The Four Hidden Revelations
"I the Lord have raised up unto you my servant John Taylor to preside over you and to be a law giver unto my Church. He has mingled his blood with that of the martyred Prophets. Nevertheless, while I have taken my servants Joseph and Hyrum unto myself, I have preserved my servant John Taylor for a wise purpose in me."-Revelation through Wilford Woodruff, 1880.
"The laws prohibiting plural marriage were regarded as unconstitutional and unjust by the Church, and their execution was bitterly opposed.*** While this storm raged John Taylor stood immovable in his conviction that the anti-polygamy law was unjust, and DIED WITHOUT MAKING ANY CONCESSION. THIS WAS THE OUTSTANDING FEATURE OF HIS ADMINISTRATION." --April, 1922, Conference Report, p. 38.
Four revelations from God, through John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, not published in the Doctrine and Covenants, are given herewith. While these revelations have from time to time and by certain individuals been denied, they have all been fully authenticated by leaders of the Church, and it can be said in truth that each of them is authentic and genuine.
But first a word from the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun.:
They accuse me of polygamy, and of being a false prophet, and many other things which I do not now remember; but I am no false prophet; I am no impostor; I have had no dark revelations; I have had no revelations from the devil, I made no revelations; I have got nothing up of myself. The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people, would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. And they say if I do so, they will kill me! Oh, what shall I do? If I do not practice it, I shall be damned with my people. If I do teach it, and practice it, and urge it, they say they will kill me, and I know they will. But we have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction. -Contributor, 5:259.
Revelation to Wilford Woodruff in 1880 as copied from the Journal of Wilford Woodruff, about 1908, by Joseph W. Musser, at the request of his father, A. Milton Musser, then Assistant Historian of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Musser, at the suggestion of his father, copied the revelation in duplicate, retaining a copy for himself. The Journal of Wilford Woodruff, from which the revelation was copied, reads as follows:
During the month of January, 1880, I was at Sunset, Arizona, with Brother Lot Smith and the brethren with him who were trying to establish a Branch of the United Order at that place. At this time the Government, through its officers, were using every means in its power to enforce the Edmunds-Tucker and anti-polygamy law with the evident intent on the part of the officers to break us up as an organized community. Being away from President Taylor and my Quorum, I felt deeply distressed in mind concerning our conditions as a people. While thus exercised I went into "the Wilderness", a region of country called by this name, situated about forty miles west of Sunset, and while there I stopped with two young men who were herding sheep belonging to the people of Sunset. I remained with them ten days, reading the revelations of God as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, and praying fervently unto the Lord to reveal to me His mind and will concerning Zion. On retiring to bed on the night of the 25th of January, 1880, I found myself wrapt in vision, and the next morning the following revelation was given to me of the Lord which I wrote at the time:
Thus saith the Lord unto my servant, Wilford Woodruff, I have heard thy prayer and will answer thy petition. I will make known unto thee my will concerning the nations who encumber the land of promise and also concerning Zion and her inhabitants.
I have already revealed my will concerning this nation through the mouth of my servant Joseph, who sealed his testimony with his own blood, which testimony has been in force upon all the world from the hour of his death.
What I the Lord have revealed in that testament and decreed upon this nation and upon all the nations of the earth, shall be fulfilled, saith the Lord of hosts. I the Lord have spoken and will be obeyed. My purposes shall be fulfilled upon this nation and no power shall stay My Hand. The hour is at the door when My wrath and indignation will be poured out upon the wicked of the nations.
Their murders, blasphemies, lying, whoredoms, and abominations have come up before my face and before the heavens, and the wrath of my indignation is full.
I have decreed plagues to go forth and waste my enemies, and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute my heritage.
The devil is ruling over his kingdom and my spirit has no place in the hearts of the rulers of this nation, and the devil stirs them up to defy my power and to make war upon my Saints. Therefore let mine Apostles and mine Elders who are faithful obey my commandments which are already written for their profit and guidance.
Thus saith the Lord unto My servant, John Taylor, and My servant Wilford Woodruff, and My servant, Orson Pratt, and to all the residue of mine Apostles; Have you not gone forth in My name without purse or scrip and declared the Gospel of life and salvation unto this nation and the nations of the earth and warned them of the judgments which are to come as you have been moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord?
You have done this year by year for a whole generation, as men count time. Therefore your garments are clean of the blood of this generation and especially of this nation.
Therefore, as I have said in a former commandment, so I the Lord say again unto My Apostles: Go ye alone by yourselves, whether in heat or in cold and cleanse your feet in water, pure water, it matters not whether it be by the running streams, or in your closets; but leave these testimonies before the Lord and the heavenly hosts; and when you have all done this, then gather yourselves together in your Holy places and clothe yourselves with the robes of the Holy Priesthood and there offer up your prayers according to my Holy Law.
Let him who presides be mouth and kneel at the Holy altar, and there let mine Apostles bring all these testimonies before my face and before the heavenly hosts and before the justified spirits made perfect. And thus saith the Lord unto you, mine apostles, when you bring these testimonies before me, let them be presented by name as far as the Spirit shall present them unto you: The Presidents of the United States, the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, the Senate and Houses of Congress of the United States, the Governors of the States and Territories, the judges and others sent unto you, and all men and persons who have taken any part in persecuting you or bringing distress upon you or your families, or who have sought your lives, or sought to hinder you from keeping my commandments or from enjoying the rights which the constitutional laws of the land guarantee unto you.
And what I the Lord say unto you, mine Apostles, I also say unto my servants- the Seventies, the High Priests, the Elders, the Priests and all my servants who are pure in heart and who have borne testimony unto the nations. Let them go forth and cleanse their feet in pure water and bear testimony of it unto their Father who is in heaven.
And then, saith the Lord unto mine Apostles and mine Elders, when ye do these things with purity of heart, I the Lord will hear your prayers and am bound by oath and covenant to defend you and fight your battles.
As I have said in a former commandment, it is not my will that mine Elders should fight the battles of Zion, for I will fight your battles.
Nevertheless, let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake, for he that layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again and have eternal life.
The nation is ripened in iniquity and the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full and I will not stay my hand in judgments upon this nation or the nations of the earth.
I have decreed wars and judgments upon the wicked and my wrath and indignation are about to be poured out upon them and the wicked and rebellious shall know that I am God.
As I the Lord have spoken so will I fulfill. I will spare none who remain in Babylon, but I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts. As I the Lord have suffered, so will I put all enemies under my feet. For I the Lord utter my word and it shall be obeyed.
And the day of wrath and indignation shall come upon the wicked.
And I say again, woe unto that nation or house or people who seek to hinder my people from obeying the Patriarchal law of Abraham, which leadeth to Celestial Glory, which has been revealed unto my Saints through the mouth of my servant Joseph, for whosoever doeth these things shall be damned, saith the Lord of Hosts, and shall be broken up and wasted away from under heaven by the judgments which I have sent forth, and which shall not return unto me void.
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed, and with famine and plagues and earthquakes and the thunder of heaven and the vivid lightenings shall this nation and the nations of the earth be made to feel the chastening hand of an Almighty God until they are broken up and destroyed and wasted away from under heaven, and no power can stay my hand. Therefore, let the wicked tremble; let them that blaspheme my name hold their lips, for destruction will swiftly overtake them.
All that I the Lord have spoken through the mouths of my Prophets and Apostles since the world began, concerning the last dispensation and fullness of times, concerning my Church, which has been called out of the wilderness of darkness and error, concerning the Zion and kingdom of God and concerning Babylon the great, and what I have spoken through the mouth of my servant Joseph, shall all be fulfilled.
And though the heaven and earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall be fulfilled, saith the Lord.
These revelations and testimonies are before you. Let my Saints search the Word of the Lord and treasure up wisdom and be prepared for that which is to come.
As I have decreed, so shall my judgments begin at the House of God.
There are those in my Church who have a name among you who are adulterers and adulteresses, and those who blaspheme my name and those who love and make a lie, and those who revel and drink with the drunken.
If they do not speedily repent of this wickedness and abomination, they should be severed from the ordinances of my house, saith the Lord.
There are many who have need to repent, whose hearts are set upon the things of this world, who aspire to the honors of men and do not honor the Priesthood, nor seek to build up the Kingdom of God as they should. Neither do they learn and comprehend:
That the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
Such should repent and turn unto the Lord, and seek for the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Judgments will begin upon my house, and from thence will they go forth unto the world and the wicked cannot escape.
Blessed are the pure in heart for mv blessings await them in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
Thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant and Apostles who dwell in the flesh. Fear ye not your enemies. Let not your hearts be troubled. I am in your midst. I am your advocate with the Father. I have given mine angels charge concerning you. Mine eyes are upon you and the eyes of your Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Hosts and all justified spirits made perfect are watching over you. Your works are manifest before the face of my servants who have sealed their testimony with their blood, and before all my servants of the Apostles whom I have taken unto myself.
The veil is taken from off their faces and they know your works. They await your coming when you have finished your testimony in the flesh. Therefore, be ye faithful until I come. My coming is at the door.
Call upon the Lord in mighty prayer, ask and you shall receive. Whenever you agree as touching anything and ask the Father in my name, it shall be given unto you. Seek diligently to build up Zion and to magnify your high calling and your enemies shall not prevail over you. Zion shall not be moved out of her place. Zion shall prevail against her enemies.
My people shall not be hindered in the building of my temples unto my Holy Name, if they will hearken unto my voice and do as I command them.
The blood of my servants Joseph and Hyrum and of mine Apostles and Elders which has been shed for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, cries from the ground for vengeance upon the nation which has shed their blood. But their blood shall speedily be avenged and shall cease to cry unto me, for the hour of God's judgment is fully come and shall be poured out without measure upon the wicked.
But hearken and hear, O ye Apostles, Elders and people of my Church, to the Word of the Lord concerning you, that for all the blessing that I will pour out upon you and the inhabitants of Zion and the judgments and destruction upon the wicked, I will be inquired of by you to ask the Father in my name to do and to perform these things for you as I told all the House of Israel by my servant Moses, that they should ask at my hand for all those blessings which I the Lord have promised unto Israel in the latter days.
And as I the Lord ordained mine Apostles who were with me in my ministry and promised them that they should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel, so I say unto you mine Apostles, who I have raised up in these last days that I have ordained you to bear record of my name, and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles first, and then to the House of Israel. I have also ordained you to sit upon thrones and judge the Gentiles and the inhabitants of the earth unto whom you have borne testimony of my name in the day and generation in which you live. Therefore, how great is your calling and responsibility before me. Therefore, gird up the loins of your minds and magnify your calling in the fear of God, and prepare ye for the coming of the Son of Man, which is nigh at the door.
No man knoweth the day nor the hour, but the signs of both heaven and earth indicate His coming, as promised by the mouths of my disciples; the fig tree is leafing and the hour is nigh. Therefore, prepare yourselves, O ye Saints of the Most High God, with oil in your lamps, for blessed is he that watcheth for the coming of the Son of Man.
Again, hear ye the Word of the Lord, O ye mine Apostles whom I have chosen in these last days to bear record of my name and lead my people Israel until the coming of the Son of Man.
I the Lord have raised up unto you my servant John Taylor to preside over you and to be a lawgiver unto my Church. He has mingled his blood with that of the martyred Prophets. Nevertheless, while I have taken my servants Joseph and Hyrum unto myself, I have preserved my servant John Taylor for a wise purpose in me.
I have also taken many others of the Apostles unto myself, for I take whom I will take, and preserve in life whom I will preserve, according to the counsel of mine own will.
And while my servant John Taylor is your President, I wish to ask the rest of my servants of the Apostles the question, although you have one to preside over your Quorum, which is the order of God in all generations, do you not, all of you, hold the apostleship, which is the highest authority ever given to men on earth? You do. Therefore you hold in common the Keys of the Kingdom of God in all the world.
You each of you have the power to unlock the veil of eternity and hold converse with God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ and to have the ministrations of angels
It is your right, privilege and duty to inquire of the Lord as to His mind and will concerning yourselves and the inhabitants of Zion and their interests.
And whenever any one of you receives the word of the Lord, let it be written and presented in your councils and whatever by united consent you deem wisdom to be presented unto the people, let it be presented by the President, my servant John Taylor, as the word of the Lord. In this way you will uphold him and strengthen his hands, as all the burden should not lie upon one man.
For thus saith the Lord, all mine Apostles should be full of the Holy Ghost, of inspiration and revelation to know the mind and will of God and be prepared for that which is to come. Therefore let mine Apostles keep my commandments and obey my voice and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
Fear not, for lo, I am with you until I come and I come quickly. Even so, Amen.
The above revelation at the time, was sustained by the Church leaders, as follows:
Elder Franklin D. Richards, Church Historian and a member of the Quorum of Twelve, in writing the life of Wilford Woodruff ( See Vol. 1: 874, Improvement Era), states:
During the period of the extreme and unrelenting prosecutions under the anti-polygamy acts of Congress, President Woodruff spent much of the time among the churches in Arizona and southern Utah. On January 26, 1880, having retired for some days in the mountains, fasting and praying, he obtained important revelations from the Lord concerning the work of the Twelve Apostles and events which would happen affecting both the Church and the nation. These were submitted to President John Taylor and the Council of the Apostles and were accepted by them as profitable for doctrine, for comfort, for light as to the future and for encouragment in the work of the ministry.
We now produce the text of the revelation received by President John Taylor, October, 1882. The authenticity of this revelation, so far as we know, is not questioned. It was published in some of the early European editions of the Doctrine and Covenants, also in the life of John Taylor by Roberts, but never appeared in the Utah editions of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Thus saith the Lord to the Twelve, and to the Priesthood and people of my Church.
Let my servants George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant be appointed to fill the vacancies in the Twelve, that you may be fully organized and prepared for the labors devolving upon you, for you have a great work to perform, and then proceed to fill up the presiding quorum of Seventies, and assist in organizing that body of my priesthood who are your co-laborers in the ministry. You may appoint Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law; for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my priesthood; and then proceed forthwith and call to your aid any assistance that you may require from among the Seventies to assist you in your labors in introducing and maintaining the gospel among the Lamanites throughout the land. And then let High Priests be selected, under the direction of the First Presidency, to preside over the various organizations that shall exist among this people; that those who receive the Gospel may be taught in the doctrines of my church and in the ordinances and laws thereof, and also in the things pertaining to my Zion and my Kingdom, saith the Lord, that they may be one with you in my Church and my Kingdom.
Let the Presidency of my Church be one in all things; and let the Twelve also be one in all things; and let them all be one with me as I am one with the Father. And let the High Priests organize themselves, and purify themselves, and prepare themselves for this labor, and for all other labors that they may be called upon to fulfill.
And let the Presidents of the Stakes also purify themselves, and the priesthood and people of the Stakes over which they preside, and organize the priesthood in their various stakes according to my law, in all the various departments thereof, in the High Councils, in the Elders' quorums, and in the Bishops and their councils, and in the quorums of Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, that every quorum may be fully organized according to the order of My Church; and, then let them inquire into the standing and fellowship of all that hold my Holy Priesthood in their several stakes; and if they find those that are unworthy let them remove them, except they repent; for My Priesthood, whom I have called and whom I have sustained and honored, shall honor Me and obey My laws, and the laws of My Holy Priesthood, or they shall not be considered worthy to hold My Priesthood, saith the Lord.
And let My Priesthood humble themselves before me, and seek not their own will but my will; for if my priesthood, whom I have chosen and called, and endowed with the spirit and gifts of their several callings, and with the powers thereof, do not acknowledge me I will not acknowledge them, saith the Lord; for I will be honored and obeyed by my priesthood.
And, then, I call upon My Priesthood and upon all of my people, to repent of all their sins and shortcomings, of their covetousness and pride and self-will, and of all their iniquities wherein they sin against me; and to seek with all humility to fulfill my law, as my priesthood, my Saints and my people; and I call upon the heads of families to put their houses in order according to the Law of God, and attend to the various duties and responsibilities associated therewith, and to purify themselves before me, and to purge out iniquity from their households.
And I will bless and be with you, saith the Lord, and ye shall gather together in your holy places wherein ye assemble to call upon me, and ye shall ask for such things as are right, and I will hear your prayers and my spirit and power shall be with you and my blessings shall rest upon you, upon your families, your dwellings and your households, upon your flocks and herds and fields, your orchards and vineyards, and upon all that pertains to you; and you shall be my people and I will be your God; and your enemies shall not have dominion over you, for I will preserve you and confound them, saith the Lord, and they shall not have power nor dominion over you; for my words shall go forth, and my work shall be accomplished, and my Zion shall be established, and my rule and my power and my dominion shall prevail among my people, and all nations shall yet acknowledge Me. Even so, Amen.-Gospel Kingdom, p. 390.
Confirmation of the 1882 Revelation:
The following items pertaining to the reception and consideration of the above revelation, were, by Elder Musser, copied from Wilford Woodruff Journals at the time of copying the revelations to Wilford Woodruff of 1880 and 1889, and will be found pertinent at this point:
October 13, 1882. We met in council at President Taylor's office. We heard the revelation read in which George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant were called to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Seymour B. Young to fill the vacancy in the First Presidency of Seventies. October 14, 1882, we held a meeting with the Presidency, Twelve Apostles and the Presidents of Stakes. Remarks were made by President Taylor. Then the revelation was read. George Q. Cannon spoke to us and said, "How can we teach the people any law or principle that we do not keep ourselves?"
Joseph F. Smith spoke upon several subjects upon the Patriarchal Order of Marriage. President Taylor told what Joseph Smith said to him upon the subject, and said, "If we do not embrace that principle soon the keys will be turned against us, for if we do not keep the same law our Heavenly Father has we cannot go with Him. The word of the Lord to us was that if we did not obey that law we could not go where our Heavenly Father dwelt. A man obeying a lower law is not qualified to preside over those who keep a higher law." W. Woodruff said he was glad the Quorum of the Twelve and Seventies were now to be filled, and said that the reason why the Church and Kingdom of God could not progress if we did not receive the Patriarchal Law of Marriage is that it belonged to this dispensation as well as the Baptism for the dead, and any law or ordinance that belongs to this dispensation must be received by the members of the Church, or it cannot progress. The leading men of Israel who are presiding over Stakes will have to obey the law of Abraham, or they will have to stop.*** E. Snow said that Joseph Smith said that the parable that Jesus spoke of that the man who had one talent and hid it in the earth was the man who had but one wife and would not take another, would have her taken from him and given to one who had more.
Revelation to John Taylor, September 26-27, 1886:
My Son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people; thus saith the Lord: All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name, unless they are revoked by me or by my authority, and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant; for I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with, but they stand forever.
Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject? Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my laws and the keeping of my commandments, and yet have I borne with them these many years; and this because of their weakness, because of the perilous times, and furthermore, it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regards to these matters. Nevertheless, I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not.
And as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph: All those who would enter into my glory must and shall obey my law. And have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed and would enter into my glory, they must do the works of Abraham?
I have not revoked this law, nor will I, for it is everlasting, and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof; Even so Amen.
PHOTO-LITHOGRAPHIC REPRINT OF EXACT ORIGINAL COPY in President Taylor's own handwriting. The reader will note the similarity of the writing with President Taylor's signature printed under his picture on title page.
The above is a PHOTO-LITHOGRAPHIC REPRINT OF EXACT ORIGINAL COPY of the 1886 Revelation in Apostle John W. Taylor's own handwriting, which copy was made from the original found on his FATHER'S desk. This copy was read to the Apostles during the trial, and was filed as an exhibit with the rest of the trial transcript and material.
The revelation has been called into question by the Church statement of June 17, 1933, signed by Heber J. Grant, A. W. Ivins and J. Reuben Clark, Jr., the First Presidency of the Church, in the following statement:
It is alleged that on September 26-27, 1886, President John Taylor received a revelation from the Lord, the purported text of which is given in publication circulated apparently by or at the instance of this same organization (the so-called Fundamentalists). As to this pretended revelation it should be said that the archives of the Church contain no such revelation; the archives contain no record of any such revelation, nor any evidence justifying a belief that any such revelation was ever given. From the personal knowledge of some of us, from the uniform and common recollection of the presiding quorums of the Church, from the absence in the Church archives of any evidence whatsoever justifying any belief that such revelation was given, we are justified in affirming that no such revelation exists.-Des. News (Ch. Sec.), June 17, 1933, p. 4.
Such an evident attempt at camouflaging the truth and misleading the Saints merits the utter contempt of all honest men and women. It is a well known fact that President Heber J. Grant and his counselor, A. W. Ivins, knew of this revelation when they signed that false statement. That the revelation probably had been withdrawn from the archives of the Church in order to make the statement more plausible, is admitted. The men who signed that statement committed treason against the Lord. Two of them have been called to the other side to face those whom they lied about, and one is still here continuing his fight against this great saving and exalting commandment given by the Lord, the introduction of which cost the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith; thus, according to Joseph Smith and his associates in the Priesthood, being a plain, revengeful and out and out apostate, guilty of treason against heaven and meriting only the loathing mistrust of those who have so bounteously heaped honors upon him in the Church.
The late B. H. Roberts, while Assistant Historian of the Church, stated to friends that he had seen, on more than one occasion, the original copy of this 1886 revelation, and knew that it was in the Church archives; and in his opinion it was genuine.
A. W. Ivins, in a letter dated February 10, 1934, admitted finding the original copy of this 1886 revelation, but disdainfully said it was written in pencil and contained only a few paragraphs, and had no signature. Where is there a revelation to Joseph Smith, Isaiah, or any other Prophet of God, that has their signatures? The revelation in question was from the Lord and not from John Taylor. See Truth 17:64.
Melvin J. Ballard, member of the Quorum of Twelve, stated in a letter dated December 31, 1934, now in the hands of the writer, "The pretended revelation of President John Taylor never had his signature added to it but was written in the form of a revelation and undoubtedly was in his handwriting." (See Ballard-Jenson Correspondence, p. 27).
ADDITIONAL CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE
Items of special interest relative to the 1886 REVELATION. The following excerpts taken from the trial minutes of special meetings of the Twelve Apostles held in the Salt Lake Temple, February 22nd, and March 1st, 1911.
Those in attendance were: Apostle John W. Taylor, President Francis M. Lyman and Apostles Heber J. Grant, Hyrum M. Smith, Charles W. Penrose, George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, David O. McKay, Anthony W. Ivins, and Joseph F. Smith, Jr.
President Francis M. Lyman presided and specifically informed Apostle John W. Taylor that he had been summoned to the trial, "TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH."
Apostle John W. Taylor: My father received a REVELATION which however was never presented to the Church, and I refer to this not because it was a REVELATION to my father; I don't think a REVELATION because it came through him was any greater than one received through any other president of the Church, but because it seems to pertain to this question.
The REVELATION was read by Brother Penrose.
A pestle John W. Taylor: There are two things I am drawing your attention to. I am not in politics and very little in the Church, but I do this as a matter of privilege. This REVELATION is either true or it is false. Assuming that it is true, it seems to me that it would he better to offer leniency on the side of the Lord if you are going to offer any leniency, than on the side of politics.... Brother Lyman what do you think of the REVELATION to my father?
President Francis M. Lyman: If you ask me if I believe in the plurality of wives, I would say that I believe it is true and will always be so, but the Lord may suspend the practice of it, and how much of the responsibility remains with the people and with the government, I don't know. I am living with my wives now all the time, but I don't hold the Church responsible for it but shoulder the responsibility myself. . . . I have no fault to find with the REVELATION.
A postle Charles W. Penrose: Do you understand the free agency referred to in the REVELATION gives any one the privilege of taking a plural wife?
Apostle John W. Taylor: I take it that it refers to the individual and relieved the Church of the responsibility and placed the responsibility upon the individual.
President Francis M. Lyman: When did you find this REVELATION?
Apostle John W. Taylor: I found it on his desk immediately after his death, when I was appointed administrator of his estate....
President Francis M. Lyman: Do you think anyone can solemnize plural marriages with authority now?
Apostle John W. Taylor: I feel under certain circumstances they could, but it would depend on the circumstances.
President Francis M. Lyman: What conditions?
Apostle John W. Taylor: I fully explained that last time.
Apostle Charles W. Penrose: What are your views with regard to that REVELATION?
Apostle John W. Taylor: I am not the one to pass upon that REVELATION. I think you are the ones to do that.
Apostle Charles W. Penrose: What I desire to get at is as to how you view the matter, whether you have been guided by that in your case. You brought the REVELATION to us and it has never been accepted by the Church or presented to it.
Apostle John W. Taylor: I think the only thing to do is to go to the presiding priesthood of the Lord and get his idea on it and get him to inquire of the Lord what His mind is regarding it.
Apostle Charles W. Penrose: I don't think Brother Taylor should come here and tell us what we need to do. But what I wanted to know is what he thought the President meant by the REVELATION, whether the man was placed upon his own responsibility by that REVELATION and the President and Church relieved of all responsibility or not.
Apostle Anthony W. Ivins: Do you know how extensively this REVELATION has been circulated in times past and has guided people in their actions in this regard?
Apostle John W. Taylor: Brother Joseph Robinson came to me and asked for a copy of it upon the suggestion of Brother Cowley and he got it from Brother Badger. Brother Joseph F. Smith, Jr. also got a copy but I don't know how many have got copies from these.
Apostle Anthony W. Ivins: You don't know what inference was placed upon it in early times?
Apostle John W. Taylor: No, I don't know.
Apostle Anthony W. Ivins: I ask this question because I have heard some of the brethren interpret this REVELATION in this way, and I would like to find out to what extent they had the endorsement of the Church in view of this REVELATION, and what was the reason these brethren went to Canada and Mexico. Do you know what they based their belief upon; as they seemed to be sincere. Whether it was from this REVELATION or from the President of the Church or from what grounds were taken that they could come in contact with the law of the land and still win out. I would like to know from Brother Taylor what he knows about this and if they were justified in it.
Apostle John W. Taylor: President Smith has come out on numerous occasions with the statement that there have been no marriages of a polygamous nature solemnized with the approval of the Church, since 1890. He stands at the head of this dispensation at this moment and has adopted that policy, and as far as I am concerned I don't want to come in conflict with President Smith on this proposition. I don't know what others have taken from this REVELATION. If the REVELATION is true, it would certainly impress me that the Church was relieved of responsibility in this matter and the responsibility placed upon the individual.
Apostle Orson F. Whitney: Was it not the policy during your father's administration to leave everything to the mind of the individual? I know this was the case with me when I went to inquire if I should take the test oath. I was told to exercise my own judgment. Also there is no authority as far as I can see in that REVELATION, no authority given to man to exercise such authority in marrying any one, but the question of whether they should go into the relationship was left with the individual, as in President Young's time men were commanded to go into it.
Apostle Charles W. Penrose: I feel that we should not express our own views on this REVELATION but should have Brother Taylor's views if he will give them, if not we can get through with that question.
President Francis M. Lyman: The date of this REVELATION is September 1886, four years before the manifesto of President Woodruff and I remember at that time that President Taylor and all his brethren were very strongly entrenched in the principle of plural marriage. From 1880 to 1890 men were almost commanded to enter it, especially the officials of the Church. We were all pretty well engaged in this question. The change came in 1890 when President Woodruff felt the necessity that plural marriage should cease and after that he felt just as strong against it, as President Taylor had felt for it before. It was subsequent to this that President Smith made his declaration that the Church took no responsibility for the unlawful co-habitation of those in plural marriage and the performance of plural marriages. I would like to ask if you have encouraged others to take plural wives, or taken them yourself or if you think these brethren who have copies of this REVELATION have taken it as an encouragement, for instance, Brother Robinson.
Apostle John W. Taylor: I will answer that by asking if anyone you have had here before you has ever said that I encouraged him.
President Francis M. Lyman: No one except Wolff, and you admit having encouraged him under the direction of a superior officer.
Apostle David 0. McKay: I would like to know who the man is that directed you to instruct Brother Wolff to marry a certain party.
Apostle John W. Taylor: I would not wish to take issue with the President of the Church or anyone who is at the head of the Church. I went to President Smith's office the other day and had a three and one-half hour talk with him and John Henry Smith and he said that he had never authorized anyone to perform a plural marriage. I am not saying that he is the one to whom I refer, but I do not want to say any more on this point.
Apostle Hyrum M. Smith: I would like Brother Taylor to feel that we are not persuading him or any other man to do them harm but simply to get at the bottom of these matters. I feel that you are responsible for the circulation of that REVELATION.
Apostle John W. Taylor: I am willing to put in a supplemental answer to the effect that I have never married anyone without the endorsement and authority of the President of the Church and, if you desire, I will give the names of those I have married, but I think this would be unwise....
A postle Charles W. Penrose: Under this purported REVELATION from your father do you think this authority is given to anyone to perform a plural marriage on their own free agency?
John W. Taylor: If a man had been authorized in any way by authority to perform a marriage, under that REVELATION he would be.
As further and ultimate proof of the existence of this revelation we quote a statement in extenso from Lorin C. Woolley, a bodyguard of John Taylor at the time the revelation was received, and who was given a copy of the same on the day it was written, as the statement indicates:
Statement of Lorin C. Woolley with reference to the revelation of 1886, on the subject of Celestial or plural marriage, given September 22, 1929:
There were present, Lorin C. Woolley, Daniel R. Bateman, John Y. Barlow, J. Leslie Broadbent and J. W. Musser. Prayer was offered by John Y. Barlow.
Lorin C. Woolley related the following:
While the brethren were at the Carlisle residence (in Murray) in May or June of 1886; letters began to come to President John Taylor from such men as John Sharp, Horace Eldredge, William Jennings, John T. Cain, Abraham Hatch, President Cluff and many other leading men from all over the Church, asking the leaders to do something, as the Gentiles were talking of confiscating their property in connection with the property of the Church.
These letters not only came from those who were living in the plural marriage relation, but also from prominent men who were presiding in various offices in the Church who were not living in that relation. They all urged that something be done to satisfy the Gentiles so that their property would not be confiscated.
George Q. Cannon, on his own initiative, selected a committee comprising himself, Hyrum B. Clawson, Franklin S. Richards, John T. Caine and James Jack to get up a statement or manifesto that would meet the objections urged by the brethren above named. They met from time to time to discuss the situation. From the White home where President Taylor and companions stopped, after leaving the Carlisle home, they came out to father's. George Q. Cannon would go and consult with the brethren of the committee, I taking him back and forth each day.
On September 26, 1886, George Q. Cannon, Hyrum B. Clawson, Franklin S. Richards, and others met with President John Taylor at my father's residence at Centerville, Davis County, Utah, and presented a document for President Taylor's consideration.
I had just got back from a three day's trip, during most of which time I had been in the saddle and being greatly fatigued, I had retired to rest.
Between one and two o'clock P. M. Brother Bateman came and woke me up and asked me to be at my father's home, where a manifesto was to be discussed. I went there and found there were congregated Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, L. John Nuttall, Charles Birrell, George Q. Cannon, Franklin S. Richards and Hyrum B. Clawson.
We discussed the proposed Manifesto at length, but we were unable to become united in the discussion. Finally George Q. Cannon suggested that President Taylor take the matter up with the Lord and decide the same the next day.
Brothers Clawson and Richards were taken back to Salt Lake. That evening I was called to act as guard during the first part of the night, notwithstanding the fact that I was greatly fatigued on account of the three days trip I had just completed.
The brethren retired to bed soon after nine o'clock. The sleeping rooms were inspected by the guard as was the custom. President Taylor's room had no outside door. The windows were heavily screened.
Some time after the brethren retired and while I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants, I was suddenly attracted to a light appearing under the door leading to President Taylor's room, and was at once startled to hear the voices of men talking there. There were three distinct voices. I was bewildered because it was my duty to keep people out of that room and evidently someone had entered without my knowing it. I made a hasty examination and found the door leading to the room bolted as usual. I then examined the outside of the house and found all the window screens intact. While examining the last window, and feeling greatly agitated, a voice spoke to me, saying, "Can't you feel the Spirit? Why should you worry?"
At this I returned to my post and continued to hear the voices in the room. They were so audible that, although I did not see the parties, I could place their positions in the room from the sound of their voices. The three voices continued until about midnight, when one of them left, and the other two continued. One of them I recognized as President John Taylor's voice. I called Charles Birrell and we both sat up until eight o'clock the next morning. [Note: Charles Birrell was also a bodyguard of the brethren and was to take the second shift in watching on this night.]
When President Taylor came out of his room about eight o'clock of the morning of September 27, 1886, we could scarcely look at him on account of the brightness of his personage.
He stated, "Brethren, I have had a very pleasant conversation with Brother Joseph (Joseph Smith)". I said, "Boss, who is the man that was there until midnight?" He asked, "What do you know about it, Lorin?" I told him about my experience. He said, "Brother Lorin, that was your Lord."
We had no breakfast, but assembled ourselves in a meeting. I forgot who opened the meeting. I was called to offer the benediction. I think my father, John W. Woolley, offered the opening prayer. There were present at the meeting, in addition to President Taylor, George Q. Cannon, L. John Nuttall, John W. Woolley, Samuel Bateman, Charles Wilkins, Charles Birrell, Daniel R. Bateman, Bishop Samuel Sedden, George Earl, my mother, Julia E. Woolley, my sister, Amy Woolley, and myself. The meeting was held from about 9 o'clock in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, without intermission, being about eight hours in all.
President Taylor called the meeting to order. He had the Manifesto, that had been prepared under the direction of George Q. Cannon, read over again. He then put each person under covenant that he or she would defend the principle of Celestial or plural marriage, and that they would consecrate their lives, liberty and property to this end, and that they personally would sustain and uphold that principle.
By that time we were all filled with the Holy Ghost. President Taylor and those present occupied about three hours up to this time. After placing us under covenant, he placed his finger on the document, his person rising from the floor about a foot or eighteen inches, and with countenance animated by the Spirit of the Lord, and raising his right hand to the square, he said, "Sign that document,-never! I would suffer my right hand to be severed from my body first. Sanction it,-never! I would suffer my tongue to be torn from its roots in my mouth before I would sanction it!"
After that he talked for about an hour and then sat down and wrote the revelation which was given him by the Lord upon the question of Plural marriage (the text of which revelation has been given). Then he talked to us for some time, and said, "Some of you will be handled and ostracized and cast out from the Church by your brethren because of your faithfulness and integrity to this principle, and some of you may have to surrender your lives because of the same, but woe, woe, unto those who shall bring these troubles upon you." (Three of us were handled and ostracized for supporting and sustaining this principle. There are only three left who were at the meeting mentioned-Daniel R. Bateman, George Earl and myself. So far as I know those of them who have passed away all stood firm to the covenants entered into from that day to the day of their deaths).
After the meeting referred to, President Taylor had L. John Nuttall write five copies of the revelation. He called five of us together: Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, George Q. Cannon, John W. Woolley, and myself.
He then set us apart and placed us under covenant that while we lived we would see to it that no year passed by without children being born in the principle of plural marriage. We were given authority to ordain others if necessary to carry this work on, they in turn to be given authority to ordain others when necessary, under the direction of the worthy senior ( by ordination), so that there should be no cessation in the work. He then gave each of us a copy of the revelation.
I am the only one of the five now living, and so far as I know all five of the brethren remained true and faithful to the covenants they entered into, and to the responsibilities placed upon them at that time.
During the eight hours we were together, and while President Taylor was talking to us, he frequently arose and stood above the floor, and his countenance and being were so enveloped by light and glory that it was difficult for us to look upon him.
He stated that the document, referring to the Manifesto, was from the lower regions. He stated that many of the things he had told us we would forget and they would be taken from us, but that they would return to us in due time as needed, and from this fact we would know that the same was from the Lord. This has been literally fulfilled. Many of the things I forgot, but they are coming to me gradually, and those things that come to me are as clear as on the day on which they were given.
President Taylor said that the time would come when many of the Saints would apostatize because of this principle. He said "one-half of this people would apostatize over the principle for which we are now in hiding; yea, and possibly one-half of the other half", (rising off the floor while making the statement). He also said the day will come when a document similar to that (Manifesto) then under consideration would be adopted by the Church, following which "APOSTASY AND WHOREDOM would be rampant in the Church."
He said that in the time of the seventh President of this Church, the Church would go into bondage both temporally and spiritually and in that day (the day of bondage) the one Mighty and Strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come.
Among other things stated by President Taylor on this occasion was this,"I would be surprised if ten per cent of those who claim to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood will remain true and faithful to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the time of the seventh president, and that there would be thousands that think they hold the priesthood at that time, but would not have it properly conferred upon them."
John Taylor set the five mentioned apart and gave them authority to perform marriage ceremonies, and also to set others apart to do the same thing as long as they remained upon the earth; and while doing so, the Prophet Joseph Smith stood by directing the proceedings. Two of us had not met the Prophet Joseph Smith in his mortal lifetime and we-Charles H. Wilkins and myself-were introduced to him and shook hands with him.
(Signed) Lorin C. Woolley.
Daniel R. Bateman, being present while the above experience was related by Brother Woolley, testified as follows: "I was privileged to be at the meeting of September 27, 1886, spoken of by Brother Woolley, I myself acting as one of the guards for the brethren during those exciting times. The proceedings of the meeting, as related by Brother Woolley, are correct in every detail. I was not present when the five spoken of by Brother Woolley were set apart for special work, but have on different occasions heard the details of the same related by Brother Lorin C. Woolley and John W. Woolley, and from all the circumstances with which I am familiar, I firmly believe the testimony of these two brethren to be true."
Confirming the above statement, at least by implication, President George Q. Cannon told the writer, Joseph W. Musser, that President John Taylor had taken steps in his day to see that the principle of plural marriage was perpetuated, doubtless referring to this meeting.
The following was copied from the Journal of Wilford Woodruff by Joseph W. Musser as before stated:
November 24th, 1889.
Attended a meeting with the lawyers at the Guardo (house) in the evening. They wanted me to make some concession to the court upon polygamy and other points, and I spent several hours alone and inquired of the Lord and received the following revelation:
Thus saith the Lord to my servant Wilford. I, the Lord, have heard thy prayers and thy request, and will answer thee by the voice of my spirit.
Thus saith the Lord unto my servants the Presidency of My Church, who hold the Keys of the Kingdom of God on the earth. I the Lord hold the destiny of the courts in your midst, and the destiny of this nation, and all other nations of the earth, in mine own hands, and all that I have revealed and promised and decreed concerning the generation in which you live shall come to pass, and no power shall stay my hand.
Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men.
Let them pray for the Holy Spirit which shall be given them to guide them in their acts. Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise. Your enemies seek your destruction and the destruction of my people. If the Saints will hearken unto my voice, and the counsel of my servants, the wicked shall not prevail.
Let my servants who officiate as your counselors before the courts make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, without any further pledges from the Priesthood, and they will be justified.
I, the Lord, will hold the courts, with the officers of government and the nation responsible for their acts towards the inhabitants of Zion.
I, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, am in your midst. I am your advocate with the Father. Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Fear not the wicked and ungodly.
Search the scriptures, for they are they which testify of me; also those revelations which I have given to my servant Joseph, and to all my servants since the world began, which are recorded in the records of divine truth.
Those revelations contain the judgments of God which are to be poured out upon all nations under the heavens, which include Great Babylon. These judgments are at the door. They will be fulfilled as God lives. Leave judgment with me, it is mine, saith the Lord. Watch the signs of the times and they will show the fulfillment of the words of the Lord. Let my servants call upon the Lord in mighty prayer, retain the Holy Ghost as your constant companion and act as you are moved upon by that Spirit, and all will be well with you.
The wicked are fast ripening in iniquity, and they will be cut off by the judgments of God. Great events await you and this generation and are nigh at your doors. Awake! O Israel, and have faith in God and his promises and he will not forsake you. I the Lord will deliver my Saints from the dominion of the wicked in mine own due time and way.
I cannot deny my Word, neither in blessings nor judgments. Therefore let mine anointed gird up their loins, watch and be sober, and keep my commandments. Pray always and faint not. Exercise faith in the Lord and in the promises of God; be valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The eyes of the Lord and the Heavenly Hosts are watching over you and your acts. Therefore be faithful until I come. I come quickly to reward every man, according to the deeds done in the body. Even so, Amen.
As final proof of the 1889 revelation we offer the following from the diary of L. John Nuttall:
Sunday, Nov. 24, 1889. I spent the day at Leonards in reading &c. Thomas called in the afternoon. Bro. D. R. Bateman called for me with a buggy this evening and took me to the Gardo House. I found Pres. Woodruff there. He with Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon had met this afternoon with Bro. John W. Young, LeGrand Young, Jas. H. Moyle and R. W. Young to consider the matters as presented and talked upon yesterday, and the question was left with Pres. Woodruff to decide. The President told me of this and said that he had made the subject a matter of prayer, and by the voice of the spirit he was directed to write. After he had concluded writing, which he was doing when I arrived, he asked me to copy a revelation which he had received. I did so. Having heard Bro. J. W. Young's reasoning, I felt very much worked up in my feelings; for I did not feel that as a church we could assume the position in regard to Celestial Marriage which he seemed to desire should be taken, and when Pres. Woodruff commenced talking to me this evening I felt that he had become converted and actually trembled, for I knew such had not been Prest. Woodruff's feelings before; but as I wrote at his dictation, I felt better all the time and when completed I felt as light and joyous as it is possible to feel, for I was satisfied that Pres. Woodruff had received the word of the Lord. When Pres. Jos. F. Smith returned and read the revelation he was moved to tears and expressed his approval and acceptance of the word of the Lord to His Servants and Saints. We all felt thankful to the Lord.** *
Monday, Nov. 25th, 1889.*** Prest. Geo. Q. Cannon expressed his satisfaction at the mind of the Lord as given to Pres. Woodruff in the matter spoken of yesterday and Saturday.***
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1889.*** Revelation of Pres. Woodruff, Sunday Nov. 24th, 1889. (Then follows the text of the revelation as given.)
Diary of L. John Nuttall, pp. 164-165,168, original; pp. 103,104,106, B.Y.U. Typescript. See Messages of the First Presidency 3: 171-176.
(All four of these revelations were given after the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Reynolds case, had declared that the law framed against "the Patriarchal law of Abraham" was constitutional. Did God forget that the Supreme Court had spoken?)
It will be observed that these four revelations boldly sustain the principle of plural marriage, classing it as a MUST law to all Latter-day Saints.
President Wilford Woodruff once said, "Joseph Smith continued visiting myself and others up to a certain time, and then it stopped" (The Vision-Lundwall, p. 102).
A certain Stake President, some years after the Manifesto, asked John Henry Smith, a member of the First Presidency of the Church, "Brother Smith, why don't you brethren put this question of Plural marriage up to the Lord and have it settled once and for all?" President Smith answered, "We have put it up to the Lord but He will not answer us upon the question."
Another Stake President, claiming membership in the Heber J. Grant prayer circle, meeting in the Temple, stated that upon one occasion President Grant came to his circle meeting with tears in his eyes, saying, "Brethren, I have fasted and prayed most earnestly to the Lord for certain information, but He will not answer me"; and on several occasions President Grant admitted "The heavens were as brass over him."
Now, why did Joseph Smith all at once cease "visiting Wilford Woodruff and the brethren", why did President Smith say, "We have put the matter up to the Lord but He will not answer us upon the question", and why could not President Heber J. Grant get an answer from the Lord, saying, on several occasions, "The heavens are as brass to me?"
The answer is simple. The Lord had given a multitude of revelations upon the subject of plural marriage; two (D.&C. Sections 131, 132) and four after the Saints settled in Utah, 1880, 1882, 1886 and 1889. Each revelation was so clear that a child could understand it. In face of these facts the Church by the Manifesto of 1890, abandoned the principle and elected to stop the practice of plural marriage, trying to sever from the Church, Saints who persisted in the principle. What was there for the Lord to answer further? The Saints, with their leaders, repudiated Him; they gave Him notice that they would no longer obey His laws, thereby shutting out all further communications between them. No divine communication has come to the Church since the issuance of the Manifesto, nor will any come to the Church while following its headstrong course against the Lord.