From the Archives: Brownite Revelations from the Spirit of Joseph Smith

By December 7, 2007

I was in Special Collections the other day, going thru the diaries of Mark H. Forscutt, a Latter-day Saint who left the Brighamites and became a Latter Day Saint when the Josephite movement started up. I came across an entry in which he describes an interesting encounter with one Mr. Moore, whom he describes as a “Brownite.” I’m not sure who Brown is (any who can enlighten us on that, please do), but I found the passage quite intriguing, and so I quote:

Saturday, Jan 25/73. 16. . . 4.
Left by 10:15 train for chesterfield. Was met as per agreement by Bro Hill at the station. He had also with him a Mr Moore, formerly a Brighamite, then and still a Brownite . Bro Pointon also came, with whom and the rest of the company I spent a very pleasant time. Mr Moore loaned to me to read while there a Book published by the Brown party, containing a “revelation” to Mr Brown, purporting to be from the spirit of Joseph Smith. I pointed out the inconsistencies in its language it having the same grammatical errors in it as are found in another revelation” in the book purporting to be from Gabriel – especially in the use of the objective him instead of the nominative he. Another inconsistency lay in the description given of Joseph Smith by Mr Brown, whom he professes to have seen at the time the revelation was given, and whom he describes as being about 5 ft 7 or 5 ft 8 in. in height . There are several revelations purporting to be from Joseph Smith, who “the angel Gabriel” reveals was appointed a prophet, but who fell through ambition. He <J.S.> is also represented as denouncing his own revelations, as being made up from the scriptures and additions and revelations alterations of his own _ this is said of the Doctrine and Covenants , and the reader is referred to the Book of Cov. as evidences of the truth of the statement -a recommendation which, if followed , would be most fatal to the revelation containing it. Mr Moore thanked me for pointing out the inaccuracies.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. In 1850, James J. Strang published an article on the status of various “apostate” groups. Samuel C. Brown was one of those groups (he also published on Wight, Brewster, William Smith, and several others). This might be the Brownite group, or it might not.

    Went to Hyrum Smith to be appointed on a mission, and he sent him to work in the quarry at Nauvoo three months getting out stone for the Temple. Afterwards he asked for another mission, and as he seemed to think himself uncommonly well qualified to teach, Hyrum appointed him (in mere irony) to preach to the Twelve, the High Priests, and the authorities of Nauvoo. He at¬tempted to perform his mission immediately, but the saints harden¬ed their hearts and would not hear him. Bishop Miller even whip¬ped him out of his garden with a bean pole.
    Since their death he has discovered that Hyrum Smith was the duly appointed successor of Joseph by the revelation of June 19th, 1841, in pursuance of the law of succession in the D. & C., and that he is Hyrum’s successor by virtue of his appointment to teach the authorities. The seat of his future empire is not determined, but he issues a paper occasionally from the press of Philadelphia and Baltimore.” (Gospel Herald, 30 May 1850).

    Comment by Rob — December 7, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  2. I think the bean pole whipping could explain it all…

    Comment by stan — December 7, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

  3. There’s nothing quite like a bean pole whipping which drives people out of gardens and churches.

    Comment by Rob — December 7, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  4. I haven’t seen a good whipping at a church meeting in . . . I’ll have to think about it for a while.

    Comment by Ray — December 7, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

  5. Samuel Brown shows up in the Nauvoo High Council minutes and the T&S. E.g.:

    Times and Seasons, Vol.4, No.11, p.175
    Resolved, That in the judgment of this conference, the publication of a paper called the `Mormon Expositor,’ published at Baltimore, by elder Samuel C. Brown, is detrimental to the cause of the church of Christ, and that the clerk be instructed to transmit to the quorum of the Twelve, at Nauvoo, stating our disapprobation with the reason, and a file of the paper.

    Comment by J. Stapley — December 7, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  6. I think this Samuel Brown may be our man. Thanks Rob and J. Stapley.

    There have been several schismatics to record revelations–Strang, Morris–but I have never heard of anyone else invoking Joseph Smith as the revelatory source.

    Comment by stan — December 7, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

  7. I just sent this post to my friends under the tag “False Prophets and Bean-pole Whippin’s”.

    This is an interestingly bizarre incident. As a lifelong member (of the Brighamites, I guess I should say), I’ve never thought about those groups who broke off, excepting the crazy fundies or the Church-Formerly-Known as RLDS (now Community of Christ, I believe). This is an avenue of history that seems quite fascinating that wouldn’t have occured to me without this site. Thanks, guys!

    Comment by Jacob M — December 7, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

  8. Stan: According to Walker, Godbe and Harrison “claimed to receive revelation from Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and Solomon,” as well as other figures. Here’s the Joseph Smith revelation, which Walker calls “bland”:

    We know the difficulties you will have to encounter, the obstacles that will be in your way—they will be great and numerous.
    We know the jealousies that will exist and the slurs that will be thrown out against you; yet we see that, in spite of this, you will be triumphant, triumphant.
    You are instructed and sent on this mission by one that you once knew (Heber C. Kimball), and he [was] sent to you by others that he never knew (this is, in the flesh), and they by others that they never knew, and so on, link after link, until we reach the Highest Authority, all saying unto you: “Go and redeem Zion. Go and feed the people with rich ripe corn in the kernel, instead of the husks with which they have so long been fed.”
    Remember this: and reflect upon it: and thousands upon thousands will surround you, and greet you with songs of joy at your entrance to the immortal world, for the work you have accomplished for suffering humanity.”

    (Walker, Wayward Saints, 119, 121)

    Comment by David Grua — December 7, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

  9. I pointed out the inconsistencies in its language it having the same grammatical errors in it as are found in another revelation? in the book purporting to be from Gabriel – especially in the use of the objective him instead of the nominative he.

    Hmm…bad grammar might actually be evidence that it came from JS.

    Comment by David Grua — December 7, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

  10. Did any of ’em ever divine an updated version of Solomon’s Song of Songs?

    Comment by stan — December 7, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

  11. I wonder if Steven Shields’ Divergent Paths of the Restoration has information on Brown.

    Comment by Justin — December 8, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  12. Justin: Rob mentioned to me in a private conversation that he looked in Shields and that there is a section on Brown.

    Comment by David Grua — December 8, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

  13. […] From the Archives: Brownite Revelations from the Spirit of Joseph Smith […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » From The Archives: Posts You Might Have Missed, Part 1 — October 21, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  14. Is this the same Samuel Brown whose fists and Danite distress call started the Gallatin election day riot in 1838?

    Comment by smb — May 18, 2009 @ 8:59 am


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