CARD to the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
DEAR BRETHREN: Certain parties who appear to be anxious for notoriety, and who desire to take advantage of the prominence and achieve the dignity which discussion with the Elders of this Church would give them, have sent to representative Elders of the Church challenges to hold discussion upon the doctrines and the validity of the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. People of this kind in California and elsewhere have of late been very persistent in demanding an acceptance of their challenge-the question, for debate as they put it, being:
First-Was Brigham Young the lawful and legitimate successor of Joseph Smith (the Seer), to the prophetic office and presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Second-And is Utah the appointed place for the gathering of the Saints in the last days as spoken by the Prophets of God, including Joseph Smith, the Seer?
... We leave this for the Lord to prove and sustain, and we think it folly to submit the claims of our Church or the Priesthood to the arbitrament of man. ...
Your Brethren, WILFORD WOODRUFF, GEORGE Q. CANNON, JOSEPH F. SMITH, First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[1894-June 2-Deseret News Weekly 48:747 (June 2, 1894); also Nordstjarnan 18:200-201 (July 1, 1894) as quoted in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]