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Holy Ghost. But there you have me again. That is as far outside of any experience within my knowledge as the other. I have always been taught to look upon the Holy Ghost as something that everybody had a right to expect in some intangible way, but never would ever have any real acquaintance with. That it once was a potent factor in religion, as a witness for the truth, but had, for some reason, gone out of the business, and that it was no use to look for it now,-in fact, I am nearly as bad as the parties that Paul found, who had "not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost."
Your elders claim to me that the signs still "follow those that believe" with you, and when that is proved to anyone to his entire satisfaction, it seems to me that there would not need to be any further evidence of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, for they both came together, and cannot be separated; but I have no knowledge of that. I could see that if one could get in touch with the Holy Ghost, as you people advocate, all things would be clear, and I do not believe it can ever be made absolutely satisfactory in any other manner; but you see I am talking now about something with which I am an entire stranger. I have asked for light as earnestly as a man could, and have received no further testimony, than the fact that as I investigate, my desire grows stronger to know the truth, and I become more impressed that I am on the right track, and I have less faith in all other religions.
But I have digressed from the subject. There are other things that lead me to believe that the Prophet Joseph used his own language exclusively in the translation, one of them being the fact that he speaks of the coming of the Messiah, and the salvation that was to come through him to the Gentiles, with the same facility that one speaks of a past event, and shows a greater knowledge of those matters than the disciples did while here on earth with Christ; and as there is nothing to compare with it, in clearness, in the records that the Nephites took with them from Jerusalem, they could not have got those ideas out of the records; and I naturally come to the conclusion that Joseph, having a full knowledge of these facts, clothed the ideas caught from the record in much stronger language than it would really have warranted. Of course,
I may be entirely wrong in this surmise, but I am not able to acaccount for it in any other way.
Another strange thing is, that a book that has come into the world in our day and age, and having attained so much notoriety, even before it came from the press, should be so hard to account for, if the origin attributed to it by its friends is false. In all other cases some one is always ready to come to the front and claim the authorship, as soon as any piece of literature becomes famous; but no one has ever claimed to be the father of this production; and, since the complete explosion of the Spaulding theory, so far as I know, no one of its enemies has advanced any theory as to how it did originate. Some, of course, are still holding on to the Spaulding theory, but they are back numbers, and they were in a recent article warned not to advance it any more.
Well, I have already made this letter far too long, and I must ask your pardon for trespassing so far on your valuable time. I intend to push my investigation until I am satisfied either that this matter is right or wrong, or beyond my reach. Every man should be interested that far in the truth.
Thanking you for the interest you have taken in this matter with an entire stranger, I will further say that anything that may be published in any of your literature (except the Deseret News, I take and thoroughly read that), I would appreciate, where it tends to throw real light upon this subject. I am willing that you should use my letters, or any part of them, wherever and whenever you think you can accomplish any good with them, for I am not ashamed of my investigation.
THE WORK OF PLODDERS.
BY S. A. KENNER.
In computing the achievements of the world's inventors and promoters, it is to be observed that the plodders, those whose movements are slow but steady, are not given so much consideration as are the brilliant ones, the brisk-gaited, rapid-fire people, those who think quickly and act in the same way. In this respect all ages seem to be alike; those who most expeditiously achieve results receive the most applause, the greatest emulation, the largest remuneration.
However, the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong. The race between the hare and the tortoise (related in some of the school books) which was won by the latter, contains a moral worthy of occasional remembrance, and it stands as a solemn fact, whether regarded as a monumental one or not, that the achievements of plodders have been more enduring than those of plungers, although what the latter have done is by no means to be treated slightingly or at all underestimated.
Watts was a "lazy" boy who lounged around his mother's fireplace in preference to going out and engaging in athletic pursuits or pastimes. During these hours of inaction he caught an idea. which has been the means of making a present-day life many times as long as one of his day, by shortening considerably the time consumed in passing from point to point. If he had not been "slow" perhaps he never would have loitered around his mother's fire long enough to make note of the power of steam as manifested upon the lid of the tea kettle, a principle which applied has transfigured the world in less than a century. However, this is but a question of
individuals; if it had not been done by him it would have been accomplished by some one else, for steam power in mechanism had to come. It came slowly enough, too, even after its possibility was fully demonstrated. Stephenson was ridiculed by the committee of Englishmen appointed to investigate his "steam carriage," and if he had been less tenacious and more sensitive, some other man would undoubtedly have fallen heir to the honors, at last successfully gathered by him.
The same as to Robert Fulton, whose reputation for energy and industry in the place where he lived was by no means excellent, but rather the reverse; he was, in fact, set down as a daydreamer, a visionary, an impractical contriver of profitless schemes; and when the crowd gathered upon the banks of the river, at the time his boat was announced to pull off up stream, it was not at all for the purpose of being convinced or even bestowing praise in the event of possible success, but rather to gratify that strange disposition in humanity of exulting in the downfall of one who is not liked, because unlike his dislikers.
The attraction of gravitation was discovered by a man who was believed by some of his neighbors to have been born tired, and never succeeded in getting rested up. His name was Isaac Newton, and he was in a favorite position--that is, lying supinely upon his back in the shade of an apple tree, when a sample of the fruit descended upon or near him, and set him to thinking, the results of his thoughts being the overturning of many long-cherished errors regarding our abiding place and its position in space, substituting therefor realities and corrected deductions. An active, up-to-date boy in Isaac's place would first have looked around to see if any one had observed his good fortune, then proceeded to eat the fruit, and let science take care of itself.
Benjamin Franklin was as dissimilar to the agency with which he frequently and freely associated-lightning-as possible. He was measured, methodical and deliberate, always and under all circumstances. He thought out the means of luring what might properly be termed the fifth element from its abiding place in the clouds, and then put it into practice by means of a kite; that is, he ejected the element of play into his work, and laid the foundation for the grand plan by which, subsequently, the subtile fluid was
harnessed and made one of man's most useful instead of most dangerous visitants.
This suggests another slow man, Samuel F. B. Morse. It would, perhaps, be claiming too much for him to say he first conceived the idea of electrical transmission, but he was undoubtedly the inventor of its practical application as a commercial factor, and he had an experience in gaining recognition and material assistance for his scheme, so like that of Stephenson as to be considered a coincidence; only the former had Americans (American law-makers at that) to deal with, and these are supposed to be somewhat quicker in grasping at speculative projects which give any sort of promise of returns. Congressmen proved to be as slow as any of those herein referred to, but their slowness was of the retarding instead of the progressive kind; yet, the grand consummation was achieved at last.
All the while, the writer is not oblivious to what some readers will be apt to say or think-that the instances mentioned, and the many more that might be named, are somewhat in the nature of solecisms, boomerangs as it were, because each and every one of the achievements recorded as the work of the plodding people has been the means of enabling most of our doings in life, and life itself, to become more energetic, more expeditious. We don't wait a month for a message from the far east, it comes in a moment; we no longer spend long, weary, wearying months filled with danger and dread in making our way from the once frontier to our mountain home, an equal number of days, pleasantly spent throughout, being all that is required. And so on; antitheses seem to be self-creative, our objections appear as soon as an affirmative proposition is presented. It is not so much of results, of consequences, as of their inception, of the means by which they are born and brought into the service of the race of man, that these unpretentious lines are designed to treat. Did "fast" people first "catch up" with the idea (for example) that a trans-continental railway was a feasible enterprise? Did the swift-gaited ones build it when the idea was at last adopted? No, to both; Congress was hammered at ("pestered," as one member expressed it) for many years by conservative, slow-moving people, who had the idea in their heads, and were, perhaps, too indolent to get it out, before it at