The Bickertonite movement continues many of the ecstatic religious experiences of the Kirtland Era. Dr. Daniel Stone will tell us more about speaking in tongues. Does it pre-date the modern Pentecostal Church movement? We’ll learn more about this in our final segment with Dr. Daniel Stone, check out our conversation…
GT: The other thing that I wanted to ask, was John [Hamer] said that Bickertonite meetings are very lively.
Daniel: Yes, they very much can be.
GT: In your book, there’s a lot of speaking in tongues, and interpreting tongues. I was like, do they still do that today?
Daniel: Yes. Not like they did in Bickerton’s day. I will say it has tampered down quite a bit, but we do still see it like with any charismatic gift.
We also told a story that turns out not to be true regarding an Italian Book of Mormon story and Vinzenzo di Francesca. (It was a fun story–I wish it was true!) Here is the short part of the video describing Vincenzo’s experience.
Alice Cooper was raised in the Bickertonite Church, and his grandfather was the president! Alice Cooper’s song, “No More Mr. Nice Guy might have a reference to his Bickertonite upbringing! What else can Daniel tell us about Alice Cooper? Did Mr. Smithie really punch him in the nose?
Daniel: We go to a friend, a family friend, between the both of us and we have dinner together and we’re talking and my wife just out of the blue says, “Okay, let me ask you this, are you that Mr. Smithy in the Alice Cooper song that punches him in the nose?”
And then Ike Smith’s wife just burst out laughing and says either her or Bonnie, she says “That’s where it comes from!” See, they didn’t, as far as we know, they didn’t know. Apparently people had been telling them that reference and they didn’t really fully realize where it was coming from. So my wife is, I guess maybe it was the first bold one to flat out say, Hey, are you the guy that punched him in the nose? So go Laura! That was awesome of her. And he said, he goes, “Oh.” He goes, “Oh my goodness. Oh Vinny.” And he basically, or something like that, just very friendly and laughing. And he says, “Just for the record, I did not punch Vinny in the nose.”
So yeah. And I guess we have a friend that’s a part of the Latter-day Saint movement. I had met him one time at a John Whitmer Historical conference. I forget his name. Really Nice Guy. Anyways, he knows Ike Smith as well. And his wife Bonnie. Anyways, he went to an Alice Cooper–I don’t know if it was a meet and greet or a concert or something like that and they took a picture with Alice Cooper and he told him saying, “Hey, I know Ike Smith.”
And Alice said to him, “Tell Ike, Vinny said hi.” So, there’s a history between them and it’s very possible. It’s very possible that sarcastically, you’d have to ask Vincent Furnier himself.
Here’s the video of the song if you’re interested!
We’ll also talk about Bickertonite leadership. Did they follow Brigham Young’s pattern where the senior apostle becomes leader? Is an apostle greater than a prophet?
Daniel: Bickerton is a prophet who are ordains apostles. So it shows, at least through history, and if you would to tie that in scripturally, Bickerton kind of acts in a way. I don’t want to say he was Jesus, but he started a movement and restored the movement. Obviously if you’re a Bickertonite, you have to believe that he had the power to do that and to ordain apostles. So, it’s little interesting mental gymnastics that we play.
GT: I just wonder if that’s because the Cadman narrative is what won out, right?
Daniel: Yeah, exactly.
GT: So he would probably try to push prophets below apostles because he was an apostle and he wanted to be at the top of the church.
Daniel: Oh for sure.
GT: And so it sounded like…
Daniel: And he could even been considered a prophet necessarily, but he still was an apostle and the president first. Yeah.
GT: So, the president of the quorum of the Twelve–so you guys will follow the Brigham Young Movement in that the president of the Quorum of Twelve becomes the president of the church.
Daniel: Exactly, Yep.
Check out our conversation! Here are our other conversations with Daniel!
Can a prophet make mistakes, even in prophecy and revelation? William Bickerton, a prophet in the Church of Jesus Christ said yes, prophets make mistakes. Dr. Daniel Stone will give us more information in this great conversation.
Daniel: William Bickerton especially towards the end of his life, recognized that prophets were fallible, even I believe it was during the Civil War.
So very early on his people, including him, can even recognize that men can make mistakes even though they’re considered a prophet of God. It is possible that a prophet can false prophesy.
GT: Wow, that’s very interesting.
Daniel: And that could just be from their own wants and desires. And even people in my tradition, I brought this up during a men’s class one time that I was teaching, and I tried to bring it up, when we were talking about the gift of prophecy. I said, there are instances in the scriptures were prophets get it wrong, but they’re still called prophets. I believe Nathan is one of them. I’d have to look. There was examples and I bring up William Bickerton for one of them. I personally believe Joseph Smith. I am a believer, so I’m going to take my academic hat off for a second and say, I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Because I have to believe in the Book of Mormon, which I do, to say that. But I think Joseph Smith might have let his mind get to certain things. And that’s okay because we read prophets in the Old Testament do that sometimes, quite often.
Do you agree? Is it possible for a prophet to make a mistake in revelation and still be a prophet?
Check out our conversation, as well as our other conversation with Dr. Daniel Stone!