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Le Défi magique, volume 1

 | 
François Laplantine
, 
Jean-Baptiste Martin

Aux origines de l'ésotérisme Américain

Spiritualism and mormonism: some thoughts on the similarities and differences

Michael W. Homer

Résumé

Tous les deux nés dans le Nord de l'État de New York entre 1830 et 1850, le spiritisme et le mormonisme ont été souvent rapprochés. Il faut dire que ce rapprochement a été plus souvent l'œuvre des adversaires, pour lesquels il s’agissait de deux hérésies « non chrétiennes » similaires, tandis que les Mormons et les Spirites n’ont cessé, dès leurs débuts, de se critiquer entre eux. Le spiritisme, plus inclusif, a considéré le fondateur du mormonisme, Joseph Smith, comme un médium qui s’ignorait et les Mormons comme incapables de comprendre le véritable sens de leurs révélations. Pourtant, des Spirites importants comme Emma Hardinge Britten ou William Stainton Moses, nonobstant ces réserves, considéraient les révélations du mormonisme comme venant vraiment du monde des esprits et non pas comme des abus, tandis que Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (qui s'était beaucoup intéressé aux Mormons) gardait une attitude plus ambiguë. Bien au contraire le mormonisme, plus exclusif, en vint rapidement à considérer le spiritisme comme un concurrent dangereux, et plusieurs autorités de l’Église mormone déclarèrent au siècle passé (et encore dans les années 1950) que les phénomènes spirites venaient sans doute de Satan. Des Mormons qui s’adonnaient aux séances, guidés par William Godbe, furent excommuniés en 1879, même si le schisme dit « godbeite » avait des raisons politiques et économiques qui ne peuvent pas se réduire au spiritisme seul. Ces épisodes montrent qu'il ne faut pas exagérer les similitudes qu’on a pu relever entre spiritisme et mormonisme.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Arthur Conan Doyle, Our Second American Adventure (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1924), p. 87.
  • 2 Ibid., p. 91.

1When Arthur Conan Doyle visited Salt Lake City in May, 1923, during his second American tour to proselyte the cause of Spiritualism, he was struck by the points «which Spiritualism and Mormonism have in common»1. He noted that both movements originated within a short distance of each other in upstate New York, that Joseph Smith, like many Spiritualists, saw apparitions of extra-terrestrial beings2, and that the message of the first Mormon prophet was similar to that of Spiritualism, since it taught

  • 3 Ibid., p. 92.

that the Christian Creeds had wandered very far away from primitive spiritual truth and... that ritual and forums have completly driven out that direct spirit communication and power which are the real living core of religion3.

  • 4 Ibid., p. 94.
  • 5 Ibid., p. 102.
  • 6 Ibid.
  • 7 Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism, 2 vols. (London: Cassell & Co., Ltd. 1926), I:42. (...)

2Conan Doyle also believed that Joseph Smith had experienced «psychic exhaustion» which he identified as one of the «known signs of mediumistic power»4, and, during his reading of The Book of Mormon, recognized «many passages which seem to me to be true, as they coincide with the spirit-information which we have ourselves received»5. The Mormon doctrines with which a Spiritualist like Conan Doyle could agree included teachings that «death confers no knowledge upon a man, but he finds his mental outfit the same as before», «that spirit is itself a superfine matter», and that «true marriage carries on, but the tepid or cold marriage dissolves»6. Conan Doyle later referred to some of these same similarities in The History of Spiritualism which he published three years later7.

  • 8 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Question of the Hour: Or, Radical or Conservative Measures for Utah?», Tulli (...)
  • 9 Ibid.
  • 10 George Q. Cannon, «Unity and Unchangeableness of the Gospel – New revelations Needed – Spiritualis (...)

3Mormons have also recognized similarities between their religion and Spiritualism. When a group of Mormon intellectuals became Spiritualists in 1869 it was not a difficult transition, because they believed that the Mormon Church was itself «spiritualistic»8. They pointed out that Mormonism taught that everyone could obtain «direct evidences of the truth of the fact of inspiration and Revelation», and that such «light» would «never cease so long as the ages roll along»9. While responding to the claims of these Spiritualists, one of the Mormon Church’s Twelve Apostles, George Q. Cannon, admitted that earlier in his life, he had read a book which contained doctrine which made him think it was «written by the Latter-day Saints»10. Cannon noted that

  • 11 Ibid., p. 369..

[T]he argument of the writer was in favor of communication with the spirit world, through the ministering of angels, being as possible in these days as at former times. He used precisely similar arguments to those used by the Elders of this Church; and quoted largely from the Bible to prove that it had been quite common for men in ancient days to have such communications and to possess the gift of prophecy and the spirit of revelation, and he argued in favor of these modes of communication in these days11

  • 12 Ronald W. Walker, «When the spirits did Abound: Nineteenth-Century Utah's Encounter with Free-Thou (...)

4Mormon historians have recognized these same similarities and even expanded the list to include a hope for communitarian reform, a belief in man’s perfectibility and eternal progress, experimentation with marriage relationships, and a possession of a sense of mission12.

  • 13 James Burns, «Spiritualism and the Gospel of Jesus», p. 4, No. 1 in Houdini Pamphlets: Spiritualis (...)
  • 14 Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychic Research in England, 1850-1914, (Cambri (...)
  • 15 Spiritualist Magazine, 1867, pp. 337 ff., 434-7.
  • 16 See Austin and Alta Fife, Saints of Sage and Saddle; Folklore Among The Mormons (Bloomington: Indi (...)

5Although it is true that both Spiritualism and Mormonism were born in the «burned over district» in upper New York State within a generation of one another and that both teach that it is possible for the living to speak with the dead, many of the other similarities cited by Conan Doyle and Mormon observers are misleading. In the first place, not all Spiritualists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were Christians; the non-Christian Spiritualists exhorted their fellow-believers to «oppose every effort to Chritianize, Mormonise, Mohammedanise, or otherwise pollute Spiritualism»13. In addition, Spiritualism, unlike Mormonism, lacked any central church organization and except for believing in spirit messages from beyond it had no universal creed14. In fact, the similarities noted by one faction were often utilized to criticize another faction. For example, in 1867, one Spiritualist magazine accused another of being a grab bag of «Mormon, Methodist, Shaker, Free thinker, Free lover» thoughts15. But, even if Mormons believed in and occasionally received visions of their dead, most of these apparitions occured only to a select few, under uncontrolled circumstances, and only rarely after the death of Mormonism’s firts generation16. Mormons never conducted seances, formed circles, or took ectoplasmic apparitions or spirit photographs seriously. Given these differences, the similarities cited may have been good arguments to convince potential converts that the two movements were harmonious, but not persuasive that the movements were twin sisters.

  • 17 Arthur Conan Doyle, in his famous Movietone interview made a point of stating that Spiritualism co (...)
  • 18 For examples of authors who criticized Mormonism and Spiritualism in the same treatise, see Alfred (...)
  • 19 For examples of authors who criticized Mormonism and Spiritualism in separate works, see, Count Ag (...)
  • 20 «Spiritualism and Spiritus», The Catholic World (June 1869) reprinted in Orestes Brownson, The Wor (...)
  • 21 George Templeton Strong, The Diary of George Templeton Strong, edited Allan Nevins and Milton Hals (...)
  • 22 Pairpoint, p. 177.
  • 23 Abraham Hayward, «Spiritualism, as Related to Religion and Science,» Frasers Magazine 71(January 1 (...)
  • 24 See Oppenheim, pp. 64-6.
  • 25 Ibid., pp. 66-7.

6Nevertheless, the one similarity the two movements do share – that the living can speak with the dead – and its corollary – that the followers of the two movements can «know» rather than «believe»17 that life continues after death – was enough to associate the two movements in the minds of critics. Many skeptics criticized both groups-sometimes in the same book or tract18, others in two separate exposés19. Orestes Brownson wrote in 1854 that Mormonism was a form «of contemporary Spiritualism»20. Three years later, in 1857, George Templeton Strong called the Mormons a «horde of brutalized fanatics who formed a Religion of Sensuality’» and argued that if that «most beggarly of delusions should prevail», it would only be «less astounding than the reception of ‘Spiritualism’ by so many thousands as a new Gospel or a Commentary on the old one»21. That same year, Alfred Pairpoint, a British traveler, wrote a book in which he criticized both Spiritualism and Mormonism but concluded that «blameable as the Spiritual creed may be, it is not cursed with the disgusting details as that of Mormonism»22. In January, 1865, Abraham Hayward, another British observer, wrote in Frasers Magazine that the famous British medium D.D. Home «beats Joe Smith hollow; for he persuades people that they hear what they do not hear; that they see what they do not see23». Orthodox ministers, both Catholic and Protestant, also found themselves agreeing that the apparitions claimed by these new religious movements were either bogus24 or inspired by the devil25.

  • 26 Both Mormonism and Spiritualism share a common ancestor in Swedenborgism. Arthur Conan Doyle in Th (...)
  • 27 Other new religious movements, such as Christian Science and Seventh Day Adventists, developed sim (...)

7Such comparisons and criticisms created a dilemma for the followers of both movements26. The Mormons’ response was to adopt the position of other sectarians, that Spiritualism is inspired by the devil27 whereas Spiritualists were content to believe that the revelations of Mormonism were genuine, and additional proofs of Spiritualism, even if not fully understood by their recipients.

  • 28 «Mysterious Knockings», Deseret News I: 27 (February 22, 1851), p. 210.
  • 29 Liberator, 21 January 1853, p. 12. Another «spiritualist and a Healer», Joseph Ashman, (1834-1882) (...)
  • 30 «To the Saints», Deseret News II: 8 (February 21, 1852), p. 2. This editorial was consistent with (...)

8Mention of modern Spiritualism first appeared in the Mormon-owned Deseret News in 1851, a mere three years after the famous Rochester knockings. The news story appeared without editorial comment28. However, one year later, a family of British converts who were immigrating to Salt Lake City lost their faith in Mormonism after a twenty-year-old cousin, Mary Ann, died on the plains. The family was soon visited by the spirit of Mary Ann who not only expressed her satisfaction with her family’s decision to settle in Ohio, rather than resume their trek to Salt Lake City, but also told the family that Joseph Smith was not a prophet, The Book of Mormon was not true and polygamy was not a divinely inspired doctrine29. Experiences such as these may have encouraged the Mormon hierarchy to take a stronger position against Spiritualism. The same year that Mary Ann died, an editorial in the Deseret News warned against being «operated upon by a false spirit» and advised Mormons to «live by his creed and ‘mind his own business’»30.

9That same year, Church authorities advised their membership about the dangerous implications of accepting revelations received outside the context of Mormonism and assured them that the message of Spiritualism was unauthorized, confused, garbled and self contradictory. In an 1852 discourse in the Tabernacle, Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor to Brigham Young, described «spirit-rapping» and asserted that:

  • 31 Heber C. Kimball, «Believing the Bible - the Gospel Persecution - Spirit-Rapping, etc.», I Journal (...)

The invisible world are in trouble; they are knocking, and rapping, and muttering; and the people are inquiring of them to know concerning the things of God, and there is not a soul of them can tell them anything about the end of the world. They are in a dreadful situation; and in the city of Rochester, near where I used to live, the last information I received from there, there were 135 spiritual writers in that city. I have a brother-in-law there, who is a Presbyterian priest: he couldn't inquire of God about future things, so he inquired of the spirits; but they could not tell him anything about the dead nor the living31.

  • 32 Parley P. Pratt, «Spiritual Communication», II Journal of Discourses (April 6, 1853), p. 44.
  • 33 Ibid, at 45.
  • 34 Ibid. at 46.
  • 35 Parley P. Pratt, «Spiritual Communication,» I Journal of Discourses (April 7, 1853), pp. 6-15.

10Nine months later, at the dedication of the cornerstone of the Salt Lake Temple, another Mormon Apostle, Parley P. Pratt, distinguished between the manifestations given to Spiritualists and the revelations received by Latter-day prophets by observing that «ministrations for the salvation and exaltation» of the world can only be obtained «[b]y one holding the keys of the oracles of God, as a medium through which the living can hear from the dead»32. According to Pratt, it was necessary to discriminate «between the lawful and the unlawful mediums or channels of communication-between the holy and impure, the truths and falsehoods, thus communicated»33. Only in the Temple was it possible for «the most holy things pertaining to the salvation of the dead, and all the most holy conversations and correspondence with God, angels and spirits» to take place»34. The next day during General Conference, Pratt told church members that spirits are only endowed with as much knowledge as they gained during their earthly existence and that only the spirits of those who had the gospel or were apostles and prophets could be expected to convey accurate information35. Jedidiah M. Grant, Brigham Young’s Second Counselor, also spoke about this subject on February 19, 1854, when he informed his listeners that he was «more or less familiar with the doings of the Spirit Rappers» and that although he was satisfied that «they are manifestations of spirits» he was convinced

  • 36 Jedidiah M. Grant, «The Power of God and the Power of Satan,» II Journal of Discourses (February 1 (...)

the result of the manifestations of the spirits (wicked spirits) will be to combine their forces in as systematic an order as they are capable of, to successfully resist the Priesthood upon the earth36.

  • 37 Brigham Young, «Providences of God...», VII, Journal of Discourses, pp 239-40 (September 1, 1859)

11When Brigham Young addressed the subject at the end of the decade (September 1859) he agreed with his counselors and apostles that the manifestations of Spiritualism were unlawful, confused and wicked but also taught that «Spirit-rapping, spirit-knocking... is produced by the spirits that the Lord has suffered to communicate to people on the earth» and that such manifestations were allowed by God to permit the Devil to make «the people believe very strongly in revelations from the spirit world»37.

  • 38 See, for example, «Latest Ghost Talk», Utah Magazine, 1:8 (February 29. 1868), pp. 87-9; «Swedenbo (...)
  • 39 Some examples are: «Spiritualism and the Priesthood», Utah Magazine, II:43 (January 16, 1869), p. (...)
  • 40 See, for example, «Our Right to Expect a Revealed Religion», Utah Magazine, III:3 (May 22. 1869), (...)
  • 41 For the views of Harrison and Tullidge with respect to these excommunications see «An Appeal to th (...)

12Despite the teachings of the Mormon leadership in the 1850s, that Spiritualism’s spirit voices were «inferior» and confusing to the believers in revelation, after the reintroduction of the restored gospel in 1830, it was not until 1869, when a group of Mormon intellectual began to be infatuated by Spiritualism, that Mormonism’s official policy – that Spiritualism was a tool of the devil – was fully developped. In 1868, William Godbe and E.L.T. Harrison began the publication of Utah Magazine, which differed with the LDS hierarchy on the economic development of Utah. Although the magazine also contained articles concerning the supernatural38, the editors rarely compared it to Mormonism39 and, for the most part, continued to support Mormon doctrines40. But in September 1868, Godbe and Harrison attended about fifty seances in New York City; among the many spirits which appeared to them were Peter, James and John, Heber C. Kimball (who died in 1859) and Joseph Smith. These spirits instructed Godbe and Harrison to reform the Mormon Church from within by integrating it with Spiritualism and, at the same time provide Spiritualism with an organizational structure and a common creed. Despite this directive articles in Utah Magazine did not betray their growing personal fascination for Spiritualism. However, in October 1869, both Godbe and Harrison were summoned before Church authorities and excommunicated for questioning the temporal and spiritual authority of Brigham Young41.

13The same month Godbe and Harrison were excommunicated the Church leaders began to actively criticize Spiritualism and to argue that it was a counterfeit form of Mormonism inspired by the devil. On October 8, 1869, George Q. Cannon, who was the editor of the Church-owned Deseret News and a Mormon Apostle, wrote that Spiritualism was born shortly after Joseph Smith’s death, and that

  • 42 Juvenile Instructor 4 (October 8, 1869): 164.

men and women began to receive revelations, not from the Lord Jesus but from spirits, and great wonders began to be shown... what a cunning plan this is of the devil to deceive people and prevent men and women from obeying the teachings of Jesus!42

  • 43 In fact, within a month after their excommunications they republished an article, «Spiritualism an (...)
  • 44 Orson Pratt, «Revelations and Manifestations of God and of Wicked Spirits», Journal of Discourses, (...)
  • 45 Ibid., p. 73.

14Although Godbe and Harrison did not publicly affirm their allegiance to Spiritualism after their excommunications43, they did organize the Church of Zion and confirmed to Church authorities that they have received spiritual manifestations. On December 19, 1869, Orson Pratt, another one of the Twelve Apostles, told an audience in the Mormon Tabernacle, that he had spoken with Godbe and Harrison and that they had told him about «their supernatural manifestations, commencing some fifteen months before»44. During his interview with Godbe, Pratt told him that he did not believe Godbe had received visitations from ancient or modern apostles: «I do not believe one of them has been to you, it is the devil, just the same as he has manifested himself in the world»45.

  • 46 Orson Pratt, «The Latter-day Kingdom of God·, Journal of Discourses 13: 134-5 (April 10, 1870).

15Soon after the organization of the Church of Zion, and its leader’s admission that its members were Spiritualists, Orson Pratt told a church congregation that the devil introduced Spiritualism as a counterfeit form of Mormonism after failing in his previous efforts to deny the existence of «gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, revelation, the ministering and discerning of spirits»46. At the next general Conference of the Church, Brigham Young also attacked the legitimacy of this competing movement. On October 6, 1870, he noted that Spiritualists

  • 47 Brigham Young, «Texts for Preaching upon at Conference - Revelations - Deceitfulness of Riches - O (...)

would like to have it considered that «Mormonism» is nothing but Spiritualism; but it is temporalism as well as Spiritualism. A great many want to know the difference between the two. I will give one feature of the difference, and then set the whole scientific world to work to see if they can ever bring to bear the same feature in Spiritualism. Take all who are called Spiritualists and see if they can produce the order that is in the midst of this people. Here are system, order, organization, law, rule and facts. Now see if they can produce any of these features. They cannot. Why? Because their system is from beneath, while ours is perfect and is from above; one is from God, the other is from the devil, that is all the difference47.

  • 48 Russell M. and Clare R. Goldfarb, Spiritualism and Nineteenth¬Century Letters, (Rutherford: Farlei (...)

16Like the orthodox clergy – both Catholic and Protestant – Young believed that Spiritualism was a tool of the devil designed to lure away those who yearned for proof that life continues after death48. Spiritualism had become a tool of the devil to lure away members of the LDS Church. According to Young,

  • 49 Journal of Discourses, 13:261-8.

its members can only divide and subidivide, produce confusion on confusion, disorder following on the heels of disorder, one to the right, another to the left, another for the front, another for the rear, one pulling this way, another pulling that, sect against sect, people against people, community against community, politically, religiously, and I may say morally to a great extent..49

  • 50 Ibid.

17In other words, Spiritualism, like the devil himself, was «a mass of confusion, it is a body without parts and passions, principle or power, just like, I do not like to say it, but just like the so-called Christian’s God50» During another discourse in October, Young expressed outrage that «[W]e are accused of being nothing more nor less than a people possessing what they term the higher order of Spiritualism». To this Young had a straightforward response:

  • 51 Brigham Young, «The Word of Wisdom - Spiritualism,» Journal of Discourses, 13: 274-283, (October 3 (...)

«You are right», say I. Yes, we belong to that higher order of Spiritualism; our revelations are from above, yours from beneath. This is the difference. We receive revelation from Heaven, your receive your revelations from every foul spirit that has departed this life, and gone out of bodies of mobbers, murderers, highwaymen, drunkards, thieves, liars and every kind of debauched character, whose spirits are floating around here, and searching and seeking whom they can destroy; for they are the servants of the devil, and they are permitted to come now to reveal to the people... That is the difference between the two spiritual systems -yes, this is the higher order of Spiritualism, to be led, governed and controled by law, and that, too, the law of heaven that governs and controls the Gods and the angels51.

18Because of comments like these, and the Mormon hierarchy response to the Godbeite schism, J.H. Beadle claimed in 1872 that

  • 52 William Hickman, Brigham’s Destroying Angel, (New York: George A. Crofutt, 1872), Appendix, p. 209 (...)

there is no other form of apostasy the Mormon Priesthood so fear, hate, and curse, and no kind of mysticism to which apostate Mormons are so prone, as Spiritualism. The whole body of the Church seems only to be kept therefrom by constantly hearing from the Priesthood that it is the «doings of the Devil», and nothing seems to interest a young and skeptical Mormon so quick as «circles», seances, visions, shadowy hands, and conjurations with boxes, «pendulum oracles», planchette, and every kind of forbidden and diabolical nonsense52.

19It must have been frustrating for Young and his followers that Spiritualists did not deny the manifestations experienced by Joseph Smith; instead they believed they had occurred and were additional proofs of their own movement. In 1855, a Mormon missionary in St. Louis reported that Spiritualism was

  • 53 Charles H. Bassett to B.L. Mackintosh, Deseret News, V: 15 (June 20, 1855), p. 120.

daily adding to the ranks of skepticism. The many contradictory revelations, coming thro’ the spiritual mediums, have had a tendency to destroy all faith in true revelation. One spirit says that Methodism is the only true system; others say Presbyterianism, and others say Catholicism, and so on; and some say Mormonism is true53.

20Spiritualists were eager to harmonize their experiences with those of other faiths. One Spiritualist writer, in 1859, wrote that

  • 54 Tiffany's Monthly, May, 1859.

the conclusions to which we have arrived are, that The Book of Mormon is to a very great extent, a spiritual romance, originating in the spiritual world, and that Joseph Smith was the medium or the principal one, through whom it was given54.

  • 55 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Church of Zion: or The Question Is It Spiritualism?», Mormon Tribune, 1: 13 (...)

21Shortly after organizing the Church of Zion, Godbe and Harrison discontinued the Utah Magazine and began publishing a newspaper, The Mormon Tribune. Initially they hesitated to publicly advocate Spiritualism because of the stigma Church authorities had placed on it, condemning it as a tool of the devil. But in March 1870, almost six months after their excommunications, Godbe and Harrison finally admitted that similarities existed between their movement and Spiritualism55. They also responded to the claim that their movement was «inspired by the devil» by observing that this argument was the only way the Mormon leadership had found

  • 56 «Spiritualism and the Devil», p. 1.

of dealing with any knotty subject or phenomenon which they cannot explain or reconcile with their own narrow notions... to pronounce it «of the devil» and throw it into the waste basket, there to await the rounds of the gentleman with tail and horns who is supposed to gather up such worthless trash as fuel for his grand and eternal apparatus for roasting humanity56.

22As further proof that this claim was inaccurate they pointed out that a former member of the Mormon Twelve Apostles had become a Spiritualist and that

  • 57 «Being ‘Buffeted’», Salt Lake Tribune, 2:41 (October 8, 1870), p. 1.

(l)ooking round the other day at Bro. Amasa [Lyman], who certainly looks ten years younger since the «buffetings» commenced upon him, we asked how he got along with his afflictions. He replied that he had just been weighed and discovered that the «Devil had «buffeted» him up of eighteen pounds! Not so bad for a very miserable apostate!57

23The Godbeites then asked:

  • 58 «Spiritualism and the Devil», Salt Lake Tribune, 2:41 (October 8, 1870), p. 1.

Will nothing short of the recognition of Brigham Young’s infallibility, submission to all his exactions and obedience to all his requirements save humanity from the clutches of this supposed rival aspirant for universal empire?58

  • 59 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Church of Zion: Or the Question, Is it Spiritualism?», The Mormon Tribune, I (...)
  • 60 Ibid.
  • 61 Ibid., p. 101.

24In March 1870, E.L.T. Harrison wrote that there were both similarities and differences between Spiritualism and the Church of Zion. The Church of Zion was similar to Spiritualism since «Spiritualism in its highest sense must include all manifestations of spiritual power the world has ever witnessed»59. According to Harrison, «a vision given to Swedenborg or to Andrew Jackson Davis must he produced on the same natural principles as a vision given to Paul, Peter, or Joseph Smith»60. The differences between the Church of Zion and Spiritualism consisted in the Church’s belief in a «central system of Divine Controlling Powers, and our belief in being guided, as a Church, by them alone»61. In addition, the Church of Zion believed in a central Church organization which was lacking generally in Spiritualism. According to Harrison,

  • 62 Ibid., p. 101. This view of LDS history was further elaborated by T.B.H. Stenhouse in his Rocky Mo (...)

Joseph Smith... was raised up to prepare the way for the establishment of a central spiritual power which, when fully developed, shall sweep all that there is valuable... in Spiritualism within its ample folds; taking its highest order of seers, its prophets, its spiritual healers, its inspirational and most spiritual natures, teaching them a higher and a greater gospel, and welding them with Zion into a grand combination for the tearing down of superstition...62

  • 63 Some Spiritualist visitors prior to the Godbeite schism failed to mention any similarities between (...)

25After the organization of the Church of Zion, Utah became a stopping place for mediums and lecturers. Spiritualist observers who visited Utah during this period were impressed by Mormonism’s sensitivity to psychic phenomenon63. Of course, most of these observers spoke of «Mormons» even though they were probably describing Mormon apostates from the Church of Zion. Emma Hardinge Britten, the famous medium, who converted Robert Owen to Spiritualism and who later helped organize the Theosophical Society with Madame Blavatsky, wrote a book in 1870 entitled Modern American Spiritualism, a Twenty Years Record of the Communion Between Earth and the World of Spirits, in which she noted that:

  • 64 Emma Hardinge, Modern Spiritualism: A Twenty Years’ Record of the Communion between Earth and the (...)

Those Americans who have visited the singular dwellers of the desert, calling themselves «Latter Day Saints» or «Mormons» report that phenomenal gifts are abundantly poured out upon them... Amongst the «Mormons» resident in California and Nevada, many excellent spirit mediums are to be found, especially in the direction of prophecy and healing. They claim that these gifts are communicable by the old apostolic mode of laying on of hands, and affirm that they have received their gifts from the imposition of hands on the part of their «elders»64.

  • 65 For additional information concerning William Stainton Moses, see Janet Oppenheim, The Other World (...)
  • 66 William Stainton Moses, Spirit Teachings, 6th ed. (London: London Spiritualist Alliance, 1907).
  • 67 Alan Gould, The Founders of Psychical Research, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), p. 78.
  • 68 Phil Robinson, Sinners and Saints. A Tour Across the States, and Round them; With Three Months Amo (...)
  • 69 M.A. (Oxon), «Notes by the Way», Light, III:149 (November 10,1883), p. 487.

26Another famous British medium, and ordained Anglican minister William Stainton Moses65, whose book, Spirit Teachings66, has been called the «Bible of British Spiritualism»67 expressed his admiration for Utah and the Mormons in 1882 in an editorial published in Light. After reading a book by Phil Robinson68, published the same year, he became convinced that Mormons were, like the Shakers, «instinctive Spiritualists»69. In his book, Robinson wrote that

  • 70 Robinson, p. 199, quoted in Light, 111:149 (November 10, 1883), p. 487.

The Saints have long ago formulated into accepted doctrines those mysteries of the occult world which Spiritualists outside the [Mormon] faith are still investigating. Your «problems» are their axioms70.

  • 71 Ibid., quoting, Robinson, p. 197. It is likely that Robinson obtained most of his information abou (...)

27He also maintained that Jacob Hamblin – a Mormon assigned to the far reaches of southern Utah by Brigham Young as a missionary to the Indians and whose life was filled with stories of healings, dreams, visions and prophecies – was a perfect example of this «doctrine» because «[t]he miracles and prophecies related in connection with this phenomenal old man would... ‘stagger even Madame Blavastky herself’»71. Moses was so impressed by this description of Hamblin that he wrote

  • 72 Light, III:149 (November 10, 1883), p. 487.

[I]f there be any Jacob Hamblins who have the power of their prototype and no sphere of action, let them come over to London. We want «missionaries» of that type badly, and can employ a whole tribe72.

28A later issue of Light in 1884 mentioned the Godbeite schism and that «Mr. D.F. Walker, one of the leading business men in the city, is also one of the most prominent Spiritualists». The article also observed, similar to J.H. Beadle’s claim, that

  • 73 «Spiritualism in Utah», Light: A journal of Psychical Occult and Mystical Research, IV: 170 (April (...)

Spiritualism is, however, gradually inoculating the Mormons, or rather spreading among them, and will, no doubt, in time make itself felt. At present the great «Know alls» of the Church of Latter Day Saints, like many of their brethren of the Protestant Church, attribute the phenomena to his Satanic Majesty73.

  • 74 See, Roger D. Launius, Joseph Smith III. Pragmatic Prophet (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illi (...)

29But just as Moses failed to unify British Spiritualists through the London Spiritualist Alliance, the Church of Zion failed to fulfill the wishes of the spirits which had spoken to Godbe and Harrison in 1868, to provide an organization and creed for American Spiritualism. Instead, every Spiritualist remained a law unto himself – a criticism which Mormon leaders continued to lodge against Spiritualism and the Church of Zion – instead of unified and exalted. Initially, they had hoped to attract Joseph Smith’s eldest son, Joseph III, who was already the President of the RLDS Church, as the leader of the Church of Zion, but it soon became evident that young Joseph, who was attracted by Spiritualism in the 1850s, had repudiated Spiritualism by the time Godbe and Harrison organized the Church of Zion in 187074. The Church of Zion was short-lived because it failed to attract Mormons when it abandoned too much of Mormonism, including its revered leadership, and was unable to attract Spiritualists because it retained too much of Mormonism, including the doctrine of polygamy.

30Prior to the demise of the Church of Zion, Spiritualism had become fixed in Mormon doctrine as a tool of the devil. George Q. Cannon, who had participated in the excommunications of Godbe and Harrison, wrote in the Mormon periodical for children, the Juvenile Instructor in 1893 that:

  • 75 Juvenile Instructor, 28 (March 1, 1893): 162.

Spiritualism professed to make it easy for all to obtain spiritual manifestations. No faith in Jesus, no repentance, no baptism, no laying on of hands, needed to obtain them. Purity of life was not essential. The wicked and the reprobate, as well as those of better lives, could receive spiritual communications. In this way Satan used Spiritualism to counteract the influence of the Gospe75

31This perspective was virtually canonized when James E. Talmage wrote in a Church-approved text, The Articles of Faith, that

  • 76 James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1899), p. 236. Although The (...)

the restoration of the priesthood to earth in this age of the world, was followed by a phenomenal growth of the vagaries of Spiritualism, whereby many have been led to put their trust in Satan’s counterfeit of God’s eternal power76.

32A more recent treatment of this subject, by Bruce R. McConkie, who later became a Mormon Apostle, also reflects the views of Brigham Young expressed almost a century before. McConkie defined Spiritualism as:

  • 77 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1958), p. 686-7.

[o]ne of the forms of witchcraft is called Spiritualism. This doctrine, that departed spirits hold intercourse with mortals, is one of Satan’s substitutes for the true doctrine of communion with angels and righteous spirits in paradise... It is true that mediums do make contact with spirits during their seances. In most instances, however, these spirits are the demons or devils who were cast out of heaven for rebellion77.

  • 78 Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism, 1: 21; Arthur Conan Doyle, Our Second American Ad (...)
  • 79 See, for example, Arthur Conan Doyle, «A New Light on Old Crimes», in The Edge of the Unknown (Lon (...)

33As both his mentors and History of Spiritualism demonstrate, Arthur Conan Doyle adopted essentially the same attitude toward Mormon revelation which was developed by the Godbeites, and accepted by other more prominent Spiritualists, such as Hardinage and Moses, fifty years earlier78. In another book published the same year as his death in 1930, Conan Doyle recorded other psychic experiences which occured in Utah to demonstrate the validity of Spiritualism79. Conan Doyle was certainly one of the most famous Spiritualists of the twentieth century and, with respect to competing manifestations, probably represented the perspective of most Spiritualists. Nellie Beighle in her Book of Knowledge, Psychic Facts, published in 1903, wrote that

  • 80 Nellie Beighle, Book of Knowledge, Psychic Facts (n. p.: The Alliance Publishing Co, 1903), pp. 32 (...)

Mormonism must he set down as one of the disorderly phases of American Spiritualism... there can be little doubt that the thing has originated in real spirit agency, but not of the purest kind... Whatever of error and folly there may be in Mormonism, this at least is genuine and gospel truth80.

  • 81 Boston Society for Psychic Research, Noted Witnesses for Psychic Occurrences (Boston: Boston Socie (...)
  • 82 In his paper, «Between Religion and Magic: The Case of Mormonism», Massimo Introvigne has cited ex (...)

34Other Spiritualists of his generation who shared this perspective include the Boston Society for Psychic research which cited «[a]n apparition seen, heard and felt» by Fanny Stenhouse, the wife of T.B.H. Stenhouse, who was a Mormon who apostatized and for a brief time cast her lot with the Godbeites, as an example of psychic phenomena in the book Noted Witnesses for Psychic Occurrences published in 192881. Although it is difficult to ascertain whether this view of Mormonism is and remains the view of most Spiritualists, it is true that many modern Spiritualists claim to receive manifestations from the same spirits which visited Joseph Smith and from Joseph Smith himself82.

35The foregoing short history of the relationship between Spiritualism end Mormonism demonstrates that it has been much easier for Spiritualists, who have no creed or central organization, to adopt an integralist perspective concerning competing revelations. According to this viewpoint, all revelations (including those proclaimed by Mormon prophets) if properly understood, support modern Spiritualism and its teaching that the living can speak to the dead. Attempts to interpret psychic experiences beyond this simple truth by organizing a priesthood which teaches dogmas are misguided. On the other hand, it is much more difficult for new religious movements who have creeds and organizational structures to view competing revelations in the same manner because to do so would delegitimize their «unique» revelations. Thus, while it is likely that Joseph Smith will continue to visit Spiritualists or channelers in the future, it is unlikely that Swedenborg or Arthur Conan Doyle will reveal themselves to the Mormon hierarchy.

Notes

1 Arthur Conan Doyle, Our Second American Adventure (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1924), p. 87.

2 Ibid., p. 91.

3 Ibid., p. 92.

4 Ibid., p. 94.

5 Ibid., p. 102.

6 Ibid.

7 Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism, 2 vols. (London: Cassell & Co., Ltd. 1926), I:42. In addition to Conan Doyle, comparisons between Mormonism and Spiritualism have been made by Phil Robinson, Sinners and Saints (London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searl & Rivington, 1883); William Stainton Moses, «Notes by the Way», Light III: 149 (November 10, 1883), p. 487; Nellie Beighle, Book of Knowledge, Psychic Facts (N.P.: The Alliance Publishing Co., 1903).

8 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Question of the Hour: Or, Radical or Conservative Measures for Utah?», Tullidge’s Quarterly Magazine, I (October 1880): 133.

9 Ibid.

10 George Q. Cannon, «Unity and Unchangeableness of the Gospel – New revelations Needed – Spiritualism·, Journal of Discourses 12: 362-72 (January 31, 1869).

11 Ibid., p. 369..

12 Ronald W. Walker, «When the spirits did Abound: Nineteenth-Century Utah's Encounter with Free-Thought Radicalism», Utah Historical Quarterly 50 (Fall 1982): 317-18; Ronald W. Walker, «The Commencement of the Godbeite Protest: Another View», Utah Historical Quarterly 42 (Summer 1974): 227-28.

13 James Burns, «Spiritualism and the Gospel of Jesus», p. 4, No. 1 in Houdini Pamphlets: Spiritualism, Vol. 2 (Houdini Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.).

14 Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychic Research in England, 1850-1914, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 59.

15 Spiritualist Magazine, 1867, pp. 337 ff., 434-7.

16 See Austin and Alta Fife, Saints of Sage and Saddle; Folklore Among The Mormons (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956); Thomas E. Cheney, ed. Lore of Faith & Folly (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1971).

17 Arthur Conan Doyle, in his famous Movietone interview made a point of stating that Spiritualism consists of things that are known, not believed. New York Times, 26 May 1929, sec. X, pp. 4-7.

18 For examples of authors who criticized Mormonism and Spiritualism in the same treatise, see Alfred Pairpoint, Uncle Sam and His ; or, Sketches of America, in 1855-56 (London: Simpkin. Marshall & Co., 1857), pp. 175-8; S.B. Emmons, Counsels for the Cottage and the Mansion (Boston: L.P. Crown & Co., 1856), pp. 96-101; 118-122, later published as S.B. Emmons, The Spirit Land (Philadelphia: G.G. Evans, 1859), pp. 96-101. 118-164; Martin Ruter, A Concise History of the Christian Church (New York: Carlton & Lanahan, 1865); William Hepworth Dixon, New America, 2 vol. (London: Hurstand Blackett, 1867), L 186-359, II: 149-65; J.V. Coombs, Religious Delusions, A Psychic Study (Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Company, 1904). These comparisons were not limited to British and American authors. See, e.g., Emile Jonveaux, L'Amérique actuelle (Paris: Charpentier, 1869), pp. 227-249, 250, et. seq.; Claudio Jannet, Les Etats-Unis contemporains, 13th ed., 2 vol. (Paris: Plon, 1877), pp. 69-74 and Alexandre Erdan, La France mystique (Paris: Coulon-pineau, 1855), pp. 363-388. Erdan, a French author, had been prepared to become a Roman Catholic priest, but chose journalism instead. His book not only attacked minority religions such as Mormonism and Spiritualism, but was also condemned by the Roman Catholics. A more recent comparison is contained in R. Laurence Moore, «The Occult Connection? Mormonism, Christian Science and Spiritualism,» in The Occult in America: New Historical Perspectives, edited Howard Kerrand Charles L. Crow (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983).

19 For examples of authors who criticized Mormonism and Spiritualism in separate works, see, Count Agénor de Gasparin, Lecture du Mormonisme, Archives du Christianisme (1852 and 1853) and his Treatise on Turning Tables, The Supernatural in General, and Spirits, 2 vols. (New York: Kiggins & Kellogg, 1857); William Edward Biederwolf, Mormonism Under the Searchlight and Spiritualism and Russellism Unveiled, the Three Books in One (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1910). De Gasparin’s articles on Mormonism were criticized by T.B.H, Stenhouse in Les Mormons et leurs ennemis (Lausanne, 1854) while Stenhouse was the Swiss Mission President. See discussion in Massimo Introvigne, Les Mormons (Belgique: Brepols), pp. 181. Stenhouse later wrote his own history of Mormonism, The Rocky Mountain Saints (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1873), which has been described as a «Godbeite handbook which sought to mold Eastern opinion to the viewpoint of the Utah dissenters.» See Ronald W. Walker, The Godbeite Protest in the Making of Modern Utah, PhD. Diss., University of Utah, June 1977, p. 175. For a Spiritualist criticism of De Gasparin's book on Spiritualism see Frank Podmore, Studies in Psychical Research (New York: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 1897), pp. 43-47.

20 «Spiritualism and Spiritus», The Catholic World (June 1869) reprinted in Orestes Brownson, The Works (New York: AMS Press, 1966), pp. 346, 335.

21 George Templeton Strong, The Diary of George Templeton Strong, edited Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, 4 vols. (NewYork: Macmillan Company, 1952), 2: 376-77.

22 Pairpoint, p. 177.

23 Abraham Hayward, «Spiritualism, as Related to Religion and Science,» Frasers Magazine 71(January 1865): 25-26.

24 See Oppenheim, pp. 64-6.

25 Ibid., pp. 66-7.

26 Both Mormonism and Spiritualism share a common ancestor in Swedenborgism. Arthur Conan Doyle in The History of Spiritualism notes that Swedenborg was a forerunner of Spiritualism which was born in upstate New York. He wrote that Swedenborg's-bust should be in every Spiritualist Temple, as being the first and greatest of modern mediums». Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism, 2 vol. (London: Cassel, 1926) I:21. Mormon authors have also noted similarities between Swedenborg's «revelations» and Mormon doctrine. See, D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1987), pp.12-13, 174-5; Rick Grunder Books, Mormon List 36, Item 141, describing Swedenborg’s Treatise (Concerning Heaven... and Hell (Boston, 1825 edition). One early Mormon convert, John Hyde, returned to England and became a follower of Swedenborg. But his book, Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs (New York: W.P. Fetridge & Company, 1857), makes no mention of his new belief. As a result of this dilemma, Mormon and Spiritualist responses to competing revelations became increasingly defensive throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

27 Other new religious movements, such as Christian Science and Seventh Day Adventists, developed similar responses. See Russell M. and Clare R. Goldfarb, Spiritualism and Nineteenth-Century Letters (Rutherford: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1978), p. 49; and Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking the Sanctuary: Seventh Day Adventists an the American Dream (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), p. 64.

28 «Mysterious Knockings», Deseret News I: 27 (February 22, 1851), p. 210.

29 Liberator, 21 January 1853, p. 12. Another «spiritualist and a Healer», Joseph Ashman, (1834-1882), confessed to have «dwelt in the tents of the Mormonites» and to have «been one of the Peculiar People». See Joseph Ashman obituary, Medium and Daybreak 14 (1883): 5, quoted in Logie Barrow, Independent Spirits: Spiritualism and English Plebeian, 1850-1910 (London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986), p. 215.

30 «To the Saints», Deseret News II: 8 (February 21, 1852), p. 2. This editorial was consistent with the teachings of Joseph Smith who shortly after the organization of the Mormon Church in 1830, taught that although all persons are entitled to personal revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 8:1-3; 42:61 ¬2; 121:25-6) they may only receive «private» revelations and not those which concern the Church. (Doctrine and Covenants 25:9; 28:2-8; 90:14; 94:3; 100:11; 107:91-2). See, also, Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1958), pp. 579-586. Smith also taught that some revelations are of the devil (Doctrine and Covenants 28:11; 50:2) and that members could distinguish between heavenly and diabolical manifestations (Doctrine and Covenants 129:4-9). Even the Prophet himself could be visited by an evil spirit with a counterfeit message. (Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Century One, 6 vol. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1965; I:162-6). For an excellent discussion of this topic, see Massimo Introvigne, «Il canone aperto’: rivelazione e nuove rivelazione nella teologia e nella storia dei Mormoni,» in Le Nuove Rivelazioni (Leumann (Torino): Elle Di Ci, 1991): 27-85.

31 Heber C. Kimball, «Believing the Bible - the Gospel Persecution - Spirit-Rapping, etc.», I Journal of Discourses (Liverpool, 1855), p. 36., (July 11, 1852).

32 Parley P. Pratt, «Spiritual Communication», II Journal of Discourses (April 6, 1853), p. 44.

33 Ibid, at 45.

34 Ibid. at 46.

35 Parley P. Pratt, «Spiritual Communication,» I Journal of Discourses (April 7, 1853), pp. 6-15.

36 Jedidiah M. Grant, «The Power of God and the Power of Satan,» II Journal of Discourses (February 19, 1854), p. 10-11.

37 Brigham Young, «Providences of God...», VII, Journal of Discourses, pp 239-40 (September 1, 1859)

38 See, for example, «Latest Ghost Talk», Utah Magazine, 1:8 (February 29. 1868), pp. 87-9; «Swedenborg’s Curious Powers», Utah Magazine, 1:9 (March 7, 1868), pp. 104-5; «Curious Spiritual Manifestation», Utah Magazine, 1:12 (March 28, 1868), pp. 141-2; «Testimony of the Supernatural», Utah Magazine, 1:19 (May 16, 1868), pp. 222-3; «Spirit Writing», Utah Magazine, I:25 (June 27, 1868), p. 293; «Chinese Spiritual Mediums-, Utah Magazine, II:40 (December 26, 1868), p. 161; «Planchette», Utah Magazine, II:43 (January 16, 1869), p. 204; «Planchette», Utah Magazine, II:44 (January 23, 1869), p. 216; John Lyon, «The Spirit in the Whole Body-, Utah Magazine, III: 19 (September 11, 1869), pp. 297-8; Utah Magazine III: 20 (September 18, 1869), p. 315; L.M. Child,-Things Unaccountable. Clairvoyance, Oracles, Visions and Seers», Utah Magazine, III:20 (September 18, 1869), p. 311; III:21 (September 25, 1869), p. 325; III:22 (October 22, 1969), pp.340-41; «Emanuel Swedenborg», Utah Magazine, III:24 (October 16, 1869), p. 380.

39 Some examples are: «Spiritualism and the Priesthood», Utah Magazine, II:43 (January 16, 1869), p. 199; «We Are Nothing if Not Spiritual», Utah Magazine, III: 25 (October 23, 1869), pp.390-1; Edward Tullidge, «Our Social Redemption», Utah Magazine, III:25 (October 23, 1869), pp. 394-5; «Spiritualism and the Priesthood», Utah Magazine, III:29 (November 20, 1869), p. 458.

40 See, for example, «Our Right to Expect a Revealed Religion», Utah Magazine, III:3 (May 22. 1869), p. 38; «The Doctrine of our Divine Origin; Its Agreement with our Nature», Utah Magazine, III:6 (June 1, 1869), p. 87; John Nicholson, «Mental Philosophy», Utah Magazine, III:6 (June 12, 1869), p. 90; «'Mormonism' and the Question of Man’s Divinity», Utah Magazine, III:11 (January 17, 1869), pp. 166-7; «Necessity of an Intelligible View of a Future Life», Utah Magazine, III:13 (July 31, 1869), pp. 198-9; «Revelations to Suit the Times, Or the Question of Appealing To the Law and To the Testimony’», Utah Magazine, III:14 (August 7, 1869), pp.213-14; «The Two Kinds of Immortality Offered to Man», Utah Magazine, III:14 (August 7, 1869), pp. 218-19.

41 For the views of Harrison and Tullidge with respect to these excommunications see «An Appeal to the People», Utah Magazine, III:26 (October 30, 1869), pp. 406-7; E.L.T. Harrison, «Protest», Utah Magazine,III:26 (October 30, 1869), pp. 407-8; William S. Godbe, «A Card by W.S. Godbe», Utah Magazine, III:26 (October 30, 1969), pp. 408-411. See also, «The Reformation in Utah», Harpers New Monthly Magazine, 256 (September 1871): 602¬610.

42 Juvenile Instructor 4 (October 8, 1869): 164.

43 In fact, within a month after their excommunications they republished an article, «Spiritualism and Priesthood», which had originally appeared on January 16, 1869, in which they wrote that «we have no faith in Spiritualism, as a teacher or as a reliable source of enlightenment». See Utah Magazine, 2:43 (January 16, 1869), p. 199, and 3: 29 (November 20, denouncing Spiritualism on January 31, 1869 was probably prompted by the January 16, 1869 article, See Journal of

44 Orson Pratt, «Revelations and Manifestations of God and of Wicked Spirits», Journal of Discourses, 13: 72 (December 19, 1869).

45 Ibid., p. 73.

46 Orson Pratt, «The Latter-day Kingdom of God·, Journal of Discourses 13: 134-5 (April 10, 1870).

47 Brigham Young, «Texts for Preaching upon at Conference - Revelations - Deceitfulness of Riches - One-Man Power - Spiritualism», Journal of Discourses, 13:261-268 (October 6, 1870).

48 Russell M. and Clare R. Goldfarb, Spiritualism and Nineteenth¬Century Letters, (Rutherford: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1978), p. 34.

49 Journal of Discourses, 13:261-8.

50 Ibid.

51 Brigham Young, «The Word of Wisdom - Spiritualism,» Journal of Discourses, 13: 274-283, (October 30, 1870). For additional comments made by the Mormon hierarchy on Spiritualism see, Brigham Young, «Sin - The Atonement, etc.», Journal of Discourses, 14: 72 (July 10, 1870); Brigham Young, «Good and Evil, etc.», Journal of Discourses, 14:112-3 (May 7, 1871); Orson Pratt, «The Day of Pentecost, etc.», Journal of Discourses 14:179 (June 18, 1874); Brigham Young, «The Training of Children», Journal of Discourses, 14:199-200 (June 3, 1871); Orson Pratt, «The Gospel Restored from Heaven, etc.», Journal of Discourses, 17:271-2 (November 15, 1874); Joseph F. Smith, «Arrival in Salt Lake City, etc.», Journal of Discourses 19:195-6 (September 30, 1877); Charles W. Penrose, «The Gospel, etc.», Journal of Discourses,21:353-4 (January 2, 1881); George Q. Cannon, «Discourse», Journal of Discourses, 24: 339, 341-2 (October 7, 1883).

52 William Hickman, Brigham’s Destroying Angel, (New York: George A. Crofutt, 1872), Appendix, p. 209 (by the editor, J.H. Beadle, Esquire).

53 Charles H. Bassett to B.L. Mackintosh, Deseret News, V: 15 (June 20, 1855), p. 120.

54 Tiffany's Monthly, May, 1859.

55 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Church of Zion: or The Question Is It Spiritualism?», Mormon Tribune, 1: 13 (March 26, 1870), pp. 100-1.

56 «Spiritualism and the Devil», p. 1.

57 «Being ‘Buffeted’», Salt Lake Tribune, 2:41 (October 8, 1870), p. 1.

58 «Spiritualism and the Devil», Salt Lake Tribune, 2:41 (October 8, 1870), p. 1.

59 E.L.T. Harrison, «The Church of Zion: Or the Question, Is it Spiritualism?», The Mormon Tribune, I:13 (March 26, 1870), p. 100.

60 Ibid.

61 Ibid., p. 101.

62 Ibid., p. 101. This view of LDS history was further elaborated by T.B.H. Stenhouse in his Rocky Mountain Saints and by Edward W. Tullidge in his Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet (New York, 1878).

63 Some Spiritualist visitors prior to the Godbeite schism failed to mention any similarities between Mormonism and Spiritualism. See, e.g. Richard F. Burton, The City of the Saints, (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1861). Reference to Burton’s belief in Spiritualism is contained in W.H. Harrison, ed., Psychic Facts (London: W.H. Harrison, 1880), pp. 70-79. But see, Fawn M. Brodie, The Devil Drives, A Life of Sir Richard Burton, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1967), pp. 314-5. Another visitor to Utah, Samuel Bowles, Across the Continent, (New York: Hard & Houghton, 1866) who saw nothing extraordinary in Mormon claims in revelation, became a Spiritualist after his death when he himself visited his mortal friends. See, e.g. Samuel Bowles, Contrasts in Spirit Life, (Springfield, Mass.: Star Publishing Company, 1880); Samuel Bowles, Interviews With Spirits (Springfield, Mass.: Star Publishing Company, 1885).

64 Emma Hardinge, Modern Spiritualism: A Twenty Years’ Record of the Communion between Earth and the World of Spirits, (London: James Burns, 1870), p. 479. See also James Bonwick, The Mormons and the Silver Mines, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1872), pp 148-9.

65 For additional information concerning William Stainton Moses, see Janet Oppenheim, The Other World, Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), pp. 77-81; and Frank Podmore, Mediums of the 19th Century, 2 vol. (New Hyde Park, New York: University Books, Inc.), II: 275-88.

66 William Stainton Moses, Spirit Teachings, 6th ed. (London: London Spiritualist Alliance, 1907).

67 Alan Gould, The Founders of Psychical Research, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), p. 78.

68 Phil Robinson, Sinners and Saints. A Tour Across the States, and Round them; With Three Months Among the Mormons, (London: Sampson, Lowe, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1883).

69 M.A. (Oxon), «Notes by the Way», Light, III:149 (November 10,1883), p. 487.

70 Robinson, p. 199, quoted in Light, 111:149 (November 10, 1883), p. 487.

71 Ibid., quoting, Robinson, p. 197. It is likely that Robinson obtained most of his information about Jacob Hamblin from a book by James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin, A Narrative of his Personal Experience, as a Frontiersman, Missionary to the Indians and Explorer (Salt Lake City, 1881). This book has recently been republished as part of a collection edition series by Bookcraft. See Three Mormon Classics (Bookcraft: Salt Lake City, 1988), and includes Wilford Woodruff, Leaves from My Journal; and George Q. Cannon, My First Mission; and James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin.

72 Light, III:149 (November 10, 1883), p. 487.

73 «Spiritualism in Utah», Light: A journal of Psychical Occult and Mystical Research, IV: 170 (April 5, 1884), p. 137.

74 See, Roger D. Launius, Joseph Smith III. Pragmatic Prophet (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988), pp. 62-4.

75 Juvenile Instructor, 28 (March 1, 1893): 162.

76 James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1899), p. 236. Although The Articles of Faith has attained official status, Talmage was never the President of the LDS Church. Nevertheless, there is no question that it represents official Church doctrine. See e.g. Joseph F.Smith, Gospel Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1919) (Statement of Smith who became Church President in October, 1901, at April, 1901 General Conference: «Spiritualism started in the United States about the time Joseph Smith received his visions from the heavens. What more natural then that Lucifer should begin revealing himself to men in his cunning way, in order to deceive them and to distract their minds from the truth that God was revealing?» Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1919).

77 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1958), p. 686-7.

78 Arthur Conan Doyle, The History of Spiritualism, 1: 21; Arthur Conan Doyle, Our Second American Adventure, pp. 91-102.

79 See, for example, Arthur Conan Doyle, «A New Light on Old Crimes», in The Edge of the Unknown (London: John Murray, 1930), pp. 197-8. (Originally published in The Strand Magazine, January, 1920, Vol. 59, pp. 65-74); and Arthur Conan Doyle, «A Strange Prophet», in The Edge of the Unknown (London: John Murray, 1930), pp. 134-136. (Originally published in Quarterly Transactions of the British College of Psychic Science, April, 1928, Vol. 7, pp. 5-12).

80 Nellie Beighle, Book of Knowledge, Psychic Facts (n. p.: The Alliance Publishing Co, 1903), pp. 328-9.

81 Boston Society for Psychic Research, Noted Witnesses for Psychic Occurrences (Boston: Boston Society for Psychic Research, 1928), pp. 226-229.

82 In his paper, «Between Religion and Magic: The Case of Mormonism», Massimo Introvigne has cited examples of Spiritualists who have channeled «Mormon» spirits, including messages from Moroni received by Spiritualist minister, the Rev. Keith Milton Rhinehart, and the visit of Joseph Smith to a French journalist and UFO contactée, Claude Vorilhon. Contemporary authors have seen the same connection. See, Jon Klimo, Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1987), p. 94; and Scott C. Dunn, «Spirit Writing: Another Look at the Book of Mormon», Sunstone 10: 6 (June 1985), pp. 17-26.

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