Christian Standard September 29, 1906

The  Devil  and  Mormonism.


As there us a reasonable amount of space in the columns of the CHRISTIAN STANDARD devoted to the exposition of Mormonism, I feel that it would not be out of place to relate a little incident which I recently heard from the lips of one who was an eye-witness to an exposure of its corruption in a miraculous or wonder working scene attempted by Joseph Smith, the father and founder of Mormonism. The incident is related by Uncle Billie Jackson, of Higginsville, Mo., whose record as a man of truth and honor is known all over this part of the country. Uncle Billie states that when he was a boy his father lived in the northeastern part of Clinton County, Mo., and that at a little point called Farwest, in that part of the county, the Mormons under Joseph Smith, had become quite numerous, and that a young man by the name of Tom Parvin, who was working for his father, was paying his respects to a young lady who had embraced the Mormon faith and insisted that Tom attend their services in the hope of his being converted to Mormonism. Tom was reluctant, for while he enjoyed going to see the young lady, and had great respect for her as such, he was rather suspicious that her religion was a counterfeit. Yet, as time rolled on, and reports grow numerous of the wonderful things being done by Smith (the great apostle), Tom became anxious to attend a service and take a peep at the performances. So one Sunday morning, as service was to be held at Smith Creek, about three miles distant from Farwest, Tom and Uncle Billie (who was then a curious boy) went out to the meeting. Great crowds came from all over the country. After the usual service, a sermon and some songs, Smith called the attention of the audience to an evidence of his apostleship by walking to and fro across the stream on the surface of the water, after which he announced that divine service would be held in the same place in the afternoon at three o'clock, stating that the miracle would he performed again for the benefit of those who could not attend the morning service. To Parvin the scene upon the water seemed too wonderful to be genuine, so when the audience had all dispersed but he and Uncle Billie, he goes to the stream to examine the mysterious water path, and discovered that he could perform the same miracle, as he found about three inches under the surface of the water a slab about two inches thick and twelve inches wide extending across the stream. So he hurries home and obtains a handsaw and proceeds to weaken the path upon which the famous apostle had trod. His work being accomplished, three o'clock soon rolls around and a great concourse of people arrive on the ground to witness another exhibition of divine power. The sermon, the songs and usual preliminaries having been held, Smith, in royal robe, with bowed head and outstretched arms and solemn tread, proceeds to walk upon the surface of the water, but greatly to his surprise, the miracle was not so perfect as in the forenoon, as an angel had come down and troubled the water. So, when he about reached the middle of the stream, the ends of the slab came up and he went down, but understanding the art of swimming, he soon managed to reach the shore, muttering as he came out, "The devil did that." This was too great a temptation for Tom, who immediately spoke up, "Yes, the devil is the author of the whole business." There was considerable excitement over the matter, and Tom, being suspected as the destroying angel, decided to skip the country to save his life. This is a true story, and no doubt many of the readers of the STANDARD will [re]member the incident.