Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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132 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought restored in his former association. The letter suggested that William had been rebaptized. Young says this was confirmed by a second letter, from a J. J. Butler, who had performed the baptism. Time was to work against William, however, and when young Joseph accepted his position as leader of the Reorganization it was increasingly apparent there would be no role for William if it was not in the Reorganization. He did not agree quickly but in 1868 shared some of his feelings about Mor-monism with the young nephew: "And, least some of your adherents might think that I am swinging for a place in the New Organization, I would inform them that I am satisfied perfectly with my present position; and should I hereafter seek a change in my locality as to a connection with any religious class of professor, I think I could suit myself better than to unite with any class of Latter Day Saints or Mormons that I have knowledge of at the present" (Smith, Letterbooks, 16 Oct. 1868). In a letter to Joseph III four years later, however, he seems to have softened a little and asserted his belief that young Joseph was the head of the Church: I feel it a duty that I owe to the old time Saints and for the good of the cause of Zion abroad, to say to you and to all whom it may concern, that I am not a leader of any class of Mormons whatsoever; and that I do most cordially endorse the Reorganization; and further stated now, as I always have done from the time of the great apostasy in 1844 and 1845, that the legal presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints belongs of right to the oldest son of the martyred prophet, Joseph Smith, who was the first prophet of the church, and the called of God. (History 3:719) This letter was signed Patriarch and was published as such in the Saints Herald in December 1872. Although no immediate response from Joseph III has been located, he wrote just after the new year, carefully acknowledging William's desire to be involved with the Reorganization — a desire William had not stated — and indicated he had no difficulty with the possibility of "recognition of your office as High Priest, the highest grade known to the Melchisedec priesthood, and carrying with it the right to officiate in every ministerial office in the church. Therefore I am ready to recognize you publicly in this office, at once; leaving the question of apostleship, and patriarchate, to be settled subsequently as the necessity of the case may demand, wisdom direct, or the spirit command." Feeling that William might well push for more, Joseph adds: "The temper of the church is well known to me, better than it has been possible for you to know it ... and to attempt to urge anything further than this at the start will not meet with success" (Smith, Letterbooks, Jan. 1873). William apparently took no immediate steps concerning this limited but firm offer. There must have been some continued correspondence during this time for Joseph III mentions in his Memoirs: "It is not my purpose to follow in detail these movements of my Uncle William before he finally turned to us, for the facts are recorded in current history, but I refer to them to show the liberal attitude of the Reorganization toward those who had once been members under Joseph and Hyrum . . . regardless of what bypaths may have attracted them in the interim" (1979, 184).