52 – E.L. Kelley

1: Mr Kelley do you recognize the King James translation of the bible which I now hand you, and which is marked exhibit “C”, – do you recognize that in the reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of which you are the bishop as a work of authority in your church?
Yes sir.

2: Is it an authority on questions of doctrine in the church which you represent, or to which you belong?
It is so regarded. It is so held.

3: Do you recognize the book marked exhibit “D”, entitled the “Holy Scriptures, translated and corrected by the Spirit of Revelation by Joseph Smith, Jr. the Seer, published by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, which I now hand you, – do you recognize that as a work of authority on question of doctrine by the church to which you belong?
I recognize it as a work that is accepted for what it is worth, and it is used by our people for what it purports to be.

4: Is it accepted as a book of doctrine in your church?
Yes sir, it is recognized as a book of authority, but it has never been accepted by our church to take the place of that is known as the King James translation of the Holy Scriptures. It has never been accepted in the sense of taking the place of the King James translation by any act of the church, but it is considered by our people to be more fully translated on many points than is the King James translation, as was stated, and I think correctly, by President Smith and W.W. Blair while on the witness stand, but it has not been made a standard in the church in preference to the King James translation, we use it believing it to be a better translation in many regards, and possibly not in some. I will state that we accept it as an authority in the church simply for what it is worth, and nothing more, – simply for what it shows itself on its face to be.

5: Has it not been endorsed by your church in Conference assembled as one of the books of authority for doctrine of the church?
I could not give you the words of the endorsement of what are termed the standard books of authority in the church. I don’t know whether the read “the bible, the book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants”, or “the Holy Scriptures, book of Mormon and book of Doctrine and Covenants”, in all instances. I can’t say how that is Colonel. I know there are some instances where it reads “the bible the book of Mormon and the book of Doctrine and Covenants”, but whether there is an instance where it reads “the hold Scriptures”, I could not say from memory.

6: is it one of the books of doctrine in the church, – that is the question I want you to answer?
Well we hold that it is one of the translations of the bible and as such we hold it to be a book of doctrine. We recognize all the translations of the bible, and in our acceptance of the holy scriptures we do not designate any special translation. We hold it as one of the translation of the bible just as the Baptists hold the “Bible Union” translation, as the translation that they recognize. Now we would recognize the same translation. There is the King James translation and several others and we recognize all of them when it comes down to that for our members are not tied down to any particular translation. That is the ground I understand we take, and so do other societies.

7: Do you or do you not hold it to be a translation of the bible by the spirit of revelation, – the holy spirit, as is claimed in the title page which I have read?
Yes sir, we hold it as set forth in the – title page. It don’t however claim to be a correction of, –

8: Of all the errors?
No sir, not wholly, but so far as it is corrected it does. There are some certain books that are not translated at all Colonel in the King James translation as is specified some place in the record I believe, but I am not able now to turn directly to it.

9: Do you recognize what I am now going to read from exhibit “M”, entitled “The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in succession from 1880 to the present”, as follows, – “Resolution by General Conference of the church, September 13th 1878, – Resolved, that this body representing the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, recognize the Holy Scriptures, the Book of Mormon, the revelations of God contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and all other revelations which have been or shall be revealed through God as appointed prophet, which have been or may be hereafter accepted by the church, as the standard of authority on all matters of church government and doctrine, and the final standard of reference on appeal in all controversies arising, or which may arise in this church of Christ”. That is taken so it reads here from the “Saints Herald, Volume 25, pages 295 and 296”. Now that is found on page I8 of the pamphlet I have described. What do you – say to that?
Well that is all right. There is nothing wrong with that.

10: Well do you recognize that as a resolution passed by the general conference of the church, as it purports to have been?
I recognize the import of it, but whether it is a correct copy or not I could not say, for the reason that I did not have any thing to do with it at all, – that is I mean to say I did not have anything to do with the compiling of it or the reading fof the proff afterwards, and I found out there was sosme errrors in that little pamphlet after it was printed, but I don’t know there was any error in it in that respect, – that is in so far as that which you have read is concerned, but there was in others respects.

11: You say you found out afterwards, – that is after it was printed and published that there were some errors in it?
Yes sir, not in that but in other respects. There was some errors in it, but I cannot testify as to whether that is a correct quotation or not. I would suggest however, that is you have the records in your possession from which that was taken, you have better examine them and see if that is correctly quoted. As far as my knowledge goes I cannot say whether it is or not, but I assume that it is a correct quotation.

12: Well as I have not the record in my possession I am obliged to you for the suggestion, and I would be glad if you would turn to the record and show me the original record of that resolution?
Well the records were here, but as they were not used, – I guess they have been taken away, – at any rate I think they are not here now. I would be very glad to accomadate your desire Colonel if I could, but I fear I can’t do so.

13: What do you regard as the meaning of the phrase or expression “Holy Scriptures”?

14: What do you regard as the meaning of the phrase “Holy Scriptures as used in the resolution which I have just read to you? Does it mean the Smith translation, or does it mean the King James translation of the Holy Scriptures?
Well assuming that that is the proper wording of the resolution I would assume that it meant or referred to the translation by Joseph Smith, because that is the title of it.

15: What do you mean by that?
I mean that the title to the translation is that, – it is called the “Holy Scriptures”.

16: Have you, or are you familiar with the contents of this book marked exhibit “D”, which is the translation of the Holy Scriptures by Joseph Smith, and with the contents of exhibit “C”, entitles the King James translation of the bible?
Yes sir, pretty well acquainted with them both.

17: Are you sufficiently well enough acquainted with them to state whether or not they teach conflicting doctrine?
I think I am.

18: Well are you?
I think so. I am to my own satisfaction at least, but whether my knowledge would satisfy other people, whilst it is satisfactory to myself, I cannot say. In answer to your question I will say that I am to my own satisfaction at any rate.

19: You are acquainted with them to your own satisfaction?
Yes sir, but I do not say that I am to the satisfaction of others.

20: Well are there any considerable differences in the texts of the two books?
I think there is some considerable difference in certain things, but it is more in more things, after the character of the corresponding texts that were introduced this morning. For the instance it is stated that the Lord plagued the people because they made the calf that Aaron made, whilst in the other translation, it reads that the Lord plagued the people because they worshipped the calf that Aaron made. That is an illustration that you can remember, and there is manifestly an error in the King James translation as it is termed. There is no material difference in these two books or in the different renderings. I deny absolutely that there is any difference what ever in the teaching of the doctrine taught in these two books, but there are monor difference that do not effect the question of doctrine at all, as in the example I have just given you. There is simply differences between the King James translations pf the bible. Now I will state further Colonel in this same connection, that in reading what is termed the Holy Scriptures you will get certain ideas that you do not gather readily from reading the King James translation, – in the latter they are some what clouded, and in the former they are put in such a way as to be more readily grasped and understood, but after comparison you will find that the same thought is held out in both, – in the King James translation as well as in the other. There is no claim or pretence of a claim by the society that the two teach different or conflicting doctrines that I have ever head anything of that was ever made by the elders or leaders in the church, and in all my ministerial work I have heard the King James quoted, and I myself have carried it for the last thirty years, and have used it during the whole of the time when I had occasion to use it. I have used it as a minister since 1871, or twenty one years.