I was telling Melissa the other day that when you’re doing research for ministry you’ll only end up using about one-quarter of the materials you gather for a presentation or article. This article is case in point.
While researching info on our latest installment for Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders I came across a very telling document. I was looking for info on one of John D Lee’s 19 wives (yeah, 19!) and read a story even I couldn’t believe. Lee’s 18th wife was previously married to Solomon Chamberlain, her second of four husbands.
You can read Mr. Chamberlain’s autobiography which is provided in the annals of Mormon history on the Book of Abraham Project website.
The remarkable thing about Solomon is the visions he had circa 1814-1815. He claims God told him no one on earth was in obedience to His will when he began praying to find out which church he should join.
Here in part is what he had to say;
“…About this time the Lord showed me in a vision, that there were no people on the earth that were right, and that faith was gone from the earth, excepting a few and that all churches were corrupt. I further saw in vision, that he would soon raise up a church, that would be after the Apostolic Order, that there would be in it the same powers, and gifts that were in the days of Christ, and that I should live to see the day, and that there would a book come forth, like unto the Bible and the people would [be] guided by it, as well as the Bible. This was in the year of 1816. I then believed in gifts and miracles as the Latter-day Saints do, for which I was much persecuted and called deluded. This vision I received from an angel or spirit from the eternal world that told me these things.”
That’s odd because the exact same thing happened to Smith, but he hadn’t written his experiences down on paper yet. Hmmm…
Solomon went on –
“About the time that Joseph Smith found the gold record, I began to feel that the time was drawing near, that the Lord would in some shape or other, bring forth his church…I had occasion to go on a visit into Upper Canada. I took boat for Lockport, when the boat came to Palmyra, I felt as if some genie or good spirit told me to leave the boat”.
Amazing wouldn’t you say? We thought so too! Aside from feeling like a magic genie was involved, two other amazing parts about this are Solomon’s involvement with Smith and his story about three levels of heaven.
Solomon actually shared his dream with others at the Smith home he had written out in pamphlet form. Several people were in attendance consisting of Joe, his father, and a handful of the Whitmer’s who just so happened to be witnesses for Joe’s Book of Mormon.
This was taking place in 1829 because two days after Solomon’s arrival he was headed out to the printer’s office with manuscripts in hand to have the golden bible published.
Now it might just be a coincidence that God lied to all the Christians who had ever lived and told more than one person on earth that Christianity was no longer in existence or…
We’re wondering which came first. Was it Solomon’s vision or Joseph’s?
Joseph Smith’s Testimony 1:18-19a; “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. 19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong…”
We see this as just another twist in the ongoing saga of Smith’s history and web of lies. The heartbreaking reality is that this would be funny if wasn’t so tragic for those who believe the menagerie of lies.
The average member will see this as another proof of Smith’s call from God without asking why Jesus would promise us the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail against His church and yet clearly they did if Smith is right – Matthew 16:18. Furthermore, why are these spirits or feelings of magic genies accepted as godly events? The apostle John told us to test the spirits in 1 John 4:1!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18