forth baptism as essential to salvation. He was followed by Brother Orson Hyde, who proved by the scriptures that baptism was for the remission of sins. He next called upon Brother Lyman E. Johnson, who spoke at some length upon the necessity of men being upright in their walk, and keeping the sabbath day holy. He then called upon Brother Orson Pratt, who delivered an excellent discourse on the principle of the final restoration of all things. The services of the day were concluded by a powerful exhortation from Eleazer Miller. * * * After the day’s services were over at this place, many strangers were in our camp making remarks upon the preaching which they had heard. They said Brother Joseph Young, by his preaching, they should judge was a Methodist. They thought Brother Brigham Young was a close communion Baptist. Brother Orson Hyde they supposed was a Campbellite or Reformed Baptist. Brother Lyman H. Johnson they supposed was a Presbyterian, and Brother Orson Pratt a Restorationer. They inquired if we all belonged to one denomination. The answer was, we were some of us Baptists, some Methodists, some Presbyterians, some Campbellites, and some Restorationers.” (Times and Seasons., vol. 6, pp. 772-3. )
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