Archive for the ‘John Farkas’ Category

by John Farkas
A DICTIONARY DEFINITION
Persecute1 to afflict or harass constantly so as to injure or distress; oppress cruelly. esp. for reasons of religion, politics, or race. 2 to trouble or annoy constantly…
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Prentice Hall, 1988, 1991, 1994)

First let me clearly say that the persecution (using the #1 definition) of anyone is sinful and evil (Lev. 19:18; Matt 5:43, 19:19, 22:39 to name a few).

It is also wrong and dishonest to claim persecution when calm, quite, factual and non-harassing honest disagreement is voiced. I do not condone nor support the persecution of any people or group.

INTRODUCTION
This article will touch on three points relative to persecution and the Mormon Church:
1) Many LDS claim that the Mormon Church has been persecuted almost from its beginning in 1830. Is this the case?
2) What is not usually addressed is the opposite situation? Have Mormons persecuted others?
3) Were there extenuating circumstances that motivated persecution by both Mormons and non-Mormons?

To the best of my knowledge no in depth study has been completed on these subjects as a whole. There have been many good books on some aspect of items 1-3, but not as an overall in depth study.

MormonWar

Mormons and Missourians in conflict during the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri.

POINTS TO CONSIDER
A hint of the complexity of this subject can be found in the so called persecution of Mormons that led to their communities leaving the Palmyra, New York area; Kirtland, Ohio area; Independence, Missouri area; Nauvoo, Illinois area and almost leaving their final settlement in the Salt Lake City area.

Can any thinking person not even be suspicious that perhaps there might be some other reason(s) than to say each and every one of the area the Mormons left had a large enough population of evil persecutors to force the move? How about the consideration of what the common denominator was in each of the geographical areas, a consideration of what each of the areas had in common – the population of Mormons?

Persecution in Kirtland, Ohio is usually mentioned but they fail to mention the illegal and fraudulent banking practices there and how the top leadership left the area and just escaped being arrested. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in speaking about the mistakes of Mormons said:
“Similarly, some mistaken decisions on Kirtland banking policies plagued the Saints for more than a decade. These financial difficulties were perhaps portended in the Lord’s warning to the Prophet Joseph Smith that ‘in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling’ (D&C 24:9).”
( Ensign, “Sins and Mistakes”; October 1996, p. 63)

General Joseph Smith reviewing the Nauvoo Legion - which was larger than the Illinois State Militia.

General Joseph Smith reviewing the Nauvoo Legion – which was larger than the Illinois State Militia.

Mormons are quick to point to Missouri Governor Bogg’s Mormon “Extermination Order” but fail to consider Sydney Rigdon’s “Salt Sermon” about trampling and hanging dissenters, the role of slavery, the historical events that led to Bogg’s order and the latter attempt on his life. What most people miss is the correct definition of “extermination” in the 1835 time period.

Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 under “exterminate” has:
“Literally, to drive from within the limits or borders. Hence, 1. To destroy utterly; to drive away….”

They are quick to claim persecution in Nauvoo, Illinois but fail to recognize the help non-Mormons gave to the Mormons when they left Missouri and moved into the Nauvoo area, how Mormons stole from the non-Mormons, counterfeiting of money and the political and economic issues.

Probably few consider that what they call persecution was punishment from the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants 101:2-7; 103:1-4: 105:2-5) Overshadowing all of these is the way frontier societies handled serious conflict.

For many Mormons, without their even being aware of it, persecution has reached the status of a myth. Frequently the accusation of persecution is given emotionally, but with little or no factual basis. It is all emotion and frequently used as a response to any information that is con-Mormon (as in pro and con), whether it is really persecution or not. They are quick to claim persecution in the present day, but fail to consider:

1) The bad things their own scriptures say about non-Mormons and the Bible (1 Nephi 14:10 and 13:26-29 in the Book of Mormon; Joseph Smith – History 1:18-20 in the Pearl of Great Price. These scriptures are distributed by the millions every year.)

2) The bad things past Mormon leaders have said about non-Mormons and the Bible (Rays of Living Light – Divine Authority by C. W. Penrose, page 1; and Rays of Living Light – Apostasy, by C. W. Penrose, page 3; published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no date given; Journal of Discourses, 16:175-176, by Apostle Orson Pratt; Mormon Doctrine, 1958 edition, by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, page 314-315; The Seer by Orson Pratt, page 205, 255.)

These same Mormons fail to consider that the Bible in Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 1:7-9, 4:2; Ephesians 6:19-20 and Hebrews 5:14 says all mature Christians should present and defend their faith in Jesus Christ. We have the Apostle Paul’s examples in Acts 17:1-2, 17, 22, 18:4.

There is more on this subject under “Why Do We Oppose Mormonism?” which can be linked to off our home page. They fail to consider that some of the problems they call persecution were/are from the Lord because of the disobedience and transgressions of the “Saints” (Doctrine & Covenants 101:2-7; 103:1-4; 105:2-6).

MY CONCLUSIONS
The best conclusion I have been able to arrive at so far is that both Mormons and non-Mormons were seriously guilty of persecution.

Persecution, to the best I can see, has on both sides been driven by economic power, political power, evil people, retaliation and the way the frontier society of the day handled problems. It is a complex issue that one cannot begin to understand without a great deal of study. I do not claim to fully understand it. I am just a student of the subject.

Have the Mormons been persecuted? Yes.
Have non-Mormons been persecuted by Mormons? Yes.
Have there been extenuating circumstances for both sides? Yes.
Is it a complex subject? Very much so.

It is a subject that must consider economic power, politics power, the way the then frontier society handled problems, evil people and retaliation by both sides.

The Mormons surrendering to end the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri.

The Mormons surrendering to end the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON WHAT IS CALLED “PERSECUTION” OF MORMONS AND THE MORMON CHURCH IN NEW YORK, OHIO, MISSOURI AND ILLINOIS
1. Nauvoo – Kingdom On The Mississippi, by Robert Bruce Flanders; Un. of Ill. Press; 1975; p. 1-22.

2. Nightfall At Nauvoo, by Samuel W. Taylor; Avon; 1971; p. 388-399.

3. The 1838 Mormon War In Missouri, by Stephen C. LeSueur; Un. of Missouri Press, 1987, all of it.

4. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippets Avery; Doubleday: 1994: p. 62-94

5. Article: “Multiple Factors Led To Woes In Missouri;” Church News (by Mormon Church); p. 14; July 31, 1993.

6. Mormon Scriptures:
Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 14:10, 13:26-29
– Joseph Smith – History 1:18-20 (in the Pearl of Great Price)
Doctrine and Covenants 101:2-7; 103:1-4: 105:2-6.

7. Women of Mormondom, by Edward W. Tullidge; 1877, 1975 printing; p. 289f, 376, 381, 395, 404.

8. Joseph Smith and The Beginnings of Mormonism, by Richard L. Bushman; Un. of Ill. Press; 1984; p. 159f.

9. The Mormon Hierarchy, by D. Michael Quinn; Signature Books; 1994; p. 88-89, 92-103, 469f, 620, 636.

10. Address To All Believers In Christ, booklet by David Whitmer in Richmond, Missouri; 1887; p. 27-28, 54-55.

11. The example of what was done to David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery by Mormons; p. 37-39 of item 3 above.

12. A Scarter Man Than One of Them Was I Never Saw, booklet by Stephen C. LeSueur; Mormon Miscellaneous, Sandy, UT.

13. Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess, by Richard S. Van Wagoner; Signature Books; 1994; p. 143-145, 192-208, 213-241.

General Joseph Smith addressing the Nauvoo Legion.

General Joseph Smith addressing the Nauvoo Legion.

14. The Mountain Meadows Massacre, by Juanita Brooks; Un. of OK Press; 1950; p. 3-9, 13-19.

15The Journals of William E. McLellen; Ed. by Jan Shipps and John W. Welch; Un of Ill. Press; 1994; p. 9.

16. Salt Lake City Messenger (Tanner’s newsletter); Issue #88, May 1995; p. 6-10.

17. The Story of The Mormons, by William Alexander Linn; Macmillan Co.; 1902; p. vi, 122, 134-136, 154, 166-222, 258-261.

18. “Saints Given Relief”, Times and Seasons (LDS newspaper); by Joseph Smith; Jan. 15, 1841; Vol 2, p. 273-277.

19. Cultures In Conflict, by John E. Hallwas and Roger D. Launius; Utah State Un. Press; 1995; p. 1-165.

About the Author
John R. Farkas (1932-2011) was a convert to Mormonism in 1975 and served in several callings up to and including Elder’s Quoruom President of  the Rochester 1st Ward, New York Stake. In 1984 he left the LdS Church and became involved with Berean Christian Ministries where he served until his death. Mr. Farkas is the author of several books on Mormonism and other subjects which can be found on his Author’s page on Amazon. Beggar’s Bread is grateful that before he passed Mr. Farkas granted us the permission to republish the articles from his now defunct website. 

John Farkas is of one the giants on whose shoulders we stand and to whom we owe a debt that we simply can never repay!  We look forward to thanking him again in heaven for the example of his life and treasure of wisdom that he left behind for our benefit.

[Please note that while this article has been very lightly reformatted and re-paragraphed to improve overall legibility no content has been changed from Mr. Farkas’ original source article other than fixing a few typos and updating the names of a few books in the bibliography to more accurately reflect their full title of publication.  — Fred W. Anson, editor]

by John Farkas

INTRODUCTION
One of the unique doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons or LDS) is their Aaronic and Melchizedek [1](This is an endnote) Priesthoods, one of which is held by most male members 12 years and older. The Mormon church teaches that this is their authority from God to act in his name and do his work.[2] The Aaronic Priesthood was allegedly given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist on May 15, 1829, and sometime later, but before August 1830, they received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Apostles Peter, James and John. The exact date for this important event is not known (for more on this see the last part of end note #4).

There are seven revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants (D&C) (a Mormon Scripture) on these priesthoods. Although five of them were allegedly received before October 1832, one as early as 1823, and one as late as September 1832, none of these five were included in the 1833 Book of Commandments.[3] Two of them did not showup in the D&C until the 1876 edition, three were first included the 1835 edition.

THE PRIESTHOOD IN LDS REVELATION
The Doctrine and Covenants (1981 edition) has the following about the early history of the LDS priesthoods. These revelations are in their chronological order.

“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah [4] the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” 
(Sept. 21, 1823, Doctrine and Covenants 2:1)

Even though this revelation is dated September 21, 1823 it was not in the 1833 Book of Commandments or the 1835 and 1844 Doctrine and Covenants. It did not get into Scripture until the 1876 D&C and was not approved by the membership until 1880 (Robert J. Woodford, “The Story of the Doctrine and Covenants”, Ensign, Dec. 1984, pages 37-39).

A 19th century depiction of John the Baptist conferring the Aaronic priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery

A second alleged revelation has:
“Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins [5]; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
(May 15, 1829, Doctrine and Covenants 13).

The first written account of this revelation does not have the phrase the “Priesthood of Aaron.” There is more on this below under “LDS Leaders On The Priesthood” and “Differences In Description.” It also was not included in LDS Scripture until the 1876 D&C even though it is dated May 15, 1829. It also was not approved by the membership until 1880
(Ensign, Dec. 1984, pages 37-39).

A third alleged revelation has:
“Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron [6];…And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;”
(August & September, 1830, Doctrine and Covenants 27:8, 12)

This revelation was not in the 1833 Book of Commandments. It is first found in the 1835 D&C, section 50, page 179. There is more on this below under “Historical Evidence.”

A fourth alleged revelation has:
“There remain hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church, to minister even according to the first; Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron; For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron. But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
(Nov. 1831, Doctrine and Covenants 68:14-19)

Bronze statue in Temple Square, Salt Lake City, representing Peter, James, and John in the act of conferring the Melchizedek priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, as envisioned by most modern Latter-day Saints

The first account of this revelation was in the LDS newspaper Evening and Morning Star, Oct. 1832, page 35. Even then It did not include any of the bolded words. It was not in the 1833 Book of Commandments but was included in the 1835 D&C, section 22, page 147.

A fifth alleged revelation has:
“And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live [7]…And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb…

And again, the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the high priesthood…

And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood, which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons…

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.

Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.”
(Nov. 22-23, 1832, Doctrine and Covenants 84:19-22, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33-40).
[NOTE: modern paragraphing added to improve legibility – editor]

Even though this is dated November 1832 it was not in the 1833 Book of Commandments. It was in the 1835 D&C, section 4, page 89.

A sixth alleged revelation has:
“There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.”
(March 28, 1835, Doctrine and Covenants 107:1).

This was first in the 1835 D&C, section 3, page 82.

A seventh alleged revelation has:

“And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah!

Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets–the book to be revealed.

Title page from an open 1835 edition of Doctrine And Covenants

A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book!

The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light!

The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!”
(Sept. 6, 1842, Doctrine and Covenants 128:20-21).
[NOTE: modern paragraphing added to improve legibility – editor]

Note the date this revelation was given and that it includes a summary of the two priesthoods. Also note that there is no support found for these statements in the two early “new Scriptures” of the Mormon church, the Book of Mormon and the 1833 Book of Commandments.

LDS LEADERS ON THE PRIESTHOOD
William Phelps, as the editor of the Mormon newspaper Evening and Morning Star (Independence, Missouri), provides the first public evidence of the two priesthoods, the Aaronic and Melchizedek.

William Wines Phelps (February 17, 1792 – March 7, 1872) was an early leader of the Latter Day Saint movement. He was an assistant president of the church in Missouri, scribe to Joseph Smith, Jr., and a church printer, editor, and song-writer

After the high priesthood comes elders, priests, teachers, and deacons. Now the offices are separate, for the edification and benefit of the whole church, and, though the elders and bishops are appendages to the high priesthood, & the teachers and deacons are appendages to the lesser priesthood, yet these offices are important to their places, and regular in their gradation: from deacon to teacher, from teacher to priest, from priest to elder, from elder to high priest.
(March, 1833, page 74)

While not directly named, this is the first apparent mention together of the two LDS priesthoods in an official Mormon publication. The Book of Mormon, in the book of Alma, does mention the “high priesthood,” but the “lesser priesthood” is not mentioned at all in the Book of Mormon.

Phelps’ article does require the reader to know the meaning of “high priesthood” and “lesser priesthood.” The priesthood revelations from God were allegedly received in 1823, 1829, 1830, 1831 and September 1832. The Evening and Morning Star was first published June 1832, so there was a nine-month opportunity to mention all of them sooner than Phelps’ article.

Oliver Cowdery, the only other human participant with Smith in the restoration of the priesthood,[8] as the editor of a Mormon newspaper in Kirtland, Ohio (near present day Cleveland) said:

“But, dear brother think, further think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his [John the Baptist] hand the holy priesthood, as he said, “upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer this priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord [9] in righteousness!”‘
(Messenger and Advocate, Oct., 1834, pages 15 and 16 and Joseph Smith-History page 59, footnote by Oliver Cowdery)

The reliability of this statement by Mr. Cowdery is supported by an earlier statement in this same paper.

“That our narrative may be correct, and particularly the introduction, it is proper to inform our patrons, that our brother J. Smith jr. has offered to assist us…With his labor and with authentic documents now in our possession, we hope to render this a pleasing and agreeable narrative well worth the examination and perusal of the Saints.”
(ibid, page 13)

DIFFERENCES IN DESCRIPTIONS
Now compare the statement just above by Oliver Cowdery on the priesthood to the following LDS Scripture:

Photograph of Oliver Cowdery found in the Library of Congress, taken in the 1840s by James Presley Ball

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins [10]; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
(Doctrine and Covenants 13, May 15, 1829 and Joseph Smith-History 1:39)

“I confer the Priesthood of Aaron” is not the same as “I confer this priesthood and this authority.” As will be shown below, Oliver Cowdery’s quotation is consistent with the claim of David Whittmer, another top leader in the early Mormon church.

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE
It should be evident by now that the scriptural foundation for the bestowal of the priesthoods is on shaky ground. To give you a sense of the changes made and the confusion in the revelations on the priesthood let us look at one of them, Doctrine and Covenants 27, as it appeared chronologically in LDS Scripture. The 1833 Book of Commandments has:

“A Commandment to the church of Christ, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1830,
“LISTEN to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.

2 For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory;

3 Remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins:

4 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies:

5 Wherefore, you shall partake of none, except it is made new among you, yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

6 Behold this is wisdom in me, wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you, on the earth, and with, all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world:

7 Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and be faithful until I come:- even so. Amen.”
(Book of Commandments, chapter 28, verses 1-7, page 60)

Notice that this alleged revelation has nothing about the LDS priesthood. It was later changed. The 1835 Doctrine and Covenants has the following for the same revelation. The bold type words are the added ones; the ones in brackets { } were removed.

Revelation given, {A Commandment to the church of Christ, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania,} September {4}, 1830.

1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory–remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies; Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

LdS President (March 1, 1807 – September 2, 1898) Wilford Woodruff’s copy of The Book of Commandments

2 Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim; And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days; And also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias; Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron; And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse; And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain; And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days:

3 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them; Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the

Image from the LdS Church Educational System Institute Manual “Gospel Doctrines” with this caption, “Righteousness is the key to priesthood power and eternal life.”

which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world. 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. {even so.} Amen.”
(1835 Doctrine and Covenants 50:1-3, pages 179-180. The present 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants 27:1-18 reads the same except for the heading, verse numbering and some punctuation.)

Note that the historical heading of this revelation was changed, the day was omitted and many significant additions were made in the text with no notes or comments of any kind as to why.

Some Mormons may point to Doctrine and Covenants 13 to support the restoration of the Mormon priesthood, it has:

“Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood along the bank of the Susquehanna River, near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. HC 1:39-42. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel, who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time the Priesthood of Melchizedek would be conferred upon them. See also Section 27:7, 9, 12…..

Contemporary painting of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood

UPON you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
(Doctrine and Covenants 13, May 15, 1829)

As stated at the start of this article, this revelation was not in the Mormon Scriptures until the 1876 edition, and not accepted “by common consent” until 1880. The same idea is also in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith – History, verses 68-69, which was also not in LDS scripture until 1876.

There are no reasons given why it was not in the two earlier collections of LDS revelations, A Book of Commandments (1833) and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. I believe the historical reliability of these verses is significantly in question because of their late canonization.

These are key foundational revelations. If they existed they should have been in the first collection of new revelation.

WHAT DO OTHERS SAY?
Joseph Smith was killed in 1844. In 1846 Brigham Young lead many of the Mormons on their way to what was to become Salt Lake City. Not all Mormons chose to go, including Joseph Smith’s wife and children. In 1860 Joseph Smith’s oldest son, Joseph Smith III, became the president and prophet of a newly founded church, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). They claim to be the true continuation of the Church Joseph Smith founded. They deny that Peter, James and John “restored” the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith. The following statement by Mormon historian and then Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith explains their position:

“‘REORGANITES’ DENY RESTORATION OF MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD
Was the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by Peter, James, and John?

In the History of the Church, no account is given of the date when the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored. For this reason certain parties not of the Church, who profess to believe in the divine mission of the martyred Seer, in order to bolster up their weak position, have made the claim that this priesthood was not restored by those heavenly messengers, but that it grew out of the Aaronic Priesthood, which was restored by John the Baptist on the 15th day of May 1829. According to this claim, the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, having received the Aaronic Priesthood, did, by virtue of that priesthood, on the 6th day of April 1830, ordain each other elders, and that this eldership ordained high priests and apostles.”[a]

The actual statement, as officially published by the so-called “Reorganized” Church, is:

“In justification of the course taken, and the principles involved on `the question of authority,’ we have ever courted, and still do, investigation of the rigid character of the facts in the first organization. Here they are: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the lesser priesthood by an angel; then, by this authority and a commandment they, on the 6th day of April, ordained each other elders, and this eldership ordained high priests and apostles, and this high priesthood ordained, by commandment, the President of the High Priesthood — the highest office in the church; so that the alleged lesser ordained [sic][11] the greater, is common to both the first organization and the Reorganization alike. The same class of facts justify both or condemn both.”
(Doctrines of Salvation, 3:95)

The “three witnesses” to the Book of Mormon: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris

David Whitmer, one of the “Three Witnesses” (found right after the Introduction of the Book of Mormon) of the Book of Mormon and an early leader in the Mormon church, had this to say about the priesthoods in the Mormon Church.

“Now Brethren, seeing they had no High Priests in the church of Christ of old, and none in the church of Christ [12] in these last days until almost two years after its beginning [13] — when the leaders began to drift into error; remembering the fact of the revelation being changed two years after it was given to include High Priests;…

In no place in the word of God does it say that an Elder is after the order of Melchisedec, or after the order of the Melchisedec Priesthood….This matter of ‘priesthood,’ since the days of Sydney [sic] [Sidney] Rigdon[14], has been the great hobby and stumbling-block of the Latter Day Saints. …This matter of the two orders of priesthood….all originated in the mind of Sydney Rigdon. He explained these things to Brother Joseph in his way, out of the old Scriptures, and got Brother Joseph to inquire, etc. He would inquire and as mouthpiece speak out the revelations just as they had it fixed up in their hearts…How easily a man can receive some other spirit, appearing as an Angel of Light, believing at the time that he is giving the revealed will of God…..”
(An Address to All Believers in Christ, pages 64)

The RLDS’ and David Whitmer’s position are supported by the historical evidence previously presented and support the idea that the high priesthood was first given at the Kirtland conference of June 3-7, 1831 (D&C 52 historical heading; 1833 Book of Commandments 54, page 123; Far West Record, page 7 and end notes 4 and 5 on page 8; Deseret Book Co., 1983, edited by D. Q. Cannon & L. W. Cook. ).[15]

It also seems reasonable to believe that the priesthood, if it really existed, would also clearly and frequently show up in many of the other publications by the Mormon Church. Those to be examined below are the Book of Mormon, The Holy Bible, Book of Commandments and a collection of early teachings called the Lectures on Faith.

THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOK OF MORMON
The Book of Mormon, one of the unique scriptures of the Mormon Church, also does not show the present day Mormon priesthood. The following terms and phrases used in describing their priesthood could not be found in a search of the text of the Book of Mormon.

A first edition 1830 Book of Mormon open to the Book of Alma

a. “Aaronic Priesthood”, with of without capitals.
b. “Melchizedek/Melchisedec Priesthood,” with or without capitals.
c. “the fulness of the everlasting gospel,” except in the Introduction of the current edition of the Book of Mormon. The term is also not in the 1830 edition.
d. “new and everlasting covenant”
e. “married”, “marriage”, “marry”, “marrying”, “divorce”.
f. “wife and husband,” or “husbands and wife,” or “husband and wives” in the same paragraph.
g. “gospel of salvation”
h. “fulness of salvation”
i. “fulness of eternal glory”
j. “celestial”
k. “Aaronic,” with or without capitals.
l. “deacon”
m. “seventy,” or “seventies” as an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood.
n. “highpriest” as one word.

It is interesting to find the Book of Mormon has nothing on the Aaronic Priesthood and deacons. It does have teachers and priests, positions/offices that a present day Mormon would recognize, which are ordained by the laying on of hands (Moroni 3). But nothing is said through the one thousand years plus period of the Book of Mormon about the priesthood (and the term “lesser priesthood), that these offices are part of in present day Mormonism. Moroni 3 would have been a logical place to include instructions on conferring the Priesthood, but nothing is given.

Similarly, there is no direct wording in the Book of Mormon on the Melchizedek Priesthood. It does describe a priesthood, but it is different from the present day Mormon Church’s priesthood.

Terms like Melchizedek (as the name), order of God, order of his Son and high priesthood are used, but then only in the Book of Alma, which only covers the time period of about 91 BC to about 52 BC. Moroni 3; Alma 13 and 6:1 and Mosiah 18:18 give instructions for ordaining teachers, priests, elders, and high priests but there is nothing about conferring a priesthood. These would have been logical places for this, but they only give instruction for ordination to an office.

It seems reasonable to think that the Melchizedek Priesthood, at the very least using the terminology used in the Book of Alma, would be frequently mentioned in all parts of the Book of Mormon, especially during Jesus Christ’s visit to the New World (3 Nephi 8 and following chapters) and in the period of peace and tranquility that supposedly followed it (4 Nephi 1). Not only are they not mentioned in these books, but there is little said in other parts of the Book of Mormon (except Alma).

Simulated LdS Temple scene with examples of full LdS Temple Garments attire from the “Big Love” television show

It appears, in almost all uses, that the terms high priest, high priesthood and high priests are only used as part of the Mosaic law that the first Book of Mormon people would have brought with them when they traveled from Jerusalem to the New World (see 1 Nephi chapters 1-18). But they are surprisingly missing once the alleged visit of Jesus Christ occurs as related in 3 Nephi. 3 Nephi 12:1 does say: “…now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize was twelve…I have given power that they may baptize you…”.

While a present day Mormon may understand these words to mean the Melchizedek Priesthood and apostles, the text does not say this. How were the Book of Mormon people, or even non-Mormons now, to understand this?

The Book of Mormon is still considered to be “the most correct of any book on earth”! This idea and wording has been in use since 1844 and are still being used, and were clearly stated by the late President Benson (Ensign, October 1992, page 2).

Throughout the entire Book of Mormon nothing is said about the Melchizedek Priesthood offices of seventies, patriarchs, president and apostles. Jesus does appoint twelve men in the New World, but they are called disciples all the way through 3 and 4 Nephi. If New World disciples were also considered apostles by the Lord, this would have been the place to find it, not about 370 years later from Mormon. Mormon 9:18 may at first look like an exception, but this appears to be referring to apostles in the Old World, the one Jesus called in the Jerusalem area, as shown in verse 22.

Moroni 6:1 has a very unique statement on who may be baptized. He says:
“And now I speak concerning Baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.”

This has people who apparently held the priesthood, by present day Mormon Church teachings, in the offices mentioned, being baptized. In the present day Mormon Church men must be baptized before they receive a priesthood and an office in it!

All of this has to lead to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon has a different priesthood than currently taught by the Mormon Church. While this difference is significant now, it did not exist to the same extent in 1833 between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Commandments.

A close examination of each will show a close similarity in how the priesthood is described. There are only two significant differences. The Book of Mormon has twelve disciples, a high priesthood and no deacons while the Book of Commandments names apostles and deacons but no high priesthood. They both have nothing on the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood.

THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE BIBLE
The following Mormon phrases and keywords could not be found in the text of the King James Version [16] of the Bible:

High Priest’s garments as described in the Bible

a. “Aaronic Priesthood,” with or without capitals.
b. “Melchizedek/Melchizedek Priesthood,” with or without capitals.
c. “fulness of the everlasting gospel”
d. “fulness of the gospel”
e. “fulness of eternal glory”
f. “fulness of salvation”
g. “new and everlasting covenant”
h. “gospel of salvation”
i. “holy order of God”
j. “highpriest,” as one word.
k. “high priesthood”

The New Testament is very clear that the Aaronic priesthood (including laws and ordinances) was abolished when our Lord died on the cross (Gal 3:19, 23-25; Col 2:14-17; Heb 10:1-10). There was in fact a change in the priesthood – it was abolished and even Christ did not hold the Aaronic priesthood (Heb 7:11-14). The New Testament tells us that all true born-again Christians are priests by the blood of Christ (Rev 1:5-6). This priesthood has nothing to do with the old Aaronic priesthood because it is far superior! It is a royal priesthood of believers in the Living Christ, our Great High Priest forever (1 Pet 2:9-10).

The Bible does say a little about Melchizedek (Gen 14:17-20, Ps 110:4, Heb 4:14 to 8:4). The only Melchizedek priest in the Old Testament was the King of Salem. In the New Testament only Jesus Christ has the Melchizedek priesthood and he was appointed by God (Heb 5:5-6, 10). No priestly succession is mentioned. These ideas were summarized in a paper given by David Crump, as published in Christian Institute for Mormon Studies, Proceedings and Papers, Vol 1, page 35, where he said:

“In the New Testament, Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews tells us what personal qualities are required to hold the Melchizedek priesthood:

Artist’s speculative depiction of Jesus Christ acting as High Priest in heaven

1. You must live forever. This does not mean that you have somehow gained eternal life; it means that you have no beginning as well as no end. You endure forever through the inherent, self-possessed power of your own indestructible, eternal life. (Is there anyone who still hopes to be in the market for this job?)

2. You need to have personally received an oath from God promising that he has made you the Messiah of the world.

3. You must be holy. Mind you, you are not just trying to be holy; you must already share in God’s own character, in his inherent perfection, which means that you are free of all sin. There can be no blemish of inadequacy in your life; you have never done anything even slightly wrong.

4. You must be the eternal Son of God who meets the seven qualifications of sonship outlined in Hebrews 1:1-4. In other words, you must be the eternal mediator of creation, who continues to sustain the creation through the power of your own spoken word.

The position of Melchizedek Priesthood is taken; it is held by God’s Son Jesus Christ, and he has chosen not to share it with us.”

THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE LECTURES ON FAITH
The Lectures on Faith were prepared by Joseph Smith (probably with help from others) and delivered to a class of elders in Kirtland, Ohio in the winter of 1834-1835. [17] They were first included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The preface of this book has:

“The first part of the book will be found to contain a series of Lectures as delivered before a Theological class in this place, and in consequence of their embracing the important doctrine of salvation, we have arranged them into the following work.”
(Preface of 1835 D&C)

This preface was signed by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and F. G. Williams. These men were the top leaders (first presidency and assistant president) of the Mormon Church at that time. Note that they said the Lectures on Faith had the important doctrine of salvation.They thought them important enough to make them scripture.

The Lectures on Faith do not use any of the important terms and phrases used to describe the Mormon priesthood and its offices. This is amazing seeing they were to contain “the important doctrine of salvation.” For example, according to the present day Mormon Church, baptism is a necessary part of a Mormon’s “salvation.”[18] Without the priesthood no one has the authority to baptize, hence no “salvation.”

THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOK OF COMMANDMENTS
The 1833 Book of Commandments was the first published collection of alleged revelations received by Joseph Smith. In its time it was considered one of the three LDS Scriptures (the Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Book of Commandments). As shown above it does not contain the Mormon priesthood as currently known.

Sidney Rigdon, founding member of the First Presidency, Joseph Smith’s First Counselor and the person suspected to be the chief fabricator of LdS Priesthood theology according to David Whitmer

Priesthood revelations that are now Doctrine and Covenants 2, 13, 27, 68 and 84 were not in it. Apostles were called elders (chapter 24:1-2, 22:1, 12, 14) and the only priesthood offices mentioned were elders, priests, teachers and deacons (chapter 24:31). There is nothing about the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood, lesser and higher priesthoods, seventies and high priests as currently exists.

God allegedly made it clear that the revelations were “true and faithful” (Book of Commandments 1:7), “neither doth he vary from that which he hath said” (Book of Commandments 2:1) and “now the decrees of God are unalterable” (Alma 41:8). We have God’s word that he would not change and alter what he had said. It should be clear by now that changes and additions were made. What then is the only possible conclusion?

SUMMARY
We have shown how two key alleged revelations about the restoration of the LDS priesthood were not in the first and second published collections and two others were not in the first collection. David Whitmer and the RLDS church stated a similar view.

All this can only lead to the clear conclusion that the present day Mormon Church’s priesthood is not the same one that existed from 1829 to about 1833. It was changed about 1833 and then support was inserted into the LDS scriptures after the fact.[19] In some case this was done 43 years later.

Both 1 Cor 14:33 and Doctrine and Covenants 132:8 say that God is not the author of confusion. We are then left with the only conclusion possible, the confusion in the early LDS Church, particularly the teachings about the priesthood, can only be by man.

THE LDS RESPONSE
The Mormon response to this paper will probably be harsh, for it will be an emotional subject for most LDS, particularly men. This strikes at the heart of Mormonism.

Many will seem to be incredulous and just reject everything out right. On the other end of the spectrum others will take the information and seriously examine it in detail. Some to find reasons to reject it, but some to better understand it and grow from it. All anyone can do as they present the above information is to keep bringing the discussion back to the subject and the facts presented. You will need to dwell on the facts and their accuracy.

There is only one clear conclusion. The priesthood now taught by the Mormon Church is significantly different from the one taught by the Mormon Church from 1830 (their start date) to roughly 1835. It also appears that they tried to hide the changes by post dating the early alleged revelations and making new ones to support the change.

END NOTES
[1] Melchisedec is the New Testament spelling of the Old Testament Melchizedek. The Mormon Church uses this latter spelling.

[2] Gospel Principles, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, 1978, page 73. The majority of Bible believing Christians, however, believe that only Jesus Christ held the Melchizedek Priesthood which is “unchangeable”; and that ALL true Christians, men and women, are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Heb. 4:14, 7:24, 6:20, 10:10; Rev 1:5-6).

[3] The Book of Commandments, a Scripture published in 1833, was the first collection of alleged revelations received by Joseph Smith. Following editions were titled The Doctrine and Covenants. In the early years of the Mormon church in the United States there were editions in 1833, 1835, 1844 and 1876. There were several British editions, with an 1854 printing that was sent to Utah (Ensign, December 1984, pages 36-37) .

[4] Joseph Smith-History 1:68-72 said it was John the Baptist that ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood and Peter, James and John (who held the keys for this) ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood supposedly on May 15, 1829. The exact date for the Melchizedec Priesthood restoration is not know. The best date that most LDS scholars think this happened is between May 15, 1829 and April 1830, and one said, “probably June 1829” (A Joseph Smith Chronology, by J. Christopher Conkling, Deseret Book Co. 1979, page 10-11).

[5] Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 says we receive the remission of sins by faith in Jesus Christ, by repentance and service to the Lord, all before we are baptized. Which one is correct?

[6] From Lev 8:33 and Ex 29:37 we learn that Aaron’s ordination took 7 days. Mormon Aaronic Priesthood ordinations that I (John Farkas) saw or participated in took less than 15 minutes.

[7] Then how did Joseph Smith see the Father and Son in 1820 and live as he related in Joseph Smith-History 1:17. He did not, as officially taught, get the priesthood until May 1829 (Joseph Smith-History 1:72).

[8] Cowdery was the Second Elder (D&C 20:3 ) and assistant president of the High Priesthood. He was one of Smiths scribes during the alleged “translation” of the Book of Mormon from the “gold plate.” They were both together when the priesthood was allegedly restored.

[9] Mormons have said that these are animal sacrifices, as done in the Jerusalem temple, which are to be restored. (Mormon Doctrine, page 666).

[10] Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 says we receive the remission of sins by faith in Jesus Christ, by repentance and service to the Lord, all before we are baptized.

[a]  Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie, “Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 3” pp.94-95, (this citation was missing from Mr. Farkas’ original article — Editor)

[11] The bracket is in the quote.

[12] The Mormon Church since its beginning has had three names: Church of Christ, 1830-1834; Church of Latter Day Saints, 1834-1838; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1838 to the present.

[13] If David Whitmer by “beginning” means the formal start of the Mormon Church on April 6, 1830, them 1832 is the approximate start of High Priests.

[14] Sydney Rigdon probably came into the Mormon Church December, 1830 (The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness: Sidney Rigdon, Religious Reformer, 1793-1876, by F. Mark McKiernan, Herald House, 1979, pages 41-44). This is the earliest date for the change discussed by David Whitmer.

[15] While History of the Church 1:175-176 uses the term “authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested,” D&C 53 does not use the term at all or “high Priesthood.” The Far West Record, page 7, in the meeting minutes only uses the term “high Priesthood.”

[16] This is the version used by the Mormon Church.

[17] Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1955, 2:304; the book Lectures on Faith, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, page v.

[18] For the importance of baptism see: Mormon Doctrine, page 69. Salvation means spending eternity with God in the Celestial Kingdom (Gospel Principles, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, 1976, pages 124-130).

[19] This same idea of after the fact changes is also supported by D. Michael Quinn in his book The Mormon Hierarchy, Signature Books, 1994, pages 7-38.

About the Author
John R. Farkas (1932-2011) was a convert to Mormonism in 1975 and served in several callings up to and including Elder’s Quoruom President of  the Rochester 1st Ward, New York Stake. In 1984 he left the LdS Church and became involved with Berean Christian Ministries where he served until his death. Mr. Farkas is the author of several books on Mormonism and other subjects which can be found on his Author’s page on Amazon. Beggar’s Bread is grateful that before he passed Mr. Farkas granted us the permission to republish the articles from his now defunct website. 

John Farkas is of one the giants on whose shoulders we stand and to whom we owe a debt that we simply can never repay!  We look forward to thanking him again in heaven for the example of his life and treasure of wisdom that he left behind for our benefit.

[Please note that while this article has been very lightly reformatted and re-paragraphed to improve overall legibility no content has been changed from Mr. Farkas’ original, March 27, 1998 source article — Fred W. Anson, editor]

by John R. Farkas
….my wife…was waiting for me, and she started to lecture me, saying that I was breaking the Word of Wisdom. She suddenly stopped, and by the gift of tongues she gave me a most remarkable and wonderful blessing and promised me that I should live to pay off all my debts, which I did live to do….Unless the gift of tongues and the interpretation thereof are enjoyed by the Saints in our day, then we are lacking one of the evidences of the true faith.­­YWJ [Young Woman’s Journal], 16:128″

(Gospel Standards, page 11-12 by President Heber J. Grant)

Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the LdS Church

There are two parts to this paper. The first, and smallest, are sources from LDS Scriptures. The second, and most predominate, are dozens of sources from Mormon history. There is no narrative. The references speak for themselves.

WHAT DO THE MORMON SCRIPTURES SAY ABOUT TONGUES?
Mark 16:17:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”

Acts 2:4-6, 12-18:
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language…

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh…

El Greco,

El Greco, “The Pentecost”

Acts 10:44-47:
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”

Acts 11:15:
“And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.”
[see Acts 2:4-6 above]

Acts 19:6:
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1 Corinthians 12:10, 28-30:
“To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues….And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

1 Corinthians 14:21,39:
“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord….Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”

The Book of Mormon, An Angel Appears to Alma

Omni 1:25:
“…exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.”

Alma 9:21:
“Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;”

Mormon 9:24:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe­­in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;”

Moroni 10:15-17:
“And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.”

DC 46:24-26, March 1831:
“And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues; And to another is given the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.”

Articles of Faith #7, March 1842; Pearl of Great Price:
“We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

David Whitmer, Book of Mormon Witness and Early Mormon Leader

WHAT DOES MORMON HISTORY SAY?
An Address to All Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, p. 33, 1887
The Holy Ghost was with us in more power during the eight months previous to April 6, 1830, than ever at any time thereafter. Almost everyone who was baptized received the Holy Ghost in power, some prophesying, some speaking in tongues, the heavens were opened to some and all the signs which Christ promised should follow the believers were with us abundantly.

History of the Church 4:485, Footnotes, spring 1831:
“Soon after he [Alpheus Gifford] went to Kirtland, Ohio, to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and the brethren, when he was ordained an Elder; he was accompanied by his brother Levi Elial Strong, Eleazar Miller, Enos Curtis and Abraham Brown, who were baptized on returning to Pennsylvania he preached and baptized many, among whom was Heber C. Kimball. The gifts of the Gospel were enjoyed by many; signs following those that believed, devils were cast out; the sick were healed; many prophesied; some spake with new tongues; while others interpreted the same.”

History of the Church 1:295-297, November 1832:
“About the 8th of November I received a visit from Elders Joseph Young, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball of Mendon, Monroe county, New York. They spent four or five days at Kirtland, during which we had many interesting moments. At one of our interviews, Brother Brigham Young and John P. Greene spoke in tongues, which was the first time I had heard this gift among the brethren; others also spoke, and I [Joseph Smith] received the gift myself.”

Brigham Young, Second LdS Church President

History of the Church 1:297, Footnotes, September 1832: Article in the Western Monitor, printed at Fayette, Missouri, the proceedings of the mob, on Jackson County troubles; “The above incident is thus related by President Brigham Young in his own history:­­
“In September, 1832, Brother Heber C. Kimball took his horse and wagon, Brother Joseph Young and myself accompanying him, and started for Kirtland to see the Prophet Joseph. We visited many friends on the way and some branches of the Church. We exhorted them and prayed with them, and I [Brigham young] spoke in tongues Some pronounced it genuine and from the Lord, and others pronounced it of the devil We proceeded to Kirtland and stopped at John P. Greene’s, who had just arrived there with his family. We rested a few minutes,….In the evening, a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed upon the things of the kingdom. He called upon me to pray: in my prayer I spoke in tongues As soon as we arose from our knees, the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He [Joseph Smith] told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said “No, it is of God.”­­Millennial Star, vol. xxv, p. 439….The gift of tongues here spoken of was first exercised in one of the Pennsylvania branches: next at Mendon, where the Youngs and Kimballs resided then in the branches between Mendon and Kirtland, then in Kirtland under the circumstances above related and shortly afterwards it was a gift quite generally exercised by the Saints in Ohio. `And it came to pass,’ writes John Whitmer in his history of the Church (chap. x), `that in the fall of 1832, the disciples in Ohio received the gift of tongues, and in June, 1833, we received the gift of tongues in Zion.'”

History of the Church 1:323, January, 1833:
“On the 23rd of January, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing praying, and praising God, all in tongues, we proceeded to the washing of feet (according to the practice recorded in the 13th chapter of John’s Gospel), as commanded of the Lord. Each Elder washed his own feet first, after which I [Joseph Smith] girded myself with a towel and washed the feet of all of them, wiping them with the towel with which I was girded. Among the number, my father presented himself, but before I washed his feet, I asked of him a father’s blessing, which he granted by laying his hands upon my head,….”

John Murdock, Early Mormon Leader

History of the Church, 1:325, February 1833, by John Murdock:
“…remember the exhortation which I gave you while I was yet present with you, to beware of delusive spirits. I rejoice that our Heavenly Father hath blessed you greatly, as He also has me, in enabling me to speak the praises of God and the mysteries of the kingdom in other tongues according to promise; and this without throwing me down or wallowing me on the ground, or any thing unbecoming or immoral, also, without any external operation of the system, but it is the internal operation and power of the Spirit of God, so that I know that those odd actions and strange noises are not caused by the Spirit of the Lord as is represented by Brother King. Therefore in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of the living God, according to the authority of the Holy Priesthood committed to me, I command Brother Thomas King, (as though I were present), to cease from your diabolical acts of enthusiasm, and also from acting as an Elder in this Church of Christ,…”

History of the Church 1:397, July 1833:
“What would be the fate of our lives and property, in the hands of jurors and witnesses, who do not blush to declare, and would not upon occasion hesitate to swear, that they have wrought miracles, and have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures, have converse with God and His angels, and possess and exercise the gifts of divination and of unknown tongues, and fired with the prospect of obtaining inheritances without money and without price­­may be better imagined than described.”

History of the Church 1:409, September 1833:
“A hymn, concerning the travels, toils, troubles, and tribulations of the Nephites, was sung in tongues by Elder W. W. Phelps, interpreted by Elder Lyman Wight,…”

Gary Smith, “Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in the Kirtland Temple”

History of the Church 1:422, October 1833:
“Tuesday, 29.­­After preaching at 10 o’clock a. m., I [Joseph Smith] baptized two, and Confirmed them at the water’s side. Last evening we ordained F. A. Nickerson an Elder; and one of the sisters received the gift of tongues, which made the Saints rejoice exceedingly.++ Tuesday, the 29th of October, also we took our departure from Mount Pleasant, on our return to Kirtland, and arrived at Buffalo, New York, on the 31st.”

History of the Church 2:40, December, 1833:
“…. I [Joseph Smith] extract from Brother Moses Chapman Nickerson’s letter of December 20, 1833. `Your labors in Canada have been the beginning of a good work; there are thirty­four members attached to the Church at Mount Pleasant, all of whom appear to live up to their profession, five of whom have spoken in tongues, and three have sung in tongues; and we live at the top of the mountain.'”

History of the Church 2:137, July 1834:
“Elder Nathan West preferred charges against Samuel Brown, High Priest, for teaching contrary to counsel, namely, encouraging the brethren in practicing gifts (speaking in tongues,) in ordaining Sylvester Hulet a High Priest (without counsel) in a clandestine manner; asserting that he had obtained a witness of the Lord, which was a command to perform the same on receiving the gift of tongues, which gift he had never before received, but afterwards said that he had been in possession of that gift for the space of a year;…”

Burbank, “Camp Meeting” (1839)

History of the Church 2:139-141, August 1834:
“Charles English testified that the Hulet Branch believed that they received the word of the Lord by the gift of tongues, and would not proceed to their temporal business without receiving the word of the Lord….Daniel Stanton testified that Sally Crandall said she saw his heart and saw two books in it, and that there was a Nephite standing behind him to push him into his duty; also that Sylvester Hulet spoke in tongues in meeting, and Sally Crandall interpreted thus: Verily, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, little band, ye must beware, for there are many who are seeking to pry into your privileges….Absalom Crichfield testified that when he was in Jackson county last spring, the Hulet Branch said, in tongues, that they would be safe, during the night, from any interruption by the mob; but, before morning, Lyman Leonard and Josiah Sumner were whipped; they also said that they saw my heart, and three young women in it…..After councilors had spoken, the president said: `As for the gift of tongues in the manner it was used in the Hulet Branch, the devil deceived them, and they obtained not the word of the Lord, as they supposed, but were deceived; and as for the gift of `seeing,’ as held by the Hulet Branch, it is of the devil, saith the Lord God.’….I have been thus particular in giving the history of this council, as the gift of tongues is so often made use of by Satan to deceive the Saints.”

History of the Church 2:162, September 1834:
“President Joseph Smith then gave an explanation of the gift of tongues, that it was particularly instituted for the preaching of the Gospel to other nations and languages, but it was not given for the government of the Church….He further said, if Brother Gordon introduced the gift of tongues as a testimony against Brother Carpenter, it was contrary to the rules and regulations of the Church, because in all our decisions we must judge from actual testimony….Elder Gordon said the testimony was received and the decision given

before the gift of tongues was manifested….President Smith said, relative to the first question, that Brother Gordon’s tongue in the end did operate as testimony, as, by his remarks in tongues, the former decision was set aside and his (given in tongues) taken; that it was his (President Smith’s) decision that Brother Gordon’s manifestation was incorrect, and from a suspicious mind. He approved the first decision, but discarded the second.

Sidney Rigdon Founding Member of the First Presidency of The LdS Church

History of the Church 2:376, January 1836:
“President Rigdon then arose and observed that instead of preaching the time would be occupied by the Presidency and Twelve, in speaking each in his turn until they had all spoken. The Lord poured out His Spirit upon us, and the brethren began to confess their faults one to the other, and the congregation was soon overwhelmed in tears, and some of our hearts were too big for utterance. The gift of tongues came on us also, like the rushing of a mighty wind, and my soul was filled with the glory of God.”

History of the Church 2:383, January 1836:
“President Rigdon arose to conclude the services of the evening by invoking the blessing of heaven upon the Lord’s anointed, which he did in an eloquent manner; the congregation shouted a long hosanna: the gift of tongues fell upon us in mighty power, angels mingled their voices with ours, while their presence was in our midst, and unceasing praises swelled our bosoms for the space of half­an­hour.”

History of the Church 2:392, February 1836:
“President Zebedee Coltrin, one of the Seven, saw a vision of the Lord’s host. And others were filled with the Spirit, and spake with tongues and prophesied. This was a time of rejoicing long to be remembered. Praise the Lord.”

William Draper Autobiography, (1807-1881) typescript, April, 1836, BYU­S, page 2­3:
“And there in the [Kirtland] temple on the Day of Pentecost of the 6th day of April 1836 there was such a time of the outpouring of the spirit of the Lord that my pen is inadequate to write it in full or my tongue to express it. But I will here say that the spirit was poured out and came like a mighty rushing wind and filled the house, that many that were present spoke in tongues and had visions and saw angels and prophesied, and had a general time of rejoicing such as had not been known in this generation.”

History of the Church 2:428, 27 March 1836:
[at the end of the temple dedication]
“President Brigham Young gave a short address in tongues, and David W. Patten interpreted, and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself, after which I [Joseph Smith] blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and the assembly dispersed a little past four o’clock, having manifested the most quiet demeanor during the whole exercise….[during the evening of the same day] Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven p. m.”

Vilate Kimball Autobiography in Women of Mormondom (1877), 1806-1837, page 105-106:
“At their meetings Brigham and Heber saw the manifestations of the spirit and heard the gift of speaking and singing in tongues. They were constrained by the spirit to bear testimony to the truth, and when they did this the power of God rested upon them….They stayed with the Church about six days, saw the power of God manifested and heard the gift of tongues, and then returned rejoicing, bearing testimony to the people by the way. They were not baptized, however, until the following spring. Brigham was baptized on Sunday, April 14th, 1832, by Eleazer Miller, and Heber C. Kimball was baptized the next day.”

Willard Richards autobiography, in MS 27 (1865), page 133:
“January 8, 1837.­­I partook of the sacrament, and was confirmed by Reynolds Cahoon. I received such a measure of the Spirit as to be sensible of the subject of a song of Zion, which was sung by Elder Lyman Sherman, in the gift of tongues, on the coming of Christ.”

History of the Church, 3:379, Instruction from the Prophet Joseph Smith, June 1839:
“TONGUES were given for the purpose of preaching among those whose language is not understood; as on the day of Pentecost, etc., and it is not necessary for tongues to be taught to the Church particularly, for any man that has the Holy Ghost, can speak of the things of God in his own tongue as well as to speak in another; for faith comes not by signs, but by hearing the word of God.”,.

Though married to Norman Buell at the time, Prescindia Huntington was secretly sealed to Joseph Smith by her brother Dimick on December 11, 1841

Prescindia Huntington autobiography, (1836-1839) in Women of Mormondom (1877), pages 207-209:
“When the brethren and sisters came home in the evening, they told of the power of God manifested in the temple [Kirtland temple] that day, and of the prophesying and speaking in tongues. It was also said, in the interpretation of tongues, `That the angels were resting down upon the house…At another time a cousin of ours came to visit us at Kirtland. She wanted to go to one of the saints’ fast meetings, to hear someone sing or speak in tongues, but she said she expected to have a hearty laugh. Accordingly we went with our cousin to the meeting, during which a Brother McCarter rose and sang a song of Zion in tongues; I arose and sang simultaneously with him the same tune and words, beginning and ending each verse in perfect unison, without varying a word. It was just as though we had sung it together a thousand times. After we came out of meeting, our cousin observed, `Instead of laughing, I never felt so solemn in my life.'”

Journal of Discourses 6:240, Joseph Smith, June 2, 1839:
“Every spirit, or vision, or singing is not of God. The Devil is an orator. He is powerful. He took our Saviour on to a pinnacle of the Temple, and kept him in the wilderness for forty days. The gift of discerning spirits will be given to the Presiding Elder. Pray for him that he may have this gift. Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The Devil can speak in tongues: the Adversary will come with his work. He can tempt all classes­­can speak in English or Dutch. Let no one speak in tongues, unless he interpret, except by the consent of the one who is placed to preside; then he may discern or interpret, or another may.

History of the Church 3:379, June 1839:
[Instruction from the Prophet Joseph Smith]
“TONGUES were given for the purpose of preaching among those whose language is not understood; as on the day of Pentecost, etc., and it is not necessary for tongues to be taught to the Church particularly, for any man that has the Holy Ghost, can speak of the things of God in his own tongue as well as to speak in another; for faith comes not by signs, but by hearing the word of God.”

Artist’s depiction of Peter James and John laying their hands upon the head of Joseph Smith

History of the Church, 4:485-486, December 1841
“Sunday, 26­­: The public meeting of the Saints was at my [Joseph Smith] house this evening, and after Patriarch Hyrum Smith and Elder Brigham Young had spoken on the principles of faith, and the gifts of the Spirit, I [Joseph Smith] read the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, also a part of the 14th chapter, and remarked that the gift of tongues was necessary in the Church; but that if Satan could not speak in tongues, he could not tempt a Dutchman, or any other nation, but the English, for he can tempt the Englishman, for he has tempted me, and I am an Englishman; but the gift of tongues by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church, is for the benefit of the servants of God to preach to unbelievers, as on the day of Pentecost. When devout men from every nation shall assemble to hear the things of God, let the Elders preach to them in their own mother tongue, whether it is German, French, Spanish or `Irish,’ or any other, and let those interpret who understand the language spoken, in their own mother tongue, and this is what the Apostle meant in First Corinthians xiv: 27.”

History of the Church 4:296-297, February 1841:
“Since Stanley Hill conference, I [Levi Richards] have attended about thirty council meetings of Church officers, in eleven different places in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire, making a circuit of nearly one hundred miles. Union and harmony prevail among them, and a disposition to add to their faith. New places are frequently opened for preaching, which is generally supplied. Many are baptized every week, although the ice has to yield its natural claims, and be put aside. The gift of healing is manifested to quite an extent in this region. The gift of tongues is received in most of the branches where I am acquainted.”

Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, Jr.

History of the Church, 4:485, December, 1841:
“Sunday, 26­­The public meeting of the Saints was at my house this evening, and after Patriarch Hyrum Smith and Elder Brigham Young had spoken on the principles of faith, and the gifts of the Spirit, I [Joseph Smith] read the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, also a part of the 14th chapter, and remarked that the gift of tongues was necessary in the Church; but that if Satan could not speak in tongues, he could not tempt a Dutchman, or any other nation, but the English, for he can tempt the Englishman, for he has tempted me, and I am an Englishman; but the gift of tongues by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church, is for the benefit of the servants of God to preach to unbelievers, as on the day of Pentecost. When devout men from every nation shall assemble to hear the things of God, let the Elders preach to them in their own mother tongue, whether it is German, French, Spanish or “Irish,” or any other, and let those interpret who understand the language spoken, in their own mother tongue, and this is what the Apostle meant in First Corinthians xiv: 27.

History of the Church 4:580, April 1842:
“At a subsequent period a Shaker spirit was on the point of being introduced, and at another time the Methodist and Presbyterian falling down power, but the spirit was rebuked and put down, and those who would not submit to rule and good order were disfellowshiped. We have also had brethren and sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely; they would speak in a muttering unnatural voice, and their bodies be distorted like the Irvingites before alluded to; whereas, there is nothing unnatural in the Spirit of God. A circumstance of this kind took place in Upper Canada, but was rebuked by the presiding Elder; another, a woman near the same place, professed to have the discerning of spirits, and began to accuse another sister of things that she was not guilty of, which she said she knew was so by the spirit, but was afterwards proven to be false; she placed herself in the capacity of the “accuser of the brethren,” and no person through the discerning of spirits can bring a charge against another, they must be proven guilty by positive evidence, or they stand clear.”

History of the Church 4:607, April, 1842:
“If you have a matter to reveal, let it be in your own tongue; do not indulge too much in the exercise of the gift of tongues, or the devil will take advantage of the innocent and unwary. You may speak in tongues for your own comfort, but I lay this down for a rule, that if anything is taught by the gift of tongues, it is not to be received for doctrine.

History of the Church 5:31, June 1842; from the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“Be not so curious about tongues, do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners, and if persons are very anxious to display their intelligence, let them speak to such in their own tongues. The gifts of God are all useful in their place, but when they are applied to that which God does not intend, they prove an injury, a snare and a curse instead of a blessing. We may some future time enter more fully into this subject, but shall let this suffice for the present.

Ebenezer Robinson The Return 1 (June 1889), 1832-1843, page 90:
“President S. (Sidney) Rigdon then made a few appropriate closing remarks, and a short prayer which was ended with loud acclamation of Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen, and Amen! Three times. Elder B. (Brigham) Young, one of the Twelve, gave a short exhortation in tongues himself; Elder D. (David) W. Patten interpreted and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself; after which, President J. (Joseph) Smith, Jr., blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and at a little past four P.M. the whole exercise closed and the congregation dispersed.”

Brigham Young History, 1801­44, ed., E. Watson (1968), page 2, 4-5:
“We arrived at the place where there was a small branch of the Church; we conversed with them, attended their meetings and heard them preach, and after staying about one week we returned home, being still more convinced of the truth of the work, and anxious to learn its principles and to learn more of Joseph Smith’s mission. The members of the branch in Pennsylvania were the first in the Church who received the gift of tongues….In the evening a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed together upon the things of the kingdom. He called upon me to pray; in my prayer I spoke in tongues. As soon as we arose from our knees the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said, “No, it is of God, and the time will come when Brother Brigham Young will preside over this Church. The latter part of this conversation was in my absence.”

Nauvoo Temple 1847

History of the Church 7:557, December 1845, in the Nauvoo temple:
“After the dancing had continued about an hour, several excellent songs were sung, in which several of the brethren and sisters joined. The `Upper California’ was sung by Erastus Snow, after which I [Brigham Young] called upon Sister Whitney who stood up and invoking the gift of tongues, sang a beautiful song of Zion in tongues. The interpretation was given by her husband, Bishop Whitney, and me, it related to our efforts to build this house to the privilege we now have of meeting in it, our departure shortly to the country of the Lamanites, their rejoicing when they hear the gospel and of the ingathering of Israel.”

Lorenzo Brown Journal, 1823-1846, typescript, BYU­S, page 5:
“Our meetings were good. We were blessed spiritually with the gift of tongues, through which, and the interpretation, we learned many things. There were several hymns given, one of which was given through myself and interpreted by Sister Esther Crowely, who had the gift the most perfect of any person I ever knew. These lines I cannot withhold the impulse to subjoin as I then thought and still think them good. They were given several times until they were committed to memory.

Come every Saint and hearken now
Did you not make a solemn vow
When the Savior’s name ye took on you
With all your sins to bid adieu”

Sarah Leavitt History (1919), 1799-1847, page 18:
“But I will return to my history. We had lost our only cow, but my husband made rails and bought another and finally we concluded we would go to Nauvoo, as lots of our friends were going. We never had lived where there was a branch of the Church, but we got together every week and had prayer meetings and the Lord was with us and poured out His spirit upon us insomuch that they spoke in tongues and prophesied. The children took an active part in these meetings. They would talk in tongues and prophesy and it was interpreted. We depended on no leader but the Lord and He led us into all truth; the sick were healed as often as any were taken sick.”

History of the Church 7:557-558, December 1845:
[This event was in the Nauvoo temple after the death of Joseph Smith]
“After the dancing had continued about an hour, several excellent songs were sung, in which several of the brethren and sisters joined. The `Upper California’ was sung by Erastus Snow, after which I [Brigham Young] called upon Sister Whitney who stood up and invoking the gift of tongues, sang a beautiful song of Zion in tongues. The interpretation was given by her husband, Bishop Whitney, and me, it related to our efforts to build this house to the privilege we now have of meeting in it, our departure shortly to the country of the Lamanites [to end up in what is now Salt Lake City], their rejoicing when they hear the gospel and of the ingathering of Israel.”

Warren Foote Autobiography, typescript, BYU­S, 1817-1846, page 18:
“4th. We had trouble in the camp again. After considerable talking in, tongues, and confessions, it was again settled. O the folly and weakness of man. Mr. Markham has been sick, but is now getting better.

Heber Chase Kimball was a leader in the early Latter Day Saint movement. He served as one of the original twelve apostles in the early Mormon church, and as first counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death

Heber Kimball Journal, Millennial Star 26 (1864), page 488:
“As soon as I heard them I was convinced that they taught the truth, and that I had only received a part of the ordinances under the Baptist Church. I also saw and heard the gifts of the spirit manifested by the elders, for they spoke in tongues and interpreted, which tended to strengthen my faith. Brigham Young and myself were constrained, by the Spirit, to bear testimony of the truth, and when we did this, the power of God rested upon us.”

Heber Kimball Journal, Millennial Star 26 (1864), Pg.535:
“The Hill Cumorah is a high hill for that country, and had the appearance of a fortification or entrenchment around it. In the state of New York, probably, there are hundreds of those fortifications which are now visible and I have seen them in many other parts of the United States. We received the gift of tongues and interpretation a few days after we were baptized. The brethren who brought the Gospel to us belonged to the first Branch of the Church that received the gift of tongues, and the Branch at Mendon was the next. Brothers Brigham and Joseph Young and myself went to Kirtland, with my horses and wagon, to visit the Prophet, a distance of three hundred miles. We saw Brother Joseph Smith and had a glorious time; during which Brother Brigham spoke in tongues before Brother Joseph, it being the first time he had heard any one speak in tongues; he testified that the gift was from God, and spoke in tongues himself. Soon the gift of tongues became general in the Church in Kirtland. We had a precious season and returned with a blessing in our souls.”

Journal of Discourses 11:10, George Albert Smith, November 15, 1864:
“On the first day of the dedication [Kirtland temple], President Frederick G. Williams, one of the Council of the Prophet, and who occupied the upper pulpit, bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it. That evening there was a collection of Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, etc., amounting to four hundred and sixteen, gathered in the house; there were great manifestations of power, such as speaking in tongues, seeing visions, administration of angels. Many individuals bore testimony that they saw angels, and David Whitmer [he left the Church in 1838] bore testimony that he saw three angels passing up the south aisle, and there came a shock on the house like the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and almost every man in the house arose, and hundreds of them were speaking in tongues, prophesying or declaring visions, almost with one voice.”

Journal of Discourses 2:215, George Smith, 8 April 1855:
“On the evening after the dedication of the temple [Kirtland, 27 March 1836], hundreds of the brethren received the ministering of angels, saw the light and personages of angels, and bore testimony of it. They spake in new tongues, and had a greater manifestation of the power of God than that described by Luke on the day of Pentecost. Yet a great portion of the persons who saw these manifestations, in a few years, and some of them in a few weeks, apostatized.”

Benjamin Brown Testimonies For The Truth (1853), page 7:
“The Saints that I gathered at Portland, and that met at my house, were richly blessed with the various gifts of the Spirit­­ tongues, interpretations, prophecy, etc. I will relate an instance or two. One Sunday morning, while opening the meeting with prayer, the gift of tongues came upon me, but thinking of Paul’s words, that it is sometimes wisdom not to speak in tongues, unless one is present who can interpret, and forgetting that a sister, possessing the gift of interpretation, was present, I quenched the Spirit, and it left me. Immediately, another brother broke out in tongues, the interpretation of which was, that, `the Lord knew we were anxious to learn of the affairs of our brethren in Missouri, and that if we would humble ourselves before him, and ask, he would reveal unto us the desires of our hearts.’ Missouri was some thousand miles from Portland. We accordingly bowed again in supplication before the Lord, and, after rising from our knees, and reseating ourselves, the same brother broke out singing in tongues, in a low, mournful strain. But judge our feelings when the interpretation was given, and was found to be some thirteen or fourteen verses of poetry, descriptive of affairs in Missouri, the murder of our brethren there, and telling us that just at that time­­”

Journal of Discourses 1:131, Brigham Young, April 6, 1853:
“Were it not that our bodies have to be fed and clothed, I would propose that we tarry here a few months, to give all a chance to speak, to exhort, to pray, to prophesy, to sing, to speak in tongues, or to do whatsoever the Spirit should manifest unto them. But our work is a work of the present. The salvation we are seeking is for the present, and, sought correctly, it can be obtained, and be continually enjoyed.”

John Taylor was the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1880 to 1887. For the entire seven years of his presidency, he served with George Q. Cannon, left, first counselor, and Joseph F. Smith, second counselor.

Journal of Discourses 1:374-375, John Taylor, April 19, 1854:
“….but there must be missionary boxes to swallow up the money put into them, and if they go abroad, they must be well supplied with money, but they call upon the people to trust them for their spiritual welfare, while they cannot trust God for a piece of Johnny cake. I think we are very like them sometimes; we have a good supply of faith, we can speak and sing in tongues, and some of us have the gift of prophecy, and are full of religion and zeal. We pray fervently for the President, and for the Twelve, and for the rolling forth of God’s kingdom, and we seem all alive in it in this way; but what about our temporal interests?….`Yes, we have a great deal of faith, we can speak in tongues, and cast out devils in thy name.'”

Journal of Discourses 3:9, Jedediah M. Grant, May, 30, 1855:
“I remember well, when a boy, of hearing brother Brigham speak in tongues, and the effect it produced I shall never forget; I could feel the spirit, although I did not fully understand the tongue. I have heard others speak in tongues, but it had not the same effect, and I have marked the different impressions received under different individuals.”

Discourses of Brigham Young, page 162, June 1856:
“The gift of seeing with the natural eyes is just as much a gift as the gift of tongues. The Lord gave that gift and we can do as we please with regard to seeing; we can use the sight of the eye to the glory of God, or to our own destruction.” JD 3:364.

Journal of Discourses 3:364, Brigham Young, June 22, 1856:
“Take, for instance, the gift of tongues; years ago in this Church you could find men of age, and seemingly of experience, who would preach and raise up Branches, and when quite young boys or girls would get up and speak in tongues, and others interpret, and perhaps that interpretation instructing the Elders who brought them into the Church, they would turn round and say, “I know my duty, this is the word of the Lord to me and I must do as these boys or girls have spoken in tongues.”

Journal of Discourses 4: 170, Heber C. Kimball, January 11, 1857:
“As for the gift to tongues, I do not speak in tongues often. Can I speak in tongues? Yes, I can speak in a good, beautiful language to this people at any time. Why? Because God gave me the gift, and He does not give gifts to men and then take them away again, so long as those men are doing their duty.”

Parley Pratt Autobiography (1985), 1808-1857, pages 91-92:
“She then rode home, and was baptized in connection with several others, who came forward and obeyed the fullness of the gospel. We afterwards laid our hands on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, when it fell upon them in great power, insomuch that all in the room felt its power and influence and glorified God; some spake in tongues, others prophesied and bore testimony to the truth.

Journal of Discourses 11:135­-136, Brigham Young, August 1­10, 1865:
” A sister who receives the gift of tongues is not thereby empowered to dictate her president, or the church. All gifts and endowments given of the Lord to members of His church are not given to control the church; but they are under the control and guidance of the priesthood, and are judged of by it. Some have erred upon this point, and have been led captive by the devil.”

Brigham Young, clean shaven and rising through the ranks of LdS Church leadership

“When Joseph asked Brigham Young to pray, Brigham spoke in tongues, using strange sounds and unfamiliar words. The others looked at Joseph in some perplexity, for this type of spiritual phenomenon was not common to them. It was Joseph’s first experience with the puzzling speech and he called it ‘pure Adamic’ and stated that it was ‘of God.’ Speaking in tongues spread through the Pennsylvania branches of the church first, then occurred in Mendon, New York. Brigham Young brought it to Kirtland. The practice became a part of the Saints’ worship – particularly among women – until well into the next century.”
(King and Newell, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 46)

Journal of Discourses 13:58, Brigham Young, July 18, 1869:
“This Gospel is for all the children of men, and it will save all who will believe and obey it. Do this people believe in this Gospel?….Yes; and this is not all. They speak with new tongues, they lay hands on the sick and they do recover. In these particulars we differ from those with whom we formerly fellowshipped in the Christian world, who say they tell the people how to come to God and be saved. ”

Zebedee Coltrin Minutes, HP Spanish Fork, 5 Feb 1870, page 103:
[approximately 1835]
“At Kirtland, we were called to the school of the prophets, and at one time when Joseph was in the translating room, myself and others were talking about the gift of tongues, when the spirit of tongues fell upon me and I [Zebedee Coltrin] spoke under its influence. Joseph came into the room and said, `God bless you, Brother Zebedee, that is the spirit of God.’ He told me to continue and the gift of tongues and of prophesying rested on the greater part of the brethren present and we continued speaking in tongues and prophesying through that day and the greater part of the following night.”

Journal of Discourses 15:76, Orson Pratt, February 4, 1872:
“If the former­day Saints taught the necessity of having the various gifts of the Gospel, such as the gifts of vision, the ministration of angels, prophecy, revelation, healing the sick, speaking with tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and all the various gifts mentioned in the New Testament; if they taught these things in former days, the Latter­day Saints have been commissioned to teach the same things in our day, consequently there is no difference so far as doctrines, ordinances and the gifts are concerned.”

Discourses of Brigham Young, page 161, August 1873:
“There is a variety of blessings;….They have such power that when a person enters this congregation they can tell the spirit of such person; then they have received the gift of discerning of spirits. Some may receive the gift of tongues, that they will get up and speak in tongues, and speak in many other languages beside their mother tongue, the language that they were brought up in, that they were first taught,…” JD 16:164.

Journal of Discourses 16:291­-292, Orson Pratt, November 2, 1873:
“We find a great many gifts besides those I have mentioned. The gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the discerning of spirits, and the beholding of angels, were all given in ancient times by the Spirit, and the Church possessing them was compared to the body of Christ;….Says Paul, speaking to the Church­­`You are the body of Christ, and members in particular. God has set in the church, first apostles, second prophets, after that teachers, workers of miracles, speakers with tongues, interpreters of tongues.’ All these different ones are members of the body of Christ. Now, have we any right to say to the lowest of these members, `We have no need of you in the body?’ Supposing the teacher should say to the speaker in tongues­­`I have no need of you, now in the body, the Lord has a different kind of a body on the earth from what he had eighteen hundred years ago, and we do not need you now.’ Another says to the interpreter of tongues­­`We have persons who have studied all these languages, and we do not need a person to interpret tongues, by the Spirit,..”

Orson Pratt was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles

Key to the Science of Theology, by [Apostle] Parley P. Pratt, 1874, pages 98­-99, 106:
“He may perhaps speak in power, in the word of wisdom, in the word of knowledge, in prophecy, or in other tongues. He may see a vision, dream an inspired dream, or possess the gift to be healed, or to heal others, by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ…The members of the Church also partook of this Spirit, through the ministry of the Apostles, by which miraculous gifts were imparted unto them, some to one and some to another: some to speak in tongues, some to interpret, or translate from one language into another; some to prophesy, see visions, or converse with angels; others to control, or cast out devils, or heal the sick; and others, again, to teach and edify the Church, or the world, by the word of wisdom, and by the word of knowledge.”

Journal of Discourses 25:136, B. H. Roberts, January 28th, 1884:
“Did the ancient Saints enjoy the spiritual gifts and blessings of the Gospel ­­the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, faith, healing, tongues, interpretations, discerning of spirits, revelation, prophecy, visitation of angels, etc.? Yes: and do the Latter-­day Saints enjoy these things? You know they do, for you are witnesses of these things­­ then this institution exactly resembles that which Jesus established upon the earth when He was here.”

David O. McKay was the ninth president of The LdS Church serving from 1951 until his death. Ordained an apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1906, McKay was a general authority for nearly sixty-four years, longer than anyone else in history

Gospel Ideals, by [President] David O. McKay, 1873-1970, page 552:
“THE GIFT OF INTERPRETATION ­­ The occasion was a conference held at Huntly, New Zealand, a thousand people assembled. Before that time I had spoken through interpreters in China, Hawaii, Holland, and other places, but I felt impressed on that occasion to speak in the English language. In substance I said, “I have never been much of an advocate of the necessity of tongues in our Church, but today I wish I had that gift. But I haven’t. However, I am going to speak to you, my brothers and sisters, in my native tongue and pray that you may have the gift of interpretation of tongues. We will ask Brother Stuart Meha who is going to interpret for me, to make notes, and if necessary he may give us a summary of my talk afterwards. Well, the outpouring of the gift of tongues on that occasion was most remarkable….So it is the gift of interpretation rather than the gift of tongues, that was remarkable.”

Mormon Doctrine, by [Apostle] Bruce R. McConkie, 1979, Bookcraft, page 801:
“TONGUES As with other spiritual gifts, tongues “never will be done away,” as long as the earth remains in its present state, “only according to the unbelief of the children of men.” (Moro. 10:19.) But in the ultimate perfect day the gifts pertaining to tongues “shall cease.” (1 Cor. 13:8.)…”

Influential LdS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie preaching

A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, 1985, Deseret Book Co., page 374:
“These are of two kinds:

(1) Learning to speak foreign tongues, to understand the words spoken by aliens, and to translate what is written in other languages; and
(2) Speaking or understanding alien and unknown languages without premeditation.

The first kind is by far the more important and more commonly conferred; the second type is more dramatic and may involve languages spoken by others now living or dead languages long unknown among men. Some have spoken, for instance, in the pure Adamic language.”

CONCLUSION
Do Mormons now speak in tongues? As an active Mormon between 1975 and early 1984 I never once heard of any Mormon speaking in tongues as the early Mormons did. This does not mean it didn’t happen, I just never heard of it, then or since. Have you?

Now read again, just below, the quote under the title at the beginning of this paper for the significance to one Mormon prophet and president of speaking in tongues.
“…my wife….waiting for me, and she started to lecture me, saying that I was breaking the Word of Wisdom. She suddenly stopped, and by the gift of tongues she gave me a most remarkable and wonderful blessing and promised me that I should live to pay off all my debts, which I did live to do…Unless the gift of tongues and the interpretation thereof are enjoyed by the Saints in our day, then we are lacking one of the evidences of the true faith.­­YWJ [Young Women’s Journal], 16:128.”
(Gospel Standards, (President) Heber J. Grant (1870-1945), pages 11-12, describing a personal experience)

Hebert J. Grant (circa 1900) with his three wives and the first two of what would eventually total twelve children in all. Left to Right: Grace Grant (Evans), Heber J. Grant, Emily Wells Grant, Frances Grant (Bennett), Emily Grant (Mansen), Deseret “Dessie” Grant (Boyle)

About the Author
John R. Farkas (1932-2011) was a convert to Mormonism in 1975 and served in several callings up to and including Elder’s Quoruom President of  the Rochester 1st Ward, New York Stake. In 1984 he left the LdS Church and became involved with Berean Christian Ministries where he served until his death. Mr. Farkas is the author of several books on Mormonism and other subjects which can be found on his Author’s page on Amazon. Beggar’s Bread is grateful that before he passed Mr. Farkas granted us the permission to republish the articles from his now defunct website. 

John Farkas is of one the giants on whose shoulders we stand and to whom we owe a debt that we simply can never repay!  We look forward to thanking him again in heaven for the example of his life and treasure of wisdom that he left behind for our benefit.