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Voice from Jerusalem

Hyde, Orson. A voice from Jerusalem, or a sketch of the travels and ministry of Elder Orson Hyde, missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to Germany, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, containing a description of Mount Zion, the Pool of Siloam, and other ancient places, and some account of the manners and customs of the east, as illustrative of scripture texts, with a sketch of several interviews and conversations with Jews’ [sic] missionaries, etc., with a variety of information on the present state of that and other countries with regard to coming events and the restoration of Israel. Compiled from his late letters and documents, the last of which bears date at Bavaria , on the Danube , Jan. 18, 1842 . Liverpool : Published by P. P. Pratt, Star Office, 36, Chapel Street . Printed by James and Woodburn, 14, Hanover Street . [1842]
v, [6]?-36 pp. 18 cm.

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The genesis of Orson Hyde’s mission dates to 1832, when Joseph Smith predicted that Hyde would visit the Holy Land and “be a watchman unto the house of Israel .” Eight years later Hyde reported having a vision in which he was directed to visit London , Amsterdam , Constantinople , and Jerusalem in anticipation of the return of the Jews to Palestine . This drew an official call at the April 6, 1840 , conference for him to visit these four cities and communicate his findings to the Saints. Two days later John E. Page was called to be his companion, and on April 15 Hyde left Nauvoo for the east coast. In February 1841 he sailed for England without Page, and he traveled alone through Europe and the Middle East , returning to Nauvoo in December 1842.

From Trieste , Hyde sent Parley Pratt a long letter addressed to the Twelve, dated January 1, 1842 , together with a note asking him to publish the letter in pamphlet form. In this way he hoped to meet his obligation to inform the Saints as well as raise some money to support himself and his family during his mission. At the end of January Orson sent Parley a second letter, dated at Trieste , January 17, and addressed to the brethren and sisters in Nauvoo, with a second note, dated at Regensburg , January 30, urging him to publish the two letters. In response, Parley announced in the Millennial Star for March 1842 his intention to issue Hyde’s letters in pamphlet form, and the next month the Star noted that the book was out of press and for sale at four pence each. Parley later reported that the edition was 3,000.

A Voice from Jerusalem includes the two letters from Trieste; the two notes; a third letter dated at Alexandria, November 22, 1841; a fourth dated at Jaffa, October 20, 1841; an introduction describing the origin and purpose of Hyde’s mission, taken from the second edition of An Appeal to the American People ; and, at the end, what seems to be a non-Mormon poem, “The Gathering of Israel” by Mrs. Tinsley. Letter I contains the bulk of Hyde’s description of the Holy Land as well as an amusing report of his encounter with the Christian missionaries there. Letter III includes his prayer for the return of the Jews to Jerusalem offered on the Mount of Olives , Sunday, October 24, 1841.

The phrase in the title, the last of which bears date at Bavaria , on the Danube , Jan. 18, 1842 , is a bit baffling since Hyde’s second note to Parley Pratt is dated January 30, 1842 , and none of the letters is dated January 18. However, in the Star of March 1842 Parley reports having “lately received two lengthy and highly interesting communications from Elder Orson Hyde, dated at Trieste , Jan. 1 st . and 18 th , containing a sketch of his voyages and travels in the East.” So it is possible that the date “January 17” on the second letter is a misprint.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume One, 1830-1847. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, [1997]). Item 144, p. 187-89.

Used by permission of the author and the Religious Studies Center , Brigham Young University.

Voice of Truth

SMITH, Joseph. The voice of truth, containing General Joseph Smith’s correspondence with Gen. James Arlington Bennett [sic]; appeal to the Green Mountain Boys; correspondence with John C. Calhoun, Esq.; views of the powers and policy of the government of the United States; pacific innuendo, and Gov. Ford’s letter; a friendly hint to Missouri, and a few words of consolation for the “Globe;” also, correspondence with the Hon. Henry Clay. Nauvoo, Ill: Printed by John Taylor, 1844, [1845]. 64 pp. 25 cm. Bound in yellow printed wrappers.

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Voice of Truth gathers under one cover the bulk of Joseph Smith’s political statements, together with his most important discourse, the King Follett funeral sermon. With his name attached to the copyright notice on the verso of the title page, it seems clear that the book was compiled by W. W. Phelps, who actually wrote most of the contents. The dedicatory poem (p. [3]), dated June 1844, and the fact that Phelps obtained the copyright on June 22 suggest it was put to press shortly before Joseph Smith’s death, probably as a piece for his presidential campaign. But his assassination interrupted the printing, and the unfinished book lay in the Times and Seasons shop until it was eventually completed as a memorial to him. Phelps’s poem “The Cap Stone” is printed on the back of the wrapper from a rearrangement of the same setting used to print the poem in the Times and Seasons of August 1, 1845, and the Nauvoo Neighbor of August 6 refers to the book, which suggests that it was finished about this time.

The first four items following the preface (pp. [5]-6) were each printed earlier as separates; Joseph Smith’s correspondence with James Arlington Bennet (pp. [7]-14), his appeal to the Green Mountain Boys (pp. [15]-20), his correspondence with John C. Calhoun (pp. [21]-26), and his views on government (pp. 26-38).

On February 16, 1844, Joseph Smith directed Phelps to write “Pacific Innuendo,” the fifth piece in Voice of Truth (pp. [39]-43), which was first printed in the Times and Seasons of February 15 and the Neighbor of February 21. This was prompted by a letter from Thomas Ford of January 29-published in the Warsaw Signal of February 14 and included with “Pacific Innuendo”-which Ford wrote in response to an anti Mormon meeting in Carthage on January 24. In this letter Ford deplores the threat of violence, asserts that he is bound by law in his dealings with the Mormons, and declares that he will meet any outbreak of violence with executive action. “Pacific Innuendo” applauds Ford’s statement. It assures the citizens of Hancock that the Mormons pose no threat to them, and it urges the Saints “to shew the love of God, by now kindly treating those who may have, in any unconscious moment, done them wrong.”

Phelps also wrote “A Friendly Hint to Missouri” (pp. 43-46) at Joseph Smith’s direction and read it to the First Presidency and the Twelve the evening of March 8, a few days before Orson Pratt left for Washington with two memorials to Congress. Signed by Joseph Smith and dated March 8, 1844, it is a plea to the state of Missouri, in a conciliatory tone, to redress the losses of the Saints. It was first printed in the Neighbor of March 13 and in the Times and Seasons of March 15.

“The Globe,” the seventh article in Voice of Truth (pp. 46-50), also bears Phelps’s style. It first appeared in the Neighbor of April 17 and the Times and Season of April 15. Signed by Joseph Smith and dated April 15, 1844, it responds to an article in the Washington Daily Globe of March 14 which is critical of Joseph Smith’s view on government, particularly the plank on a national bank. Asserting that it is “extraneous, irrelevant, and kick shawing” to associate him with any party or personalities, “The Globe” repeats Joseph Smith’s views on a national bank, prison reform, slavery, and increased presidential powers without expanding upon them.

Also included is Joseph correspondence with 1844 Whig party presidential candidate Henry Clay. The entire exchange with Clay (pp. [51]-59), including Clay’s letter of November 15, 1843, was first printed in the Neighbor of May 29 and the Times and Seasons of June 1. Joseph Smith’s letter to Clay of May 13 was certainly written by Phelps and is little more than an ad hominem attack.

The King Follet funeral discourse, headed Joseph Smith’s last Sermon, delivered in the April conference, 1844, is added in Voice of Truth as an appendix (pp. 59-64). It is not listed on the title page and was not originally intended to be included with the pamphlet, but it was noted on the printed wrapper. Follett, fifty five years old and a convert of 1831, was crushed in a well on March 9 and buried “with Masonic honors” the next day. Although Joseph Smith preached at the funeral, he used Follett’s death as the point of departure for his greatest discourse, delivered at the general conference on April 7. Thomas Bullock, William Clayton and Willard Richards each recorded the sermon, and Wilford Woodruff reported it in his journal. Bullock’s and Clayton’s reports were “amalgamated” to produce a text which was printed in the Times and Seasons of August 15, 1844. This text was preprinted in Voice of Truth. The two versions are identical except for a hand full of changes in punctuation and capitalization. Treating a number of distinctive doctrines, the discourses most dramatic ideas are those summarized in the couplet formulated by Lorenzo Snow: “As man now is, God once was: as God now is, man may be.”

Voice of Truth was issued in yellow wrappers with the following wrapper title on the front: The voice of truth, containing the public writings, portrait, and last sermon of President Joseph Smith. Nauvoo, Ill: Printed by John Taylor, 1845.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume One, 1830-1847. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, [1997]). Item 271, p. 309-12.

Used by permission of the author and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University.

Voice of Warning

Pratt, Parley Parker. A voice of warning and instruction to all people, containing a declaration of faith and doctrine of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons. By P.P. Pratt, minister of the gospel. New-York, Printed by W. Sanford, 29 Ann-St., 1837.
xx, [21]-215 p. 15 cm.M

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Touched by the dissension that swept the Mormon community in Kirtland, Parley Pratt fled to New York in July 1837 to engage in the renewing and purifying of himself by preaching the gospel. However, few New York doors opened to him, so impelled by his natural literary instincts, he retired to his room to write. In two months he produced the most important of all noncanonical Mormon books, the Voice of Warning. Published in an edition of 3000, Voice of Warning was not quite the first Mormon tract nor the first outline of the tenets of Mormonism, but it was the first to emphasize the differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity. More important, it erected a standard for all future Mormon pamphleteers by setting down a formula for describing Mormonism’s basic doctrines and by listing biblical proof-texts, arguments, examples which would be used by others for the next hundred years. It was also an extremely effective missionary tract, and before the close of the century, Voice of Warning went through more than thirty editions in English and was translated into Danish, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley and Chad J. Flake, A Mormon Fifty: an exhibition in the Harold B. Lee Library in conjunction with the annual conference of the Mormon History Association. (Provo, Utah, Friends of the Brigham Young University Library, 1984). Item 7, p. [10].

Used by permission of the authors.