Let's start again. You offered the following quotation from Brigham Young:
When he pleases to bless the children of men, he is able to accomplish his purpose. If he is disposed to permit a Nebuchadnezzar to see a finger writing on a wall, it is his privilege to do so. If he is disposed to talk with an Enoch, or to show himself to the brother of Jared, it is his privilege. And if he is disposed to pour out the Holy Ghost upon the house of Cornelius before he embraced the Gospel in the usual way by baptism for the remission of sins, it is his privilege. The principle is, God must be obeyed. And even after Cornelius and his house had received the Holy Ghost, they did not, like some in our day, rise up and say, "We have no need to be baptized." Why did not Cornelius tell Peter that he had received the Holy Ghost, and was as good a Christian as he? But, no; he must send to Joppa for one Simon Peter, who would tell him words whereby he and his household could be saved. What words? To be baptized in water. Peter did not tell them to receive the Holy Ghost, for they had received it.
They had already been endowed with the Holy Ghost, and it was the right and privilege of him who laid down his life to redeem the children of men to bestow that Holy Ghost where and when he pleased. If Cornelius had refused to have been baptized, he never would have received the influence of the Holy Ghost afterwards. He must obey the outward ordinances to secure to himself eternal lives—to attain the blessings consequent upon obedience. (Brigham Young, July 3, 1859. Journal of Discourses 7:4)
In the above quote, there are two things that Brigham Young does not do. (1) He does not mention or comment on Joseph Smith's assertion that Cornelius and his household did not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after they were baptized. (2) He does not mention or allude to the distinction between receiving the Holy Ghost and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, the above statements by Brigham Young do not address the issue I raised in this thread.
Next, you quote the following from Young:
Who can say that the laying on of hands is not necessary for the reception of the Holy Ghost? It is true that the house of Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before the Gospel was preached unto them. But the Lord had a special purpose in view in its bestowal in their case, namely, the removal of the prejudice of Peter and his brethren, who, being Jews, and full of the traditions of their fathers, thought that the Gentiles—among whom Cornelius and his house were classed—were not privileged to receive the Gospel. But the vision which Peter had on this subject, and the message sent to him by Cornelius in obedience to the command of the Lord in connection with the fact of the bestowal of the Holy Ghost on Cornelius and his family was so convincing to Peter and his brethren that the former was constrained to exclaim, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Some may say, "What was the necessity of sending for Peter, one of the Apostles, when they had already received the Holy Ghost?" The simple fact is this: there was nobody to baptize Cornelius and his household, nobody to bury them with Christ in the water; no one had authority to baptize them for the remission of their sins; and consequently, although they had received the Holy Ghost, an Apostle had to be sent for to administer that ordinance. And we read further in relation to this case, that Peter "commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Did any others receive the Holy Ghost before baptism? None that we have any record of; but there is no doubt that many who were worthy received it in a measure; but, whether in the days of the Apostles or in our day, when the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins is preached by a servant of the Lord to persons who have received the Holy Ghost, if they reject that doctrine the Holy Ghost will withdraw from them for ever. (Brigham Young, July 17, 1870. Journal of Discourses 13:214)
Same point as I made before. In addition, I would point out that Brigham Young was rather confused about what happened in Acts 10. Young asserts that "the house of Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before the Gospel was preached unto them." That is incorrect. The household of Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before Peter had finished
preaching the gospel to them (Acts 10:44). As Peter was still speaking, Cornelius and his family believed the gospel they were hearing and the Holy Spirit fell on them. Young says, "Some may say, 'What was the necessity of sending for Peter, one of the Apostles, when they had already received the Holy Ghost?' The simple fact is this: there was nobody to baptize Cornelius and his household, nobody to bury them with Christ in the water; no one had authority to baptize them for the remission of their sins; and consequently, although they had received the Holy Ghost, an Apostle had to be sent for to administer that ordinance." Here again, Young is completely wrong: Cornelius's household had not already received the Holy Spirit before Peter came to them, and Peter came to them not to administer ordinances to those who had already received the Holy Spirit but to preach the gospel to those who had not yet believed it or received the Holy Spirit. Cornelius sent emissaries to Peter not for him to come administer ordinances to him but so that they could "hear words from" Peter (10:22). Peter's message was not that God grants salvation to everyone who receives the right ordinances from the right people but that everyone who trusts in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through his name (10:43).
You also quoted George Q. Cannon:
A great many, to prove that baptism and laying on of hands are not necessary, have cited the case of Cornelius, who, though he was not baptized, received the Holy Ghost . . . and there were strong reasons why it should be as it was with him. The Gospel and its ordinances were administered only to the Jews; Cornelius was a Gentile, and between the two races strong prejudices existed, the Jews looking upon the Gentiles as far inferior to them. Cornelius and his household were the first Gentiles to whom the Gospel was preached, they received it, and the Lord, to show to the Apostles that the Gentiles were entitled to the ordinances of salvation as well as the Jews, if they were willing to comply with the requirements of the Gospel, conferred the Holy Ghost upon Cornelius and his family. When Peter saw this family he said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." And when afterwards, he heard them speak with tongues and magnify God, he said, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Peter did not say, Cornelius, you have received the Holy Ghost as well as we have, and there is no necessity for you to obey any further ordinances, which, under the circumstances, if he had considered baptism or the laying on of hands non-essential, he would have been very likely to do; but instead of that he commanded them to be baptized. Peter took this, as the Lord intended it, as an evidence that the Gentiles as well as the House of Israel were entitled to the Gospel. And he had them baptized, and without doubt laid his hands upon them to confirm upon them the gift they had received. Had Cornelius, at that hour, stood upon his dignity and said, There is no necessity for me to be baptized for the remission of my sins, God having given me the Holy Ghost without obeying that ordinance, and having already received the Holy Ghost, I have no need to have hands laid upon me, there is not a doubt in my mind but what that precious and inestimable gift would have been withdrawn from him, and he would not have enjoyed it after. It could only be continued to him on condition of his obeying the ordinances which God had placed in his Church and which he required all the inhabitants of the earth to submit to without hesitation; and without doubt, Cornelius wisely went forward and obeyed those ordinances. (George Q. Cannon, August 15, 1869. Journal of Discourses 14:50)
Same point as with both of the previous quotes: Cannon does not mention or allude to Joseph Smith's claim, nor does he mention or allude to Joseph's distinction between receiving the Holy Ghost and receiving the Holy Ghost. Therefore, Cannon's discourse does not address the difficulty I have raised in this thread.
You then quoted the following from Brigham Young:
We read in the days of the Apostles of a certain man named Cornelius, a devout man and one who worshipped the Lord according to the light he possessed. As he was once praying in his house, the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he and his household rejoiced exceedingly. What was the word of the Lord to Cornelius under these circumstances? Was it "You are saved, you are just right, you can build up churches, you can show the people that they can be saved, and can receive the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands?" No, the word of the Lord to Cornelius was, "Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." Cornelius sent to Joppa, and just before his messengers reached the house at which Simon lodged, he had had a vision in which a sheet descended from heaven, in which were all manner of beasts and creeping things of the earth; and a voice said, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common or unclean." And the voice said unto him, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." At that time the Gospel had been given to the Jews only, and Peter and his brethren had the idea that it was not for the Gentiles; but this vision was as much as to say, "I want to open your eyes and show you that the Gentiles as well as the Jews are to receive and participate in the blessings of the Gospel." Just as Peter awoke from his vision there came a rap at the door and the messengers of Cornelius inquired for him, and made known to him their errand, and he and some of his brethren went down and conversed with Cornelius, and while doing so the Spirit of God rested on them so powerfully that they glorified God. The Jews who were with Peter 100ommenced, "Take care, Peter, we do not like this; we do not understand that the Gentiles are to have the Gospel. The Savior is the Savior of the Jews; Jesus was the king of the Jews only and not the king of the Gentiles." Peter 100ommanded them to be still. Said he, "Do you not see the pouring out of the Spirit just as on the Day of Pentecost, these people speaking with new tongues and prophecying;" and said he, seeing that this is the case, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we." Cornelius, if he had rejected the testimony of Peter, would have been led to reject the Holy Ghost, which had fallen upon him, and been lost. This was an instance in which the Holy Ghost was given before baptism; there may be other cases in these days, but if parties are thus favored of the Lord, the outpouring of his Spirit prompts them to send for an Elder of Israel that they may be baptized for the remission of their sins. I do not know that it is recorded that Cornelius received a remission of sins before baptism. (Brigham Young, May 21, 1871. Journal of Discourses 14:134)
Same problem as with all of the other quotations; this one does not address the specific issue I raised. In addition, Young offers the baseless speculation that Cornelius might not have received a remission of sins before his baptism.
Finally, you offered the following quotation from Orson Pratt (whom Mormons apparently are allowed to quote, but not their critics):
The gifts which I have been describing are the effects of the Holy Ghost. Now we hear almost every society praying the Lord to send the Holy Ghost. Their cry is, "Let the Holy Ghost come down upon us now; let it be with us this very moment; let us have its influence and enjoy its operations now." But they know nothing about it; they have never received the Holy Ghost, neither can they until they comply with the Gospel ordinances—repent of their sins and be baptized for their remission. "But," says one, "do not you remember good old Cornelius? was he baptized?" No, he received the Holy Ghost before baptism. But had he any promise of it before? No. The Lord, on that occasion, had a special object in view, which is named in the history of the transaction. Cornelius seems to have been the first Gentile, whom the Apostle Peter 1n opening the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles, was commanded to visit. The Jewish nation was exceedingly prejudiced against the Gentiles. Peter happened to have six proselytes from the Jewish nation with him on that occasion. Oh, how bitter they were against the Gentiles! They thought the Gentiles had no part or lot in the matter; and notwithstanding the commission that the Lord had given to the Apostles he had to work a miracle to convince Peter, so strong were the prejudices of the Jews that the Holy Ghost and the Gospel blessings were not for the Gentiles. You recollect Peter's vision, in which the Lord let down a sheet by the four corners, full of all manner of beasts, clean and unclean, and Peter being commanded to arise, slay and eat; and his not being willing to do it because it was contrary to the law of Moses. But he was told that the Lord had cleansed the contents of the sheet, and he was forbidden on that account to call it common or unclean. You recollect that the Lord sent an angel, as he always does when he has a Church on the earth, to a certain man called Cornelius. This man had been praying, he wanted to know how to be saved. The Lord had heard his prayers, and had sent an angel to him, and the angel said to him, "Cornelius, thy prayers are heard, and have come up before the Lord as a memorial. Now send to Joppa for one Simon, whose surname is Peter, and he will tell you words whereby you and your house will be saved." What! Cornelius not in a state of salvation, and he a praying man? No doubt he was in a state of salvation, so far as he understood; but he was ignorant and did not understand how to get into the celestial kingdom. He knew nothing about the birth of the water and of the Spirit, that we heard about this forenoon, without which no man can enter into the kingdom of God. Yet he had given much alms, and his prayers had come up as a memorial before God, and the Lord had pity on his ignorance and sent an angel to him. But the angel did not see proper to tell him what to do to get into a more full state of conversion; he simply told him to send for Peter—a man of God, promising him that he would tell him how to be saved. Peter, being warned beforehand, by the vision, went down to the house of Cornelius, nothing doubting, taking these six Jewish converts with him, full of all their Jewish prejudices. When Cornelius had given an account of the visit of the angel to him, Peter began to preach Christ and him crucified, and while he was speaking the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his household, and they spake with tongues and magnified God. Do you suppose that the Holy Spirit could have been retained by Cornelius supposing he had refused to obey the ordinances of the Gospel? No, it was only given as a witness and testimony to convince the Jewish brethren, who were with Peter, that the Gentiles might have salvation as well as the Jews; for when they began to speak in tongues, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, Peter turned to his Jewish brethren, and said, "Who can forbid water that these should not be baptized?" and he commanded them, in the name of the Lord Jesus, to be baptized. What, a command? Yes. Had Peter the right to give that command? Yes; for the angel of the Lord had said to Cornelius, "He shall tell you words whereby you and your house shall be saved," and his command to them to be baptized was some of his words unto them. Supposing that Cornelius had said, "Oh, baptism is not essential, it is not among the fundamental principles of salvation; it is one of the non-essential, outward ordinances, etc., and is of no consequence, I have received the Holy Ghost, I am a Christian, I believe in your words; I have offered my alms to the poor, and they have come up before the Lord; I am good enough, there is no need for me to be baptized," how long would the Holy Ghost have remained with him? Just the moment that he had refused to obey this commandment the Holy Ghost would have fled from him and his house. The only way for him to retain the gift that comes through obedience was to be baptized, though on that occasion it was given without promise, and without baptism. Baptism, recollect, is for the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost comes afterwards; but on this occasion it was given before it; but he could not have retained it, it would have left him, and he would have been in seven-fold greater darkness than before had he refused to obey the words of this inspired messenger. The Jewish brethren could not forbid water after the manifestation of the power of God on that occasion; their prejudices were done away by a miracle. Now, because the Lord varied on that one occasion and gave the Holy Ghost before baptism, how many there are who want to do away with baptism, and to seek some other way for those who are convicted and laboring under a feeling of sorrow and mourning for their sins; but there is an ordinance connected with the receiving of the Holy Ghost. If there is an ordinance connected with the baptism of water, so there is in relation to the higher baptism; and the Lord made his servants, the Apostles, ministers not only of the word, but also of the Spirit. They were able ministers of the Spirit; that is, they had authority to administer the Spirit. They could not do it of themselves; but when God calls a man and gives him authority by revelation and sends him to preach his Gospel, and people listen to that Gospel and are willing to be baptized, that man has the right to baptize them; and if he is ordained to the Apostleship or to those offices that have the power to administer the higher ordinance of the laying on of hands, and he lays hands on, God will acknowledge that ordinance. He will acknowledge baptism by giving remission of sins; and he will acknowledge the laying on of hands by sending from heaven the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Orson Pratt, June 18, 1871. Journal of Discourses 14:182)
Here again, Pratt does not discuss Joseph Smith's statement or his distinction between receiving the Holy Ghost and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, Pratt's comments here are also not relevant to the problem I have presented.
You have made a decent case, by the way, that Joseph Smith's view was ignored or forgotten for at least a few decades after 1842. It would be interesting to do further research to see if anyone during Young's tenure as president affirmed Joseph's view. The above quotes do not even mention it. In any case, the current view of the LDS Church is Joseph's view, not Brigham's view, and Brigham and his associates quoted above apparently never commented specifically on Joseph's view or showed any awareness of it.
Edited by Rob Bowman, 12 November 2010 - 09:28 AM.