Mormon History

Swindling by Patriarch Blessing - 1845

The Warsaw Signal June 18, 1845

MORMON  GULL-TRAPS.

There never has existed a class of men who displayed greater ingenuity in the invention of gull traps for the purpose of chiseling their deluded followers out of their hard earning, than have the Mormon leaders. The Temple has been building for nearly five years and during that time, at least a million dollars have been raised, by tithings from members of the church, yet scarcely any cash has been paid to the workmen on this structure. It has been but a gull trap. The Nauvoo House has also been, and will hereafter be the trap for the purpose of wringing from the poor their substance for the aggrandizement of the selfish leaders of the church. But of all the ridiculous means resorted to by the leaders, to raise the wind, none will compare with the sale of Patriarchal Blessings.

Bill Smith has been appointed Patriarch, and he shows himself in the start, a business man; for he advertises in the Neighbor, that he is ready to confer Patriarchal Blessings and in the usual style prays for the patronage of the saints. -- But we will let him speak for himself -- here is his advertisement as it appears in the last Neighbor:

NOTICE.

Dear Brethren and sisters: -- After having been for so long a time buffeted upon the waves of affliction; after having sacrificed all of this world's goods, by mobs at different times; and after having suffered so much sorrow and afflictions from the loss of friends and relatives, I still do not complain, but remain resigned to the will of God who knows what is best for his Saints.

And I hope that my brethren and sisters will remember their old and tried friend, (William Smith.) I am now ready to receive the calls of the Saints, and confer upon them their patriarchal blessings as they may desire. Residence on Water street, house formerly occupied by Mr. William Marks.   WILLIAM SMITH.


N. B. Common blessings 50 cents -- Extraordinary blessings $1.00 -- Children half price -- Women gratis.

Nauvoo Neighbor June 11, 1845

N O T I C E.

Dear Brethren and sisters: -- After having been for so long a time buffeted upon the waves of affliction; after having suffered for so long a series of years; after having sacrificed all of this world's goods, by mobs at different times; and after having suffered much [story?] and afflictions from the loss of friends and relatives, I still do not complain, but remain resigned to the will of God who knows what is best for his Saints.

And I hope that my brethren and sisters will remember their old friend, (William Smith.) I am now ready to receive the calls of the Saints, and confer upon them their patriarchal blessings as they may desire. Residence on Water street, home formerly occupied by Mr. William Marks.
                        WILLIAM SMITH.


==> The office of Patriarch over the whole church is to be a father to the church, and to confer blessings on its members, according to the order handed down from the first of Patriarchs to the present. By some of these, great and most marvellous events have been predicted, which have received their fulfilment after many generations have passed away: for instance: Jacob blessing his son Joseph. Moses blessing the tribes of Israel, &c., &c.

Father Smith, the first Patriarch and Hyrum his successor conferred many blessings upon the Saints that made their hearts glad. But they, in the wisdom of God, have been called away, and William the son and brother succeeds them. How many, now will say, I wish I had my patriarchal blessing? This has been the lamentation of many since the death of Joseph and Hyrum. William is the last of the family, and truly inherits the blood and spirit of his father's house, as well as the priesthood and patriarchal office from his father and brother, legally, and by hereditary descent. (ED.


Note: William Smith published a somewhat lengthier notice in the columns of the Times and Seasons, simultaneously with the appearance of the above "Notice" in the Nauvoo Neighbor. William W. Phelps responded to both insertions, holding up Apostle William Smith as the "Patriarch over the whole church." See the June 25th issue of the Neighbor, for Senior Editor Taylor's journalistic back-peddling on this imposing designation for William's position within the Mormon hierarchy. It seems quite obvious that some of "The Twelve" had met, considered the drawbacks of granting so great of a title unto "wayward William," and then instructed John Taylor to scale back the published title for William's office to "Patriarch to the Church" (wherein he would not present so much of a potential threat to Brigham Young's control over the ecclesiastical organization).

 

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