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  • Writer's pictureArnold Patten Gray

DWP's entries: 1835-1838

DWP Was the first of the hunters. Just about everyone in early mormonism had seen some kind of angel or had heard the voice of God. DWP was unique in the fact that he saw a demon of sorts. His encounter with a humanoid beast, which called itself Cain, was what sparked the formation of the Council of Rebuke. Mormonism had sever secret sects, such as the Danites, which did the prophet's work while allowing the church to claim deniability. The Council of Rebuke seems to be another such sect. It doesn't seem to have lasted long, though.





DWP

OCT 20 1835


This record marks my knowledge and testimony of the Adversary's works in these latter days. Just as Joseph Smith restored the gospel of The Savior Jesus Christ, the efforts of The Deceiver were also restored to the ancient strength of Christ's time.

Just as the prophet Joseph Smith was visited by heavenly personages, I was visited by a personage most infernal. Yea, a cursed creature and ancient servant of Satan who had been sent to thwart the work of God.


Amanda's Note: Ink Spill? Must have not had a proper writing desk


Arnold's Note: Typically, educated men would write in cursive. This appears to be a field notebook, however. Given its compact size and the way the ink has smeared and spilled, he was likely completing this on the road. Writing in print, rather than cursive, assists with the legibility of the book for the purpose of others reading it. It takes longer to write in print, but it is much easier to do when you're writing and walking. DWP must have predicted that future generations would need to read his record.



In the time I had spent teaching the restored Gospel to the people of Tennessee, I would oft ride my horse along the same path to the residence of Abraham Smoot, where I had taken to shelter by his kindness. There appeared on the trail a remarkable personage who began walking beside me. The personage stood taller than I, even as I sat in my saddle. He had no clothes, but was covered in hair. A darkness radiated from him like the heat of a fire. The darkness was oppressive and I was taken by a sense of despair, or perhaps pity.


I asked the creature his name and where he was from. He identified himself as Cain the first murderer who had killed his brother Abel. He said he had no home and was a wanderer in the earth. He said that he was a miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death... but that he could not die. and his missions was to destroy the hearts and souls of men. I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the holy priesthood and commanded him to go hence. He immediately departed from my sight.


Amandas Note: Is the Beast cain? I don't know. These early mormons made everything they couldn't explain holy or unholy. Is this the same Beast? In Tennessee?


Arnold's Note: If the beast really is Cain, that would mean he traveled from Tennessee to Salt Lake City. Descriptions of the beast don't quite match up to DWP's testimony though. Also, many of the visions and encounters with angels can be attributed to the self-brainwashing of zealotry. Try hard enough to see something, and you'll end up seeing it. What is especially odd is how different this encounter is from other encounters. Usually it is an angel, or Christ himself, not a cursed bible character.

When this testimony is given, I fear it shall frighten the faithful. I have decided to send it to my brother, the prophet, and keep it otherwise as a personal record. I write these words in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.


Arnold's Note: Unsure if he means he is sending it to his brother, AND the prophet, AND keeping it as a personal record. He might mean that he is sending it to his brother who is the prophet, but that would not make sense given genealogy records. It could mean that his brother is A prophet, as in he receives revelation (everyone did back then.) He could also be referring to the prophet as his brother, as a way of showing affection. I think this is the most likely explanation.

 

DWP

SEP.12.1837


The report of my experience reached my brother yet he did not speak of it for nearly two years. He finally broke his silence and confessed to me that the quorom of the twelve and first presidency suspect that I am addled or worse, that I am spreading blasphemy. My brother convinced them of my faith, however. I find myself vexed and exasperated by these accusations. I worry I will fail to write legibly(?) I am shaking with distress.

I hold my testimony firm. After much prayer and fasting, I have searched my heart and will appeal to my brother. Surely the Lord will reveal my faith to him.


Arnold's Note: Sometimes, when early mormons would get "revelation happy" in a way that threatens church structure or reputation, they would receive this kind of chastisement. Big revelations like this are meant to come from the top of the church.

 

DWP

OCT.1.1837


The Lord has answered my prayers! My brother is truly the Lord's Prophet! I am to be sustained as an apostle. The other members of the first presidency continue to doubt thought. Joseph has, in secret, appointed me to reside over a council which shall oversee efforts to rebuke the servants of the Adversary. It shall be a council of Rebuke. I will recruit trusted militia men as members.


Arnold's Note: The Mormons were not supposed to have a militia. They were already viewed as a threat by the people of Missouri, so having an army only escalated tensions. Many of these milita's were kept secret for this reason. Often certain hand signals or code phrases would call the members of this secret militia into action. The most prolific of these groups were the Danites. Was DWP a catalyst for The Mormon War?

We will find those agents of Satan and cast them out. I will find that miserable creature which appeared to me and prove the truth of my testimony. I declare these things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

DWP

21.OCT.1838


Tensions rise between the men of God and the men of Missouri. The Governor has signed an order calling for the extermination of all followers of Joseph Smith. To validate this order, he plans to engage with us in warfare, or provoke such. My spies have informed me so. The vigilante troops gather at Crooked River. I believe this to be the work of the Adversary. In addition to the disturbing news of the extermination order, I was told the militia of Missouri

Have some kind of great beast which fights for them. I believe it to be cain, twisting their hearts. Some of our number are held prisoner by these wicked men. We plan to rescue them in 3 days time. In truth, we also go to capture this monster. My men have taken to calling me Captain-Fear-Not. I find it amusing but inaccurate. I do have fear. Just no fear of men.


Arnold's Note: The battle of Crooked River was a major point of conflict. This battle is what led to Executive Order 44, or the Mormon Extermination order. This battle would be DWP's demise.

 

Final Testimony

The Beast claims my life. He says my line is cursed. I make this covenant in blood. Nary a day shall pass that my soul shall cease in hunting The Beast.


I say T


Amanda's Note: Cursed? Is this the same beast? If so, can it speak?


Arnold's Note: I certainly feel cursed.

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