Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 2/Number 7/Letter from Warren Parrish (Apr. 1836)
For the Messenger and Advocate.
Not long since a gentleman of the Presbyterian faith came to this town (Kirtland) and proposed to lecture upon the abolition question. Knowing that there was a large branch of the church of Latter Day Saints in this place, who, as a people, are liberal in our sentiments; he no doubt anticipated great success in establishing his doctrine among us. But in this he was mistaken. The doctrine of Christ and the systems of men are at issue and consequently will not harmonize together.
However, with the assistance of some few others, who possessed congenial spirits, he succeeded in getting a hearing, and after holding several meetings we are informed that he established an abolition society in this vicinity. We indeed profess to be liberal, not only in a religious, but in a political point of view; and for this reason we stand aloof from abolition societies. We are liberal in our religious sentiments as far as truth and righteousness will warrant, and no farther. We believe in cultivating the pure principles of the gospel to the extent; and that every man has an undoubted right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience however erroneous his principles may be, and that none should molest or make him afraid.
We also believe that the constitution of these United States, is the best form of government that exists upon the foot stool of God. Our wise legislators who framed it were elected by the voice of the people, and after taking into consideration the general good of this republic have deemed it expedient to guarantee to the Southern States the right of holding slaves;—And we do not feel disposed to rise up in opposition to it. It is their right, and we expect they will be as tenacious of their privileges as we are of ours, and we believe that it is the duty of every individual to submit to the government of that State or Kingdom in which he resides, so long as that government affords him the protection of its laws; and he that will not is an enemy to his country; an enemy to mankind, and an enemy to that God who teaches us to pay due deference and respect to magistrates, and rulers, and to be in subjection to the powers that be.
And although political demagogues, and religious fanatics, in their blind zeal, may bustle and rage, and compass sea and land with the pretention to meilorate [meliorate] the condition of Ham's descendants, yet God's curse pronounced by his servant Noah will remain upon them; and Canaan must dwell in the tents of Shem and be his servant until He, who pronounced it shall order it otherwise. And all the abolition societies that now are or ever will be, cannot cause one jot or tittle of the prophecy to fail. The curse that was pronounced upon that people was by the spirit of prophecy, and when the Lord turns away his wrath and pronounces a blessing upon them he will announce to his servants the prophets that the time has arrived that there is to be no more the Canaanite in the land; and when that time comes all the devils on earth or in hell, cannot prevent it. Here then we rest the matter:—This is the ground on which we stand, this is the position we take in regard to this question. We would therefore be distinctly understood, that we do not countenance the abolition system, nor fellowship those who advocate its principles; and he that would stir up rebellion among the blacks, is an enemy to the well being of society, and instead of bettering their condition is heaping upon them innumerable evils that they would otherwise be strangers to and is indirectly shedding the blood of his fellow-men.