Though raised Baptist, Rigdon was not baptized until age 24. A condition for baptism was a profession of conversion. Rigdon complied. Rev. Samuel Williams reported in “Mormonism Exposed” that Rigdon’s pastor David Phillips doubted his sincerity:
“here was so much miracle that about his conversion and so much parade about his profession that the pious and discerning pastor entertained serious doubts at the time in regard to the genuineness of the work.”
Rigdon was later driven from his position as minister in the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh. Of that event, Rev. Winters reported:
“When Holland Sumner dealt with Rigdon for his bad teachings, and said to him, ‘Brother Rigdon, you never got into a Baptist church without relating your Christian experiences,’ Rigdon replied, ‘When I joined the church at Peters Creek, I knew I would not be admitted without an experience, so I made up one to suit the purpose.’ * * * This I have just copied,” says Dr. Winter, “from an old memorandum as taken from Sumner’s himself.”
The expedient use of deception was a recurrent theme in Rigdon’s religious life.
Rigdon consistently denied any role in the authorship of the Book of Mormon.