the thinker

Speaking in Tongues

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“When Joseph asked Brigham Young to pray, Brigham spoke in tongues, using strange sounds and unfamiliar words. The others looked at Joseph in some perplexity, for this type of spiritual phenomenon was not common to them. It was Joseph's first experience with the puzzling speech and he called it ‘pure Adamic' and stated that it was ‘of God.' Speaking in tongues spread through the Pennsylvania branches of the church first, then occurred in Mendon, New York. Brigham Young brought it to Kirtland. The practice became a part of the Saints' worship – particularly among women – until well into the next century.”

- King and Newell, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 46

“Frederick G. Williams rose and stated that an angel entered through the window and took a place between himself and Father Smith and remained there during the meeting. The congregation shouted, ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb,' three times, sealing it each time with ‘Amen! Amen! Amen!' Brigham Young spoke in tongues; David W. Patten interpreted, and at four o'clock in the afternoon the dedication was over.”

- King and Newell, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 59

“To describe the scene alluded to would be beyond my pow'r. Suffice it to say the spirit of the Lord was pour'd out and we receiv'd a blessing thro' our belov'd mother Chase & sis Clarissa by the gift of tongues.”

- Patty Bartlett Sessions journal, see Smart, Mormon Widwife

“Brother Leonard spoke in tongues in an Indian language, and prophesied of the destruction of this nation before the coming of the Savior. The power that rested upon him was so great as to produce such an intense sympathy with those in the room, that they were all wonderfully affected. Sister Eliza R. Snow walked the floor to keep her breath. All felt the distress and agony that awaited the nation, more particularly the priests and harlots being destroyed in their wickedness. Sister Eliza Snow spoke afterwards in the pure language of Adam, with great power, and the interpretation was given.”

- Wells, “A Venerable Woman,” Women's Exponent, v. 12, June 1, 1883, p. 2

“I [Eliza Snow] spoke & she [Patty Sessions] interpreted. I then blest the girls in a song, singing to each in rotation.”

- Eliza Roxcy Snow journal, June 6, 1847, see In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, p. 323