What is the most number of Angel Moroni’s that “flew” (set on the spire of a temple) in one day?
Accordingly to the following, probably not.
It’s common knowledge that in March of 1842 Joseph Smith sent a history of the rise of the Church and a listing of 13 beliefs of the Church to a John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, in what has become known as the Wentworth Letter. The following may not be known:
Several earlier lists of the beliefs of the Church were prepared by Joseph Smith and others that may have influenced the list in the Wentworth Letter. The revelation in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants (1830) was originally entitled the “Articles and Covenants of the Church” and contained many of its most significant beliefs. Oliver Cowdery listed 8 “principles” in the LDS Messenger and Advocate (Oct. 1834); Parley P. Pratt listed 18 “principles and doctrines” in Late Persecution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1840); and Orson Pratt listed 19 paragraphs of “faith and doctrine” in his Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions (1840), many of which begin with the phrase “we believe.” The order of the paragraphs in Orson Pratt’s pamphlet is very similar to the list of 13 in the Wentworth Letter.
The 13 statements from the Wentworth letter were printed and circulated among the members of the Church in the Times and Seasons (1842) and among nonmembers in several publications about the Church. Franklin D. Richards printed the articles from the Times and Seasons in his collection of texts for the Saints in England that he entitled The Pearl of Great Price (1851). Elder Richards did not give a title to the articles, but when Orson Pratt revised the Pearl of Great Price in 1878, he entitled them “Articles of Our Faith.” In October conference 1880, the Pearl of Great Price was presented to the membership of the Church and accepted as part of the standard works; thus the Articles of Faith became canonized scripture. In October conference 1890, Elder Franklin D. Richards specifically presented the Articles of Faith to the membership of the Church “as the rule of faith and conduct for Latter-day Saints,” and the membership again accepted and sustained them. Minor alterations were made in the wording and punctuation of the Articles of Faith in 1902 and 1981. In the revised edition of the Pearl of Great Price prepared by James E. Talmage in 1902, they were given the title “The Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”—the title by which they are still known.
Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 52-53.
Additional interesting facts in relation to the Articles of Faith: After Joseph Smith first sent James Wentworth, of the Chicago Democrat the original Thirteen Articles of Faiths (1842) other lists of the Latter-day Saints beliefs have materialized. These listings were usually published by those men in the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
An interesting list appeared in April 1849 in a pamphlet published under Orson Pratt’s direction: James H. Flanigan, Reply to a Sheet Entitled “The Result of Two Meetings between the L.D. Saints and Primitive Methodists” at Gravely, Cambridgshire. This is a first printing of the thirteen Articles of Faith, with one additional one, and includes a few additions:
4th Article-“The Lord Supper” is added as a fifth ordinance.
5th Article-“Inspiration” is named as a means of men’s calling.
-“Duly Commissioned” replaces “in authority.”
7th Article-Additional gifts believed in are “faith, discerning of spirits, brotherly love, charity, and wisdom.”
8th Article-Includes “all good books,” nevertheless fails to state “as far as it is translated correctly.”
9th Article-Includes “the Messiah’s” second coming.
11th Article-States, “We believe in the literal resurrection of the body, and the dead in Christ will rise first, and that the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are expired.”
12th Article-Adds the term “unmolested” as a means of worship professed by the Saints.
13th Article-Adds “queens” to the rulers.
14th Article-Includes “temperate and upright” as qualities sought after, with a final “looking forward to the recompense of reward.”
James H. Flanigan, Reply to a Sheet Entitled “The Result of Two Meetings between the L.D. Saints and Primitive Methodists” at Gravely, Cambridgshire (Liverpool? 1849), 7-8.
John Taylor published a list containing nineteen “beliefs,” although it seemed to rely on Orson Pratt’s 1844 list in Listen to the Voice of Truth.
This list ran in every issue of The Mormon (New York City), beginning with Vol. 1, No. 1 (17 March 1855): 4.
Some more additional information of the printed word both positive and negative in the Saints cause:
Some of the newspapers and writings that gave the Saints bad press:
1818- Sangamo Journal, Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Hart Benton (In 1842 this paper was responsible for the spread of anit-Mormon literature).
1829- Palmyra Reflector (Palmyra, New York), Abner Cole editor (pseudonym Obediah Dogberry).
1833- The Reverend Benton Pixley, a longtime missionary to the Indians, wrote anti-Mormon articles and made house-to-house visits denouncing the Saints.
1835- Painesville Telegraph (Painesville, Ohio), Eber D. Howe editor.
1835- Millennial Harbinger (Ohio) Campbellite press
Early Anti-Mormon books:
1834- Delusions, Alexander Campbell (This is the first anti-Mormon book written; really, more of a pamphlet as it is only sixteen pages).
1834- Mormonism Unvailed [sic], Excommunicated member Doctor Philastus Hurlbut is the author, but due to a conviction of threatening the prophets life by a Chardon, Ohio court, the book is issued under the name of Eber D. Howe.
1838- Quincy Whig, Quincy, Illinois
1841- Warsaw Signal, Warsaw, Illinois, Thomas C. Sharp editor.
1844- Nauvoo Expositor, Nauvoo, Illinois, Sylvestor Emmons editor.
1863- Daily Union Vedette, Fort Douglas, Utah, founder Colonel Patrick E. Connor (This was Utah Territory first daily newspaper, which also tended to be anti-Mormon in its attitude).
1868- Utah Magazine, Salt Lake City.
1870- Mormon Tribune, Salt Lake City (replaces the Utah Magazine).
1878- Boston Watchman (a Baptist newspaper, suggested steps for a new anti-Mormon campaign).
1910 and 1911- Pearsons, Everybody’s Magazine, McClure’s, and Cosmopolitan all took anti-Mormon shot’s at the Church.
The Saints Newspapers that often refuted the claims made in the above newspapers, articles, and books:
1832- The Evening and Morning Star, Independence, Missouri, William W. Phelps editor.
1832- Upper Missouri Advertiser, Independence, Missouri, William W. Phelps editor
1834- The Latter-day Saint Messenger and Advocate, Kirtland, Ohio, Oliver Cowdery editor (This paper started as a result of the press that printed The Evening and Morning Star being destroyed).
1834- Northern Times, Kirtland, Ohio, founded by Fredrick G. Williams for use as a secular paper and to squash anti-Mormon rhetoric.
1837- Elders Journal, Kirtland, Ohio (Two volumes printed in Kirtland and the last two volumes at Far West, Missouri), Don Carlos Smith editor.
1840- The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Parley P. Pratt editor (This is the Church’s longest running publication; 130 years from 1830-1970).
1842- Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith Jr. editor.
1842- Wasp, Nauvoo, Illinois, William Smith editor (strictly a secular paper).
1843- Nauvoo Neighbor, Nauvoo, Illinois, John Taylor editor (Replaces the Wasp).
1845- Prophet, New York City, Samuel Brannan, publisher.
1849- Frontier Guardian, Kanesville, Iowa, Orson Hyde editor.
1850- Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Willard Richards editor.
1853- The Zion’s Watchman, Australia (was published in an effort to counteract false statements in the press and to defend Church policies).
1866- Juvenile Instructor, Salt Lake City, George Q. Cannon editor (This became the official Sunday school publication).
1872- Women’s Exponent, Salt Lake City, Louisa Lula Greene editor.
1879- The Contributor, Salt Lake City, Junius F. Wells editor.
1889- Young Woman’s Journal, Salt Lake City.
1897- Improvement Era, Salt Lake City (Replaces The Contributor).
1903- Children’s Friend, Salt Lake City, May Anderson editor.
1915- Relief Society Magazine, Salt Lake City (Replaces the independently owned Women’s Exponent).
James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 80, 81-82, 95, 104, 164, 180, 190, 192, 191, 206, 259, 330, 343, 345, 401, 465, 476, 482; The Zion’s Watchman, Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 64.
It’s interesting to note that much appeared in print against the Church and its leadership, however the newspapers denounced the mob action on the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon at Hiram, Ohio when Joseph was tarred and feathered.
James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 81.
Hubert Howe Bancroft, a book collector and historian in California, wrote one of the first histories of the Latter-day Saints written by a sympathetic non-Mormon. Published in 1889 in San Francisco, Bancroft’s History of Utah includes an even-handed treatment of the Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and John Taylor periods of Church history.
Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 75.
Apostate, John C. Bennett, first mayor of Nauvoo, wrote the anti-Mormon book The History of the Saints; or, An Expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism, published in Boston in November of 1842.
Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 89.