Mormon History

Only Dreamers Have the Gospel - 1836 

The Essex Register August 22, 1836

Mormonism.  Notices were sent round on Saturday, that Mr. Rigdon of Ohio would preach at the Lyceum that afternoon, on the subject of the Christian religion. Having understood that he was a Mormonite, we went to the Lyceum, expecting to hear something on the subject of the peculiar doctrines of that sect, and perhaps to get a view of the "Mormon Bible," translated from the Golden Plates said to have been discovered by Jo. Smith, their prophet! The preacher was a man of very respectable appearance, apparently about forty years of age, and very fluent in his language. He commenced by reading the 1st chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians -- then followed a prayer -- he then began his discourse, founded upon Galatians i. 8; "Though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach any other gospel than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed." He said we hear a great deal of want of charity in these days, by some sects, but if a strong attachment to truth, indicated a want of charity, he thought the Savior and his apostles were the most uncharitable persons he ever heard of. He said he did not come to discuss the authenticity of the Scriptures, or to engage in the religious disputes of the day -- he wished to divest himself and his audience of all the prejudices of education; he had been taught the orthodox faith, but had abandoned it, because he did not find it accord with the Bible, and for the same reason he rejected the other prevalent systems of faith -- he considered them all destitute of truth -- his object was to take the Bible as it is, and endeavor to ascertain what that particular thing was which the Apostle called THE GOSPEL. He then quoted and commented at some length on the commission given by the Savior to his apostles, as recorded in Mark xvi. 17, 18; and upon various declarations of the Apostles upon the subject, and the history of the first promulgation of Christianity, as given in the New Testament -- from all which he contended with great earnestness, that no man can preach the true gospel, unless the same signs and wonders follow those who believe it and are baptized, which did follow it in the days of the Apostles -- consequently, none can be true Christians, except those who have received the Holy Ghost, and who have power to see visions, dream dreams, look into futurity, utter prophecies, handle poisonous reptiles or drink any deadly thing, without receiving any injury, of healing the sick by laying their hands upon them, and the gift of speaking with other tongues, as on the day of Pentecost. Having laid down these principles, from which it would appear that there is no such thing as the true Gospel among us, he abruptly dismissed the audience, without giving any evidence that he himself possessed any of the above powers, or any intimation that he should continue the subject at any future time -- although, as it is understood that he and several of his brethren have taken up their residence in this city, for a time, he will probably give a further exposition of his views.