Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
J10 JONES, Dan. “Haman” yn hongian ar ei grogbren ei hun! neu Daniel Jones (ddall) aʼi lyfr yn profi gwirionedd Mormoniaeth!! (“Haman” hanging from his own gallows! or Daniel Jones [the blind] and his booklet proving the truth of Mormonism!!) Merthyr Tydfil: Published and for sale by D. Jones. Printed by John Jones, Rhydybont, .
8 pp. 16 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 14.
On 7 July 1846, in Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire, a blind man by the name of Daniel Jones was baptized by the Latter-day Saints. Witnesses testified to having heard Jones admit that he had agreed to the baptism as a “prepared Judas,” who would then reject the Church because of the Saints’ inability to heal him of his blindness.
Following Jones’s baptism, two elders—Captain Dan Jones and Abel Evans—anointed his eyes with oil and pronounced a blessing on him. Immediately afterwards, the blind man testified that during the blessing he had seen the candlestick on the table and firmly believed that he was on the verge of a complete restoration of his sight. After attending only two Church meetings, however, he broke off his association with the Latter-day Saints and began to speak out against them, presumably according to his original plan.
In a chance meeting a few months later, Dan Jones warned the blind man that if he continued his campaign against the Saints the hand of God would be on him and his fate would be hotter than that of Kora, Dathan, and Abiram, the three who were swallowed up in the earth after fighting against Moses. In spite of the warning, the blind man was persuaded to publish a pamphlet about his experience and thus warn the Welsh of the Mormons’ deceit.
Captain Jones’s reaction to the blind man’s pamphlet was a pamphlet of his own—”Haman” hanging from his own gallows!—describing the details of the baptism, the momentary restoration of the blind man’s sight, and the testimony of various witnesses. Jones recounts the fulfillment of his prophetic warning in a 25 April 1847 letter that was printed in the Millennial Star:
No sooner was the reply out of press, than on the old blind man it came, hot and heavy. He cried out that he was burning up alive; his friends poured cold water on him night and day in vain! He would rush out from them to a pool that was by, and there he would roll, and wallow, and yelp until he terrified the passers by. (15 July 1847, p. 219)
Jones added that the blind man “died a monument of the displeasure of a just God for hypocrisy.”
OR Daniel Jones (the blind) and his book proving the truth of Mormonism!!
The excuse we offer to our readers for calling their attention to an object so unworthy and wretched as a singer of ballads and his slanderous ballad is the support and circulation which the authors, the “Reverends,” and the believers of our country have given to his ballad. Not only has the “Reverend” editor of the “Times” quoted extensively the morsels which suit his taste best, and placed them as truths on the table of his readers, but his ballads are being sold in chapels and Sunday schools, giving a high character to the author now, though it has been but a short while since he was excommunicated by the Independents for transgressions the law does not allow us to name! But, surprise! Who but one of the “Reverends” of that denomination, namely Josiah Thomas Jones, editor of the “Treasury,” is already seen taking advantage of the first opportunity to print, if not to be a “friend,” then to help him to form the false accusations against others, out of hostility toward the truth! Two rather comparable partners. Here is the Reverend who published that crooked “profession” of the Saints in his polluted Treasury and who refused us permission to defend ourselves. And it is likely that one of his pranks under the pain of the whipping that it received in the Prophet is what has caused him to get revenge in this way. But since his own fingers were hottest in the fire because the blind man was unable to sell the ballad in his own country, rather he was chased away by even the boys of the fairs because of his deception, behold his dear brother from Liverpool, publisher, a constant patron of the continual false accusations against the Saints, helps him out of the scrape, and boosts the sales of the ballad by lifting it to the wind in the fan of the “Times.” And yet they failed to sell them all until they distributed them to their Sunday schools and their chapels, and since the story has a “Reverend” at its tail, even the brotherhood in Bethesda, Merthyr, considered it a high honor to get to be salesmen of the ballads in public in their meetings on Sunday! Having understood the partnership, who would expect much of the truth from such as these? More shame on his two backers than on the blind man himself; for the “friend” in behalf of the “cat’s paw” admits in the foreword, “that it was after sincere inducements by seriously counseling with religious brothers and friends of different denominations,” that he ventured on the accursed task of publishing shameful lies about his neighbors because of their religion. And his “friend” shows even on the first cover that he cares not what claims he makes when he dares to assure that “what Daniel answers has literally taken place, as it is set down.” But how he knows he does not say. Nor could he know unless he was present with him in the meetings and everywhere else he was, which thing he does not claim. Who is this dear friend, and what purpose does he have in subscribing to such a thing, I wonder.
The objection which is offered to prove “the deceit of Mormonism” from these circumstances is that this blind man did not receive his sight immediately. And in order to prove the deception of this logic and to show the error, let the reader come with us calmly and with no bias toward similar examples, and there he shall see in the correct image that what our accusers do is to prove the truth, not the deceit of Mormonism. First, let us read the account of Jesus Christ giving to two blind men their sight in Matt. ix, 27–30. Here it is proven that their faith is what compelled them to follow him along the road, crying for mercy; and further yet, they followed him to the house; and then Jesus Christ notes the basis on which their success depended entirely, i.e., BELIEVE YE [the blind men] THAT I AM ABLE to do this? he asked. Now why are the Saints scorned for asking the same words? If they had answered that they did not believe, would they have received their sight? Our accusers will not be so foolish as to assert that; or else they accuse Jesus Christ of having asked a foolish and futile question! On the other hand, one must admit that their sight depends on their faith, which is proven by Jesus Christ beyond argument, for he would not touch their eyes until they admitted their faith firmly. “Yea, Lord,” said they. Then he touched their eyes saying, “Observe keenly and you will see.” Is that how it was? Oh no, rather, “according to your FAITH be it unto you,” said he. So said the Saints to this blind man in Llanybydder. Who is at fault if such do not receive their sight? Not Jesus Christ we hope. But yes, that would prove him a fraud, said the Pharisees of that age. No, the blind men would be at fault, say the Pharisees of our age, and with the same breath they blame the minister and our religion, because this blind man did not get his sight! What strange blindness this is! This is really the literal fulfillment of the words of Jesus Christ, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” If we should do such things to get people to believe, why was that not the purpose of Jesus Christ? If it was, why did “he straitly charge them, saying, See that no man know it?” If his purpose was to get men to believe in him by casting out devils, he was disappointed, for the effect was as totally opposite as it would have been in Llanybydder if the blind man had received his sight, because the onlooking Pharisees, instead of believing, said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of devils.” Verse 34.
Another example which proves our blind accuser and his partisans to be in the ditch is seen in Mark viii, 22–26; Luke ix, 7–11. Here it is seen also that, 1. According to his faith, that blind man received his sight, which is proved by the act, i.e., obedience to that which the administrator asked. 2. It is proved that he had more faith, and had tried more sincerely and more patiently than did dark Daniel, because medicine was used more frequently with the former than with the latter; the former confessed that he “saw men as trees, walking,” and Daniel confessed that he “saw the candle in the candlestick on the table.” And the chief difference was that the other had received his sight gradually, proportionate to the strengthening of his faith, by going after the second anointing to the pool of Siloam to wash, and because of his obedience he received his sight; whereas, instead of following along in the practice and the medicine in faith, Daniel went back to the darkness and persecuted us mercilessly! And now, cannot even the blind man see that it is he who is at fault, and that he was not worthy of the blessing from God who knew his heart and weighed his spirit at the time?
The hypocritical Pharisees said that nothing is a miracle unless it be done in public, fully, on the first try, and without using any medicine at all; and so it is expected that we now do whatever they ask. But it is seen that it was not in one or two attempts that those above were healed, or without the use of medicine, or in public; rather, one was healed in the house, and Jesus took the other clear out of town to a secret place, lest the disbelief of the sign seekers work against the faith of the recipient. These confess that through periodic use of medicine they received their sight.
After I went and washed, says the blind man, and not before that, “I received my sight.” He does not say how long he was at the task of rubbing the water on his eyes, but that he kept at it continually until it worked. Well, did Daniel give such a fair trial to the Saints, I wonder? I answer boldly, no, nothing of the kind, and we have no reason to believe that he was anything but hypocritical from the start. And this is proved throughout the entire incident. He asserts, “they promised before I joined them that I would get them [that is, his eyes] without a doubt,” says he. This is an imaginary falsehood, every word of it, as the following proves,—When it first came to the confines of our knowledge that such a man existed, when after we finished preaching to a large congregation on Sunday night, he asked if he could be baptized. But others who know him quite well told me of his character, that he had been excommunicated from the Independents because of * * * and that he had heard us only once before, and that they had strong reasons for believing that he was now being hypocritical. From the example of Simon Magus, Judas, and others, the danger was shown to him in great detail of his trying to hide his motives from the searcher of hearts, that dealings with godly ordinances are important things which require great sobriety; in spite of that, he professed his honesty and his desire to be baptized at that time. This prompted us to explain the plan of God according to the scriptures with respect to his sight, and (in the presence of a houseful of listeners who had remained behind) to tell him firmly that neither we nor any of the Saints now professed or ever had professed one miraculous power of ourselves, but only to show the way and the means which God ordained so that men could obtain the blessings from him, not from us, according to the honesty of their hearts and their obedience to the plan. For proof of this we said (as the witnesses will testify, to this very day) that we did not promise him his sight, and that we knew some blind men who had been in this church for years, and had received great blessings and gifts from God, and as yet had not received their sight. Yes, we were careful to make this clear, for we feared that his purpose was a bad one. When he heard this, he lost courage, something which everyone noticed, and offered an excuse to delay the baptism for several days. At that, the crowd wished for him to state the time that he would come. And we showed to him, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that he would be baptized according to his profession of faith and repentance, and that the result would be between him and God, and we could not, according to the scriptures, refuse to baptize him.
Before going away he said that he would come there the following Tuesday; then we took the opportunity to announce that there would be a sermon at that time, and if the blind man would come there and if he wished, he could be baptized. And even though there was no one that we know of who expected him to come, he and a large group of people had gathered before the time, and they listened attentively and graciously. Again and again we said that “the truthfulness of the gospel did not depend on whether or not the blind man received his sight, that our religion was scripturally and firmly true before we heard his name mentioned, and that it would continue just as true after he and his memory had gone to oblivion, that there were several who already knew this besides hundreds of thousands throughout the world, etc.” We made clear to the crowd that we strongly doubted his intent, although there was not sufficient proof to refuse him. In the presence of the crowd, he was requested to confess his faith and repentance, something we had never previously asked of anyone at the water’s edge. And to prove his evil intent, we present before you the testimony of men of high character, farmers, craftsmen, etc., who knew him and heard him themselves, several of whom have no connection with our religion, rather out of an honest desire to enlighten the country through refuting his false accusations and his deceit; these gave their names.
“We testify that we were present when Daniel Jones was baptized; and because it was suspected that he had not come for the right reasons, he was required to confess his repentance at the river’s side, something which had not been requested of anyone else. He had testified that his purpose was to gain forgiveness, not just his sight, and even though we could not believe him, yet there was no way to refuse him, as he knew, on those grounds. After baptizing him, we received him in the meeting that evening as a member, through the ordinance of the laying on of hands according to the scriptures. After he was counseled and exhorted to live righteously, etc., Daniel requested through the guidance of one of the elders that his eyes be anointed with oil, which was done by Abel Evans; and not one drop went on his hair, or on his clothes, as he says. After that, the two elders, Abel Evans and Capt. D. Jones, laid their hands on him and prayed for the Lord to bless his obedience to this plan according to his honesty and his faith, even to the extent of receiving his sight, if that was pleasing to him. After that we heard Abel Evans say to him that he had seen something like two stars far from him, and that perhaps that signified that he would receive his sight in some future time, if he lived faithfully. Also, we testify that we heard Daniel say, after the meeting was over, that “he had come to see the candle in the candlestick on the table.” He said also, “I believe that if Bro. Jones had continued to pray just a little while longer, I would have received my sight completely.” He was exhorted to faithful observance of the ordinances in the following meetings, and he was told that the contributor of every good gift knew the time and the best manner to impart; Capt. Jones told him that with respect to the neighbors, it would be better for them if he were not to get his sight at that time because they would persecute him all the more, just as they tried to kill Christ and Lazarus; that the more the power of God was manifest now as earlier, the greater was the anger of the enemies of the truth; or if they believed through seeing a sign, he would not think as well of them, for the Bible says “that faith comes through hearing,” and not through seeing. After that we departed, hoping that Daniel was more honest than when he had been baptized; and if so, we believed that he could get his sight at some future time, for we knew that only God could impart that blessing. The engagements of Capt. D. Jones and Abel Evans called them away the next day. Daniel Jones came to our special meeting the following Thursday night, and to the meeting on Sunday, which was all the special meetings he attended. But he did not request anointing at that time either. The Saints have a practice, by choice, to testify of the goodness that they have received from the hand of the Lord, of the hope which they have, and their feelings toward God and his work. The elder of the meeting exhorted us to do this, nothing more. Those who wished to do so testified, as they chose, in the Thursday night meeting, and Daniel also told of his wish to obtain a certainty, which he did quite well. We believe that it is from this occasion only that he proclaimed to the world that “we tried to get him to swear an oath.” We did not have the right to administer an oath; and what purpose would his oath have served about such a thing? There was not a word about an oath or anything like it, in our midst. Every word of it is his lie. He said nothing in the last meeting he attended with us; but he demonstrated clearly that he did not believe the doctrine but was pulling back. “His opinion was,” says he, “that Capt. Jones and Abel Evans were the deceivers,” and that we had been deceived by them. He did not come back after this, but did everything possible to malign us. As for his statement that Capt. Jones had said that he was a man who had received forgiveness of his sins, and that he had received a witness of that, it is similar to his statement that Capt. Jones had cast out a devil from Abel Evans; and we testify that there is not a word of truth in the one statement or the other. Others of his baseless assertions are that we claim to commune frequently with angels, etc., and that we call Abel Evans a prophet. The only occasion he had to say that one of the strongest in the faith had not received anything, was because he had said that he had not received the spiritual gifts on that occasion, such as “speaking in tongues,” “prophesying,” etc. The gifts were not experienced in the meeting which Daniel attended, and so he could not have received one sign to know the truth of our religion, except the immediate healing of one sister of her illness in his presence, and this he could have received himself. All of us whose names are below testify to the truth of the foregoing things—Thomas Jeremy, John Davies, Benjamin Jones, Richard Jones, Thomas Nash, John Evans, Evan Hughes, Sarah Jeremy.”
Now, is that not enough, from such a large number of truthful witnesses respected among all their acquaintances, to prove the lying deceit of one blind composer of ballads, although he be supported by all the Pharisees of Wales? It is, no doubt, to every lover of the truth, and stamps a stigma on the foreheads of the deceivers, and proves the truth of our religion in many ways, against their will. If the “deceit of Mormonism” is laid bare because of its believers’ obedience to the ordinances of the gospel according to the commandments and examples of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and according to the scriptures, is this not the deceit of the godly authors who commanded them to do so? Are not the “Reverends” who scorned them laying bare their own deceit, in spite of all their professions that the scriptures are their rule? And if the obedience of the apostles to the commandments of their Leader was proof of the truthfulness of their belief, and the consequences of this were whatever he wished, why is not the same obedience that we show to the same unchangeable commandments as much proof of the truthfulness of our own profession? Let them answer if they can, without becoming professed atheists by denying the first also. I wonder if one reasonable man thinks that we have sufficient faith to continue to use the oil and lay on hands for the receiving of physical health over the years, if we never received health through doing so, and would the Saints by the hundreds continue to do as they do, instead of using the medicine of doctors as others do? We do not believe that our accusers would admit that we have enough faith to do that either. All right, let this be a witness to them then, that this fact proves, according to their own admission, that our God and his promises are the same to his children now as before; and let them consider who persecutes us and for what. A pagan would think that proving such commandments according to scripture would end all argument with those who profess that they believe that godly standard. But not so here; for those who follow them most closely are scorned the worst! You atheists, hide your heads in shame for the Pharisees of our “enlightened age.”
If the fact that this Daniel Jones did not receive his sight after being in our church three times proves our religion false, does not the failure of Paul to heal Timothy, and the fact that he left Trophimus, his fellow officer, sick among the pagans of Miletum, after they had been in their church for years, and faithful also, prove far more obviously according to the same logic, that their profession too was false? Here to our accusers are the comparable and fair reasonings of their book and ours placing “Mormonism,” as they call it, equal in this with the apostolic religion! We thank them for this confession.
Again, to show the atrocious deception and the arrogant lies of this persecutor, compare his following sentences on p. 8, with each other, wherein he says, “At that time I especially believed that they [the Saints] had been sent as authorized servants by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as they professed to be; and I felt very thankful for having received the privilege of having the gospel in its purity.” But to form the proper image of his own self to show him in his proper color, let us place the following side by side with the above.
“We heard Daniel Jones say that he was a “prepared Judas when he joined the Saints; and if they prophesy, how did they not know that I was a deceiver when I went to them,” says he. He said also at the same time, and for proof of that, that he wished to play a trick* with the fowls which were in the carthouse of the farm on his way as he went home the night after getting baptized. We testify that the above statements are true :—David Evans, Pen-y-wern, John Jones, Mary X Evans, David Evans, (another), Mary Evans.
Now it is seen what kind of man is the accuser of the Saints! And here is the best tool that the preachers and believers of our country could get to slander us, but they would not be ashamed to shoo him off and chase him away if they could get better. Yes, the booklet of a man like this is what they published, and circulated, and read, and believed readily, selling it in their public meetings! Their behavior is an embarrassment to our country, and a fulfillment of the prophecy that says that there would be hypocrites in the last days, having given themselves up to “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, because they received not the love of the truth.” And here they are,—”By their fruits ye shall know them. It is a pity for the people that this is the taste of their educators. Notice that just one of the above witnesses belongs to the Saints, and the rest are respected and truthful farmers; and in their testimony, which is more reliable than that of Daniel, is seen the reason why he did not receive his sight; and it was not because of the deceit of Mormonism, rather his own deceit. And I wonder if his friends will be ashamed when they read of his deceitful tricks in the light of day? Will they publish and circulate this other side of the story as sweetly as the first? Yet, why will they not if they are seeking the truth, or if they wish to feed their followers with the truth; and so their behavior will settle the argument in this matter.
We have several testimonies of his respected neighbors stating that they heard Daniel say, after the sermon of the Saints in Gwarallt, “that he [Daniel] believed completely at the time that Capt. Jones and Abel Evans were practicing sorcery when they anointed him and laid hands on him!” That is totally opposite to his book also; and is it any wonder that a man like this does not receive a blessing from God? We beg the patience of the reader with yet one more testimony before throwing this “Judas” and his book, together with his supporters, to the clamor and bats where the birds of the night belong. Once again here is the testimony of one of the farmers, of the highest character, in the neighborhood:—
“I testify that I heard Daniel Jones say that if I joined the Saints, that he would believe me again, and that perhaps he would go to them a second time.”—Jonathan Jones.
This proves either that he was a bad man for promising to go again to those whom he calls “conjurers, lying deceivers,” etc., or, as we suggested from the beginning, that his “religious friends” were the ones who put these sentences into his mouth. Now they come back to their faces, and they chew their cuds on them, lest their faces will be blackened because of them in that day when the refuge of lies will be blown away.
The reader sees, then, this treachery against our religion in “a correct image,” and it is far easier to believe the witnesses against Daniel than those in his favor. And then every reasonable man will confess that the bad deeds of men like this are praise for our religion. And if it had not more truth than other religions, the devil would not excite wicked men to accuse us falsely and persecute us more than anyone else. We do not profess perfection of persons, rather we readily admit our failings as do other fallible men, trying to live lives which are more and more godly. We admit also that sometimes wicked and hypocritical men come into our midst “to spy out our liberty,” as in Biblical times,—some with evil intent to get the opportunity to misrepresent us and to hurt us; however, we know that such will not stay in our churches very long. But it is surprising the kind of acceptance which the accusations of such men receive from the believers of the age, without considering that the loyalty of all the other Saints by their profession, under every scorn and obstacle, are stronger proofs of their truthfulness; and the cause for this, I suppose, is that they “love lies more than truth.” If it is necessary for us to understand the hearts of men before receiving them, why is it not as necessary for other sects to understand the hearts of those who come to them? If that is required, how is it that the apostles did not know about Simon Magus, and Paul about all those who left him? Oh no, our rule for judging is profession and behavior, and we claim no foreknowledge of anything or supernatural power to do anything, except that which God sees fit to impart to us. In him is our trust; and as Paul said, so say we to all the scornful hypocrites:—”Covet earnestly the best gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” And after everything: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he [not sign seekers, but God] will.” And no matter how scriptural this is, yet, say our accusers, to profess them is deceit!!
Next, “BLIND Daniel” shows that the principal way in which he came to perceive the deceit of the Saints was “when I went to search CAREFULLY EACH DAY, as did the early Bereans, I PERCEIVED CLEARLY IN THE SCRIPTURES,” says he! Well, there’s a miracle for you! What greater miracle than for a blind man being able to search carefully and, since the scriptures are sufficiently clear to be able to ascertain that others who have two eyes are “deceitful liars.” Is this not the blind man who a while ago asserted that “miracles were not necessary.” Yes, he did not need his sight to be able to read the scriptures, he says; for he believed that the two eyes of his sightless “friend” were better for him than if he had had his own eyes! Well, how did he get his sight, I wonder? Well then, is not this assertion an example of the threefold blindness of these blind men! Yes, and here is the man who takes the form of an angel of light, and with Pharisaic hypocrisy, like the poison of dragons, says he, practically in the next lines:—”Dear brethren, [now to those who excommunicated him in shame a while ago!] be sure and steadfast in the work of the Lord, and you shall KNOW that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” It is true that the father of lies recited a few scriptures when that suited his purpose to deceive; and Daniel and his “friend” think that his ballad would sell more readily after daubing soft soap on its tail. A while ago he condemned his former “brethren” because they professed to know that they were in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that God was true to his promises, but now he professes that his present dear brethren know the same thing, yet he asserts it to be false that they possess this knowledge. What is too evil for him to say when he accuses the Saints that they were guilty of his bad deeds? But here he is caught again in his “own trap.” It is said that “he who digs a pit for his neighbor will fall in it himself.”
Notice this denier of miracles, one who scorns the spirit of prophecy through his books, now becomes a great prophet himself, a sufficiently barefaced prophet to proclaim his prophecy to the world, and notice, here it is; let it be a witness against him to prove from which spirit he prophesies,—”The Latter-day Saints are here only for a while to plague us.” “Everyone will flee from them,” says he. He prophesies his own desire, and he is not the first by any means to chant the funeral knell of Mormonism. And despite it all, thanks to her author, she is living, and well, and succeeding and prospering more than all the sects of our country; and one does not need the spirit of prophecy to foresee that she will go on succeeding; let them persecute, falsely accuse, struggle and do whatever they wish against her; they do nothing but unwittingly help her to go forward. And the big secret of it all is that God is in her, through her and for her; she is his work. In spite of the poor tools he uses, he will strengthen her through his Holy Spirit until he brings down to the ground the shelters of lies and the castles of the hypocrites, until the honest in heart who are searching for the truth grasp it and become heirs to eternal life through obedience to her godly ordinances. This is the true wish of our heart for all, for their benefit, and for the glory of God. Amen.
* “Play a trick” is our word, instead of the word which he used, lest the remainder of his character be eliminated.