I found this while going through the Times and Seasons, and it reminded me of Chris’s post on Mormonizing John Wesley. Apparently Mormon J. M. Grant (Jedediah, I presume) wrote a letter to the New York Messenger, and included an excerpt from a letter from Jefferson to John Adams, and asked his readers if they thought Thomas Jefferson was a Mormon. Grant’s letter was later republished in the Times and Seasons.
An extract from a letter written to JOHN ADAMS BY THOMAS JEFFERSON, of Virginia, published by Mr. John Stewart, of New York, in the second volume of the ‘Bible of Nature,’ page 271-272.
“I feel, therefore I ‘exist’. I feel bodies which are not myself: there are other existences, then. I call them matter. I feel them changing places: this give me motion. Where there is an absence of matter, I call it void. or nothing, or immaterial space. On the basis of sensation, of matter and motion, we may erect the fabric of all the certainties we can have or need. I can conceive thought to be an action of a particular organization of matter, formed for that purpose by its creator, as well as that attraction is an action of matter, or magnetism of loadstone.
when he who denies to the Creator the power of endowing matter with the mode of action, called thinking, shall show how he could endow the sun with the mode of action called attraction, which reins the planets in the track of their orbits, or how an absence of matter can have a will and by that will put matter into motion, then the materialist may be lawfully required to explain the process by which matter exercise the faculty of thinking. When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wid. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothing. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is not God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by the Locks, the Tracys, and the Stewarts. At what age (Athanasius and the Council of Nice) of the Christian Church this heresy of immaterialism, or masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But a heresy it certainly is. Jesus taught nothing of it. He told us, indeed, that God is a spirit, but he has not defined what a spirit is, nor said that it is not matter. And the ancient fathers, generally of the three first centuries, held it to be matter, light and thin indeed, an etherial gas; but still matter.
To JOHN ADAMS.”
Will the editor the Messenger inform us whether Thomas Jefferson was a Mormon or not?
After providing this excerpt, the editors of the Times and Seasons then commented:
It seems the editor the Messenger has not answered Elder Grant’s request, and so we take the responsibility to give a sentence of revelation on the subject, which came throughout the great prophet and seer, (Joseph Smith). On the 373d page of the second edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, last clause of the tenth paragraph, we find these words: “(And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, BY THE HANDS OF WISE MEN, whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood”) So it seems that the immortal (Thomas Jefferson) was so much of a Saint or Mormon, that God knew he was a (wise man), and raised him up on purpose to prepare the way for breaking to pieces Nebuchadnezzar’s image of governments, priests, misrule, confusion and false religion!
970The whole world can bear witness that God’s “(wise men)” have shown more genuine humanity and wisdom, than all christendom put together; and this makes revelation triumphant. Glory to God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and all the prophets! men could kill their bodies, but they could not hurt their souls, nor their words. (They are eternal.)
So, after reading this, what do you think of Grant’s query?
 J. M. Grant, “Steadfast,” Times and Seasons, July 15, 1845, 970.