. . . I went into the room where he was, and the first question he asked me, after passing a compliment, was to know how many members we have in our church, I replyed to him, that w hav[e] between 15 hundred and 2,000 in this branch. -- He then asked me wherein we differ from other christian denomination[s] I replyed that we believe the bible, and they do not. --however he affirmed that he believed the bible, I told him then to be baptised, --he replied that he did not realize it to be his duty -- But when [I] laid before him the principles of the gospel, viz. faith and repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the reseption of the Holy Ghost he manifested much surprise 1 --I then observed that the hour for school had arived, and I must attend The man seemed astonished at our doctrine but by no means hostile
1. The controversy over the necessity for baptism, let alone baptism by immersion, was still raging among Protestant sects. The idea of receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, while clearly biblical, was an essentially unknown practice. Hence the surprise. The connected doctrines surrounding John the Baptist and the baptism of Christ would be a continuing thread in Joseph's teachings. See note 1 at 7Apr44.