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RESUMING the general thread of history we quote from Joseph Smith as follows:-
"During the winter, the house of the Lord at Kirtland was filled to overflowing with attentive hearers, mostly communicants; and in the evenings of the same, the singers met under the direction of Elders Luman Carter and Jonathan Crosby, Jr., who gave instructions in the principles of vocal music.
"On Monday evenings the Quorum of High Priests meet in the west room of the attic story, where they transact the business of their particular quorum. On Tuesday evenings the Seventies occupy the same room. On Wednesday evenings the rooms are occupied by the Quorum of Elders. And on Thursday, p. m., a prayer meeting is held in the lower part of the house, free for all, though generally conducted by Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr. The Twelve, the High Council, and other quorums, generally, meet each week to transact business, and during the week the 'Kirtland High School' is taught in the attic story, by H. M. Hawes, Esq., professor of the Greek and Latin languages. The school numbers from one hundred and thirty-five to one hundred and forty students, divided into three departments; the classics, where the languages only are
taught; the English department, where mathematics, common arithmetic, geography, English grammar, writing, and reading are taught; and the juvenile department, the last two having each an assistant instructor. The school commenced in November, and on the first Wednesday in January the several classes passed a public examination in presence of the trustees of the school, parents and guardians, and their progress in study was found of the highest order. .
"The brethren in Missouri were very busy in gathering into Caldwell County, entering United States land, building houses, and preparing to put in crops in the spring.
"On the first of February, 1837, the firm of O. Cowdery and Company was dissolved by mutual consent, and the entire establishment was transferred to Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon; and Warren A. Cowdery acted as their agent in the printing office and bookbindery, and Editor of the Messenger and Advocate.
"During the quarter ending March the 3d, thirty-two elders', seven priests', three teachers', and two deacons' licenses were recorded in the License Records in Kirtland, by T. Burdick.
"A short notice only was given, that a solemn assembly would be called, of the official members of the church, on the 6th of April, for the purpose of washing, anointing, washing of feet, receiving instructions, and the further organization of the ministry."-Millennial Star, vol. 15, p. 845.
On Thursday, April 6, 1837, the solemn assembly spoken of above, met, when considerable business was done, and among other items the following: Upon investigation it was discovered that some of those who were presiding over the Seventy were high priests. These were directed to unite with the High Priests, and it was ordered that new Presidents of the Seventy should be chosen in their places. These were finally ascertained to be, Hazen Aldrich, Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman, and Sylvester Smith. In the places of these were chosen James Foster, Daniel S. Miles, Josiah Butterfield,
Salmon Gee, and John Gaylord; so that on September 3, 1837, when this point was finally settled, the Presidency of Seventy stood in the following order: 1, Joseph Young; 2, Levi W. Hancock; 3, James Foster; 4, Daniel S. Miles; 5, Josiah Butterfield; 6, Salmon Gee; and 7, John Gaylord.
After this there were only two changes in this council before the death of Joseph Smith in 1844.
On January 13, 1838, John Gaylord was expelled from the church; and on February 6, 1838, Elder Henry Herriman was chosen to fill the vacancy.
On March 6, 1838, the quorum withdrew fellowship from Salmon Gee, and Zera Pulsipher was chosen on the same day to fill the vacancy.
The order as given in Doctrine and Covenants, section 107, paragraph 44, is different; but why the change in arrangement was made we do not know.
This solemn assembly on April 6,1837, was appropriately addressed by Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Sidney Rigdon. Among other things said are the following. President Joseph Smith spoke as follows:-
"There are many causes of embarrassment, of a pecuniary nature, now pressing upon the heads of the church. They began poor; were needy, destitute, and were truly afflicted by their enemies; yet the Lord commanded them to go forth and preach the gospel, to sacrifice their time, their talents, their good name, and jeopardize their lives; and in addition to this, they were to build a house for the Lord, and prepare for the gathering of the saints. Thus it is easy to see this must involve them. They had no temporal means in the beginning commensurate with such an undertaking; but this work must be done; this place had to be built up. Large contracts have been entered into for lands on all sides, where our enemies have signed away their rights. We are indebted to them, but our brethren from abroad have only to come with their money, take these contracts, relieve their brethren from the pecuniary embarrassments under which they now labor, and procure for themselves a peaceable place of rest among us. This place must and will be built up, and every brother that will take hold and
help secure and discharge those contracts that have been made, shall be rich.
"At four p. m., President Hyrum Smith addressed the assembly, principally in relation to the temporal affairs of the church, and censured those who counseled such brethren as moved to this place, when they were not authorized to give advice. He also alluded, in terms of disapprobation, to the practice of some individuals, in getting money from brethren that come in, when it ought to be appropriated to the discharge of heavy debts that are now hanging over the heads of the church, or the payments of the land contracts which had been made for the benefit of the saints in this place.
"Twenty-five minutes before five, President Oliver Cowdery spoke, opposing the idea of elders attempting to preach or teach that which they did not know, etc.
"President Sidney Rigdon rose a little before five p. m., and after referring to the gathering, and the preaching of the gospel, as the first thing, alluded to the debt which had been contracted for building the Lord's house, and other purposes, and stated three principal items that constituted nearly the aggregate of debt that now remained unliquidated.
"First, a charge of six thousand dollars which was appropriated and expended in consequence of the brethren being driven by a lawless mob from their possessions in Jackson County. The second was the building of the Lord's house, the unliquidated debt of which was rising of thirteen thousand dollars. The third item of debt was for the purchase of land, that there might be a place of rest, a place of safety, a place that the saints might lawfully call their own."-Millennial Star, vol. 15, p. 850.
The foregoing will serve to explain how the First Presidency and other leading men became involved, and will also explain the necessity for the provision made for the debts of the Presidency in the revelation of July 8, 1838.
In the spring and summer of 1837 there was much disaffection in the church, in which some of the leading men were arrayed against Joseph Smith and his supporters. In this opposition we find such names as F. G. Williams, Lyman Johnson, P. P. Pratt, David Whitmer,
Warren Parrish, and many others. These difficulties led to a series of charges and counter charges, which would be tedious to follow. This disturbance led to the apostasy of some, the rejection of some by the church, and the reconciling of others; this all resulting in a readjustment and rearranging of some if not all the quorums.
P. P. Pratt mentions this time as follows:-
"About this time, after I had returned from Canada, there were jarrings and discords in the church at Kirtland, and many fell away and became enemies and apostates. There were also envyings, lyings, strifes, and divisions, which caused much trouble and sorrow. By such spirits I was also accused, misrepresented, and abused. And at one time, I also was overcome by the same spirit in a great measure, and it seemed as if the very powers of darkness which war against the saints were let loose upon me. But the Lord knew my faith, my zeal, my integrity of purpose, and he gave me the victory.
"I went to Brother Joseph Smith in tears, and with a broken heart and contrite spirit confessed wherein I had erred in spirit, murmured, or done or said amiss. He frankly forgave me, prayed for me, and blessed me. Thus by experience I learned more fully to discern and to contrast the two spirits, and to resist the one and cleave to the other. And being tempted in all points, even as others, I learned how to bear with, and excuse, and succor those who are tempted."-Autobiography of P. P. Pratt, pp. 183,184.
President John Taylor, of the Utah Church, in a discourse delivered at Salt Lake City, Utah, October 7,1881, said:-
"There was a time when there was a large amount of apostasy in Kirtland; it was in 1837, I think. There was a very bitter feeling gotten up by a number of men who had apostatized. Parley P. Pratt was one who was affected. He, however, did not go to the length that some did; and Orson Pratt had partaken more or less of that spirit. I speak of these things as facts."-Pamphlet "On marriage -Succession in the Priesthood," p. 13.
Joseph Smith writes of this as follows:-
"In this state of things, and but a few weeks before the
Twelve were expecting to meet in full quorum (some of them having been absent for some time), God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of his church. And on or about the first of June, 1837, Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve, was set apart by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, prayer and the laying on of hands of the First Presidency, to preside over a mission to England, to be the first foreign mission of the Church of Christ in the last days. While we were about ordaining him, Orson Hyde, another of the Twelve, came in, and upon listening to what was passing his heart melted within him (for he had begun to drink of the cup filled with the overflowings of speculation). He acknowledged all his faults, asked forgiveness, and offered to accompany President Kimball on his mission to England. His offer was accepted, and he was set apart for that purpose.
"Thirty-five elders', three priests,' two teachers', and two deacons' licenses were recorded in the License Records in Kirtland, during the quarter ending June 3, by T. Burdick."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 11.
On the 10th of June, 1837, there was a conference held at Portland, Upper Canada, John E. Page presiding. At this conference there were represented three hundred and five members, all the fruits of thirteen months' labor by Elder Page.
Joseph, writing of scenes in Kirtland on the same date, states:-
"The same evening, while I was engaged in giving some special instructions to Elders Kimball and Hyde and President Joseph Fielding, concerning their mission to England, President Brigham Young came into my house where we were sitting, accompanied by Dr. Willard Richards, who had just returned from a special business mission to New York, Boston, and other eastern cities, on which he started with President Young the 14th March; Dr. Richards having been ordained an elder on the 6th of March, and President Young having returned from the mission a few days previous. . . .
"Monday, June 12, I was taken sick, and kept my room, unable to attend to business.
"Elder W. Richards, having reported his mission, requested the privilege of fulfilling a covenant which he made with President Kimball in January, which was that he should, agreeable to his desire, accompany the Twelve on their first foreign mission. President Hyrum Smith and Sidney Rigdon granted his petition, laid their hands upon his head, and set him apart for the English mission.
"Tuesday, 13th. My afflictions continued to increase and were very severe, insomuch I was unable to raise my head from my pillow when the brethren called to bid me farewell; and at nine o'clock a. m., Elders H. C. Kimball, O. Hyde, W. Richards, and Joseph Fielding, a priest, a native of Honedon, England, left Kirtland in company with President Brigham Young and several of the Kirtland brethren and sisters, who continued with them as far as Fairport, on Lake Erie, where the mission took a steamer for Buffalo, directing their course for New York City.
"Wednesday, 14th. I had continued to grow worse and worse until my sufferings were excruciating, and although in the midst of it all I felt to rejoice in the salvation of Israel's God, yet I found it expedient to call to my assistance those means which a kind Providence had provided for the restoration of the sick, in connection with the ordinances; and Dr. Levi Richards, at my request, administered to me herbs and mild food, and nursed me with all tenderness and attention; and my heavenly Father blessed his administrations to the ease and comforting of my system, for I began to amend in a short time, and in a few days I was able to resume my usual labors.
"This is one of the many instances that I have suddenly been brought from a state of health to the borders of the grave, and as suddenly restored, for which my heart swells with gratitude to my heavenly Father, and I feel renewedly to dedicate myself and all my powers to his service.
"While I was thus afflicted the enemy of all righteousness was suggesting, apostates reporting, and the doubtful believing that my afflictions were sent upon me because I was in transgression and had taught the church things contrary to godliness; but of this the Lord judge betwixt me and them,
while I pray my Father to forgive them the wrong."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 12.
On Sunday, July 23, 1837, the same day that Apostles Kimball and Hyde preached their first sermons in England, this being the first preaching in a foreign land, the revelation to Thomas B. Marsh, President of the Apostles' Quorum, was received. 1
1 1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant, Thomas, I have heard thy prayers, and thine alms have come up as a memorial before me, in behalf of those thy brethren who were chosen to bear testimony of my name, and to send it abroad among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; and ordained through the instrumentality of my servants.
2. Verily I say unto you, There have been some few things in thine heart and with thee, with which I, the Lord was not well pleased; nevertheless, inasmuch as thou hast abased thyself thou shalt be exalted; therefore all thy sins are forgiven thee. Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face, and thou shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews; and thou shalt send forth my word unto the ends of the earth.
3. Contend thou, therefore, morning by morning, and day after day; let thy warning voice go forth, and when the night cometh, let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber because of thy speech.
4. Let thy habitation be known in Zion, and remove not thy house, for I, the Lord, have a great work for thee to do, in publishing my name among the children of men; therefore, gird up thy loins for the work. Let thy feet be shod also for thou art chosen and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations; and by thy word many high ones shall be brought low; and by thy word many low ones shall be exalted. Thy voice shall be a rebuke unto the transgressor; and at thy rebuke let the tongue of the slanderer cease its perverseness.
5. Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers. I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name. And pray for thy brethren of the twelve. Admonish them sharply for my name's sake, and let them be admonished for all their sins; and be ye faithful before me unto my name. And after their temptations and much tribulations, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.
6. Now, I say unto you,-and what I say unto you I say unto all the twelve,-Arise and gird up your loins, take up your cross, follow me, and feed my sheep. Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph, for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him, and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to you-ward, shall not be taken from him till I come.
7. Verily I say unto you, my servant Thomas, Thou art the man whom I have chosen to hold the keys of my kingdom (as pertaining to the twelve) abroad among all nations, that thou mayest be my servant to unlock the door of the kingdom in all places where my servant Joseph and my servant Sidney, and my servant Hyrum, cannot come; for on them have I laid the burden of all the churches for a little season: wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you,
On Thursday, July 27, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and T. B. Marsh started on a mission to Canada. Arriving at Painesville, Ohio, they were delayed two days by malicious lawsuits.
The August number of the Messenger and Advocate contained the prospectus of a new paper to be edited by Joseph Smith, Jr., at Kirtland, Ohio, and called the Elders' Journal.
On or about the last of August, 1837, Joseph Smith and his companions on the Canada mission returned to Kirtland.
On September 3, 1837, there was a conference held at
and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word; whosoever receiveth my word receiveth me, and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those (the first presidency) whom I have sent, whom I have made counselors for my name's sake unto you.
8. And again I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them, inasmuch as they shall humble themselves before me, and abide in my word, and hearken to the voice of my Spirit.
9. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face. Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth-a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation-and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
10. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord. First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.
11. Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord; but purify your hearts before me, and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it; and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
12. For unto you (the twelve), and those (the first presidency), who are appointed with you, to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time in the which is the dispensation of the fullness of times, which power you hold in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation; for verily I say unto you, The keys of the dispensation which ye have received, have come down from the fathers; and last of all, being sent down from heaven unto you.
13. Verily I say unto you, Behold how great is your calling. Cleanse your hearts and your garments, lest the blood of this generation be required at your hands. Be faithful until I come, for I come quickly, and my reward is with me to recompense every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
Kirtland, an extract of the minutes of which is as follows:-
"Minutes of a conference assembled in committee of the whole church on Sunday, the 3d of September, 1837:-
"At nine o'clock in the morning George W. Robinson was called upon to take the minutes of the conference. Sidney Rigdon then presented Joseph Smith, Jr., to the church to know if they still looked upon and would still receive and uphold him as the President of the whole church; and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.
"President Smith then presented Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams as his counselors, and to constitute with himself the three First Presidents of the church. Voted unanimously in the affirmative, except for F. G Williams, which was not carried.
"President Smith then introduced Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, and John Smith, for assistant counselors. These last four, together with the first three, are to be considered the heads of the church. Carried unanimously.
"Voted, that Newel E. Whitney hold his office as Bishop, and continue to act as such in Kirtland, and that Reynolds Cahoon and Vinson Knight continue to act as counselors to the Bishop.
"The Twelve Apostles were then presented one by one, when Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, William Smith, and William E. McLellin were received unanimously in their apostleship. Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and John F. Boynton were rejected and cut off, though privileged with confessing and making satisfaction.
"Elder Boynton (who was the only one present at the time) arose and endeavored to confess, justifying himself in his former conduct by reason of the failure of the bank, etc.
"His conduct was strongly protested by Elder Brigham Young in a plain and energetic manner, stating various reasons why he could not receive him into fellowship until a hearty repentance and confession were manifested.
"Elder Young was followed by Elder Marsh, who acquiesced in testimony and resolutions.
"President Rigdon then addressed the assembly, showing the cause of the difficulty with Elders Boynton and Johnson, in leaving their calling to attend to other occupations.
"Elder Boynton again rose and still attributed his difficulties to the failure of the bank, stating that he understood the bank was instituted by the will of God and he had been told that it should never fail, let men do what they would.
"President Smith then arose and stated that if this had been declared, no one had authority from him for so doing, for he had always said that unless the institution was conducted on righteous principles it would not stand.
"A vote was then taken to know if the congregation was satisfied with Boynton's confession; carried in the negative.
"Conference adjourned for one hour.
"Conference assembled at two o'clock in the afternoon; opened by reading, singing, and prayer.
"The President then arose and said he would call upon the church to know if they were satisfied with their High Council, and should proceed to name them individually.
"John Johnson, Joseph Coe, Joseph Kingsbury, and Martin Harris were objected to, also John P. Green; but his case was put over until he should be present.
"Noah Packard, Jared Carter, Samuel H. Smith, were voted to retain their office.
"Oliver Granger, Henry G. Sherwood, William Marks, Mayhew Hillman, Harlow Redfield, Asahel Smith, Phinehas Richards, and David Dort were chosen to fill the places of those objected to (and Thomas Grover having moved west); John Smith chosen one of the Presidents of the church, and Orson Johnson having been excluded from the church; (all having belonged to the High Council.) . . .
"JOSEPH SMITH, JR., President.
"GEORGE W. ROBINSON, Clerk."
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 56, 57.
Members of the High Council chosen in this conference were ordained on the 9th, when the council drew numbers, which resulted in the following arrangement: 1, John P. Green;
2, Asahel Smith; 3, Samuel H. Smith; 4, Mayhew Hillman; 5, William Marks; 6, Noah Packard; 7, Oliver Granger; 8, David Dort; 9, Jared Carter; 10, Phinehas Richards; 11, Henry G. Sherwood; 12, Harlow Redfield.
An assembly of the whole church was held on the 10th, when Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and John F. Boynton, of the Twelve, made satisfactory confession, and were by vote restored to fellowship, and permitted to retain their Apostleship. Counselor John P. Green was, upon his confession, also forgiven and retained in his office.
At a conference held at Kirtland, September 17, 1837, William Marks was appointed agent for Bishop N. E. Whitney, in order to relieve the Bishop that he might travel.
George W. Robinson was elected Church Recorder, in place of Oliver Cowdery, who had removed to Missouri.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were requested to locate other stakes for the gathering of the saints.
The elders in a situation to labor as missionaries were called upon to volunteer, and one hundred and nine responded. These were divided into eight companies of thirteen and fourteen each, and sent out as follows: fourteen were to go east, fourteen southeast, fourteen south, fourteen southwest, thirteen west, thirteen northwest, fourteen north, thirteen northeast.
On September 18 Bishop N. K. Whitney and his counselors, Reynolds Cahoon and Vinson Knight, sent out a general epistle to the church.
On September 27 Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, William Smith, and Vinson Knight started for Missouri.
On October 1 Elder Lyman Sherman was elected to the High Council of Kirtland, in place of Jared Carter, who had removed to Missouri; and on the 2d, Samuel E. Smith was appointed president of the council.
On October 13 Jerusha Smith, wife of Hyrum Smith, died at Kirtland, while he was absent in Missouri. Of her, Lucy Smith, her husband's mother, wrote a touching tribute of respect.. 2
2 About one year after my husband returned from this mission a
About this time Parley P. Pratt published from New York City a work of 116 pages entitled, "A Voice of Warning." This work has since become quite popular, and is now published and extensively circulated by the church.
On October 18, 1837, the High Council of Kirtland resolved to commence a reform by pruning the church of unruly members.
On the 22d the church in Kirtland disfellowshiped twenty-two members, until satisfaction should be made, for uniting with the world in a dance.
On the 23d the High Council resolved that all unruly children should be reported to their parents, and in case the parents neglect to take suitable notice of it, the parents be reported to church authorities.
They also passed the following resolution: "That we discountenance the use of ardent spirits, in any way, to sell, or to be brought into this place for sale or use."
On the 29th nine more members were reported to the church for having taken part in the dance referred to, and eleven of the thirty-one made confession.
About the last of October Joseph Smith and his companions arrived at Far West, Missouri. Immediately upon their arrival a series of councils and conferences was held for the purpose of regulating and more fully organizing the church in Missouri. In addition to the local authorities the following officials from Kirtland, Ohio, engaged in this work: Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, of the First Presidency; Thomas B. Marsh, William E. McLellin, Lyman E. Johnson, and William Smith, of the Twelve; and Hyrum Smith, of the High Priests.
calamity happened to our family that wrung our hearts with more than common grief. Jerusha, Hyrum's wife, was taken sick, and, after an illness of perhaps two weeks, died while her husband was absent on a mission to Missouri. She was a woman whom everybody loved that was acquainted with her, for she was every way worthy. The family were so warmly attached to her that, had she been our own sister, they could not have been more afflicted by her death.-Joseph Smith, the Prophet page 225.
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