John Taylor Defends Joseph Smith to Parley Pratt
Parley Pratt, who baptized John Taylor on his mission, tries to turn his former convert and the future church president against Joseph Smith.
"At that time there was a bitter spirit of apostasy rife in Kirtland. A number in the quorum of the Twelve were disaffected toward the Prophet, and the Church seemed on the point of disintegration. Among others. Parley P. Pratt was floundering in darkness, and coming to Elder Taylor told him of some things wherein he considered the Prophet Joseph in error. To his remarks Elder Taylor replied: 'I am surprised to hear you speak so, Brother Parley. Before you left Canada you bore a strong testimony to Joseph Smith being a Prophet of God, and to the truth of the work he has inaugurated; and you said you knew these things by revelation, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. You gave to me a strict charge to the effect that though you or an angel from heaven was to declare anything else I was not to believe it. Now Brother Parley, it is not man that I am following, but the Lord. The principles you taught me led me to Him, and I now have the same testimony that you then rejoiced in, if the work was true six months ago, it is true today; if Joseph was then a Prophet, he is now a Prophet.'"
Concerning this period, Parley Pratt writes: "About this time, (summer of 1837) after I had returned from Canada, there were jarrings and discords in the Church at Kirtland, and many fell away and became enemies and apostates. There were also envyings, lyings, strifes and divisions, which caused much trouble and sorrow. By such spirits I was also accused, misrepresented and abused. And at one time, I also was overcome by the same spirit in a great measure, and it seemed as if the very powers of darkness which war against the Saints were let loose upon me. But the Lord knew my faith, my zeal, my integrity of purpose, and He gave me the victory. I went to Brother Joseph Smith in tears, and, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, confessed wherein I had erred in spirit, murmured, or done or said amiss. He frankly forgave me, prayed for me and blessed me. Thus, by experience, I learned more fully to discern and to contrast the two spirits, and to resist the one and cleave to the other. And, being tempted in all points, even as others, I learned how to bear with, and excuse, and succor those who are tempted."
B.H. Roberts, "Life of John Taylor", 1892
Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 183-4