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Church History Vol. 1 Chapter 1 Page 1


1 THE history of Joseph Smith and the work to the establishment of which he gave his life must ever be a strange and unique chapter in the history of his generation. The claims he made were not only new and strange, but in positive conflict with the traditions and settled convictions of his time.

For a man to claim that he was intrusted with a divine appointment to restore to a Christian nation what they supposed they already possessed and richly enjoyed, would naturally create bitter antagonism, and we are not surprised that the conflict still continues; nor do we blame men for refusing to accept the claims of the Latter Day Saints until good reasons are shown for so doing, but we are quite anxious that the world should patiently hear and investigate, assured that our claims will bear all the light that can be thrown upon them.

The supposed extraordinary claims of Joseph Smith seem to harmonize with the spirit and feelings of some of the Reformers who preceded him. The claim that one should come in the spirit and power of Elias, as a "restorer," now seems strange and new; yet Martin Luther said:-

"I cannot tell what to say of myself. Perhaps I am

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