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ON July 1, 1841, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor, of the Twelve, arrived in Nauvoo from their mission to England, and the Prophet states: "The accounts of their missions are highly satisfactory."
Sometime this month Orson Pratt published in New York an edition of his work which had previously been printed in Edinburgh, Scotland, called, "The History of the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon."
The issue of the Times and Seasons for July 1, 1841, contains an account of the temple, which shows very satisfactory progress, and speaks well for the energy and perseverance of a despoiled and afflicted people. 1
1 THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.
We are happy to say that this building is progressing in a manner which does honor to the citizens of this place. On visiting it a few days ago we were agreeably surprised to find that the brethren, notwithstanding their poverty, had accomplished so much; and we feel assured if the saints abroad with their wealth would make a corresponding effort that another year would not roll over our heads before the "topstone would be brought up, with shouts of Grace, grace be unto it."
The building committee are making every preparation to erect the baptismal font in the basement story as soon as possible. The font is intended to be supported by twelve oxen, several of which are in a state of forwardness, and are certainly good representations of that animal and do great credit to the mechanics who are engaged in carving the same. It is intended to overlay them with gold, and when finished will have a very grand appearance indeed. Most of the labor that is done has been accomplished by the citizens devoting every tenth day gratuitously to that purpose.
While contemplating the foundation which has been so happily begun,
July 12; William Clayton was appointed clerk of the High Council of Iowa, and John Patten recorder of baptisms for the dead in Iowa. Baptisms for the dead were authorized to be performed in the Mississippi River on the Iowa side.
On July 13, 1841, George A. Smith, of the Twelve, arrived in Nauvoo from his mission to England.
A letter written by Orson Hyde on July 17, 1841, left him at Ratisbon, Germany, on the Danube. It gives quite a full and interesting account of his travels after leaving London. 2
we were forcibly reminded of the circumstances, as recorded in holy writ, connected with the building of the ancient temple at Jerusalem by the Israelites, after they had escaped the perils of the wilderness and had obtained a possession in the land of Canaan.-Times and Seasons vol. 2, p. 455.
2RATISBON, on the Danube, July 17,1841.
Dear Bro. Joseph, and all whom it may concern:-
With pleasure I take my pen to write to you at this time, hoping this communication may find you as it leaves me, in good health and enjoying a comfortable measure of the Holy Spirit.
On the 20th of June last I left London for Rotterdam in Holland, after writing a lengthy epistle to you, and also the copy of a letter addressed to the Rev. Doctor S. Hirschell, President Rabbi of the Hebrews in London, which I hope you have received ere this. The work of the Lord was steadily advancing in London under the efficient and zealous labors of our worthy brother, Elder L. Snow.
The fine steamer Battavier brought me safely over the billows of a tremendous rough sea in about thirty hours. Never did I suffer more from seasickness than during this short voyage; but it was soon over and we landed safely in Rotterdam. I took my lodgings at the London Hotel at two florins per diem, about three shillings and five pence sterling, or seventy-five cents. Here I called on the Hebrew Rabbi, and proposed certain questions to him; but as he did not understand a word of English, it was hard for me to enter into particulars with him. I asked him, however, whether he expected his Messiah to come directly from heaven, or whether he expected him to be born of a woman on earth. He replied that he expected him to be born of a woman, of the seed and lineage of David. At what period do you look for this event? Answer, "We have been looking a long time, and are now living in constant expectation of his coming." Do you believe in the restitution of your nation to the land of your fathers, called the land of promise?" "We hope it will be so," was the reply. He then added: "We believe that many Jews will return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city-rear a temple to the name of the Most High, and restore our ancient worship." "Jerusalem shall be the capital of our nation; the center of our union and the standard and ensign of our national existence. But we do not believe that all the Jews will go there, for the place is not large enough to contain them. They are now gathering there," continued he, "almost continually." I told him that I had written an address to the Hebrews and was about procuring its publication in his own language (Dutch); and when completed I would leave him a copy. He thanked me for this
token of respect, and I bade him adieu. I soon obtained the publication of five hundred copies of the address, and left one at the house of the Rabbi. He being absent from home, I did not see him.
After remaining here about one week I took the coach for Amsterdam, distance seven hours, or about thirty English miles. Rotterdam is a fine town of about eighty thousand inhabitants. The cleanliness of its streets, the antique order of its architecture, the extreme height of its buildings, the numerous shade trees with which it is beautified, and the great number of canals through almost every part of the town, filled with ships of various sizes from different parts of the world,-all these with many other things not mentioned, contributed to give this place a peculiarity resembled nowhere else in the course of my travels, except in Amsterdam. Most of the business men here speak a little English; some speak it very well. In ascending the waters of the Rhine from the sea to Rotterdam, the numerous windmills which I beheld in constant operation led me to think, almost, that all Europe came here for their grinding. But I ascertained that they were grinding for distilleries where the floods of gin are made, which not only deluge our beloved country with fatal consequences, but many others. Gin is one of the principal articles of exportation from this country. In going to Amsterdam I passed through a very beautiful town called "The Hague," the residence of the King of Holland. I saw his palace, which was guarded by soldiers, both horse and foot. For grandeur it bore but a faint resemblance to Buckingham Palace in London. But the beautiful parks and picturesque scenery in and about the Hague I have never seen equaled in any country. I remained in Amsterdam only one night and a part of two days. I called on the President Rabbi here, but he was gone from home. I left at his house a large number of the addresses for himself and his people, and took coach for Arnheim on the Rhine. Took boat the same evening for Mazenty. Traveling by coach and steam is rather cheaper In this country than in the United States. We were three days in going up the Rhine to Mazenty. Holland and the lower part of Prussia are very low, flat countries. The French and German languages are spoken all along the Rhine; but little or no English. The Rhine is about like the Ohio for size, near its mouth where it empties into the Mississippi. Its waters resemble the Missouri waters, dark and muddy. The scenery and landscapes along this river have been endowed with art and nature's choicest gifts. I have been made acquainted with Europe in America by books to a certain extent, yet now my eyes behold! It is impossible for a written description of a stranger's beauty to leave the same impression upon the mind as is made by an ocular view of the lovely object. This is the difference between reading of and seeing the countries of Europe.
From Mazenty I came to Frankfort-on-the-Main, by railroad, distance seven hours. From Frankfort I came to this place. distance about thirty hours, where Napoleon gained a celebrated victory over the Prussians and Austrians. The very ground on which I now write this letter was covered by about sixty thousand slain in that battle. It is called the battle of Ackynaeal.
It was my intention to have gone directly down the Danube to Constantinople, but having neglected to get my passport viseed by the Austrian embassador [ambassador] at Frankfort, I had to forward it to the Austrian embassador [ambassador] at Munich and procure his permission, signature, and seal before I could enter the Austrian dominions. This detained me five days, during which time I conceived the idea of sitting down and learning the German language scientifically. I became acquainted with a lady here who speaks French and German to admiration, and she was very anxious to speak the English-she proposed giving me instruction
in the German if I would instruct her in English. I accepted her proposal. I have been engaged eight days in this task; I have read one book through and part of another, and translated and written considerable. I can speak and write the German considerable already, and the lady tells me that I make astonishing progress. From the past experience I know that the keen edge of any work translated by a stranger in whose heart the spirit of the matter does not dwell is lost; the life and animation thereof die away into a cold monotony, and it becomes almost entirely another thing. This step is according to the best light I can get, and hope and trust that it is according to the mind of the Lord. The people will hardly believe but that I have spoken German before; but I tell them, "nicht"-not. The German is spoken in Prussia, Bavaria, and in all the states of Germany, Austria, the south of Russia, and in fine more or less all over Europe. It appears to me therefore that some person of some little experience ought to know this language so as to translate himself, without being dependent on strangers. If I am wrong in my movement, pray that the Spirit of the Lord may direct me aright. If I am right, pray that Heaven may speedily give me this language. It is very sickly in Constantinople, Syria, and Alexandria, at present; I would rather, therefore, wait until cool weather before I go there. I might have written most of this letter in German; but as you would more readily understand it in English, I have written it in English.
With pleasure I leave the historical part of my letter, to touch a softer note, and give vent to the feelings of my heart.
I hope and trust that the cause which you so fearlessly advocate is rolling forth in America with that firm and steady motion which characterizes the work of Jehovah. The enemies which we are forced to encounter are numerous, strong, shrewd, and cunning. Their leader transfuses into them his own spirit, and brings them into close alliance with the numerous hosts of precious immortals who have earlier been taken captives by the haughty tyrant and sacrificed upon the altar of iniquity, transgression, and sin. May it please our Father in heaven to throw around thee his protecting arms, to place beneath thee almighty strength, ever buoy thy head above the raging waves of tribulation through which the chart of destiny has evidently marked thy course. Happy in the enjoyment of the distinguished consideration with which Heaven's favor alone has endowed me, of bearing with you some humble part in laying the foundation of the glorious kingdom of Messiah which is destined in its onward course to break in pieces and destroy all others and stand forever.
The friendship and good will which are breathed towards me through all your letters are received as the legacy which noble minds and generous hearts are ever anxious to bequeath. They soften the hard and rugged path in which Heaven has directed my course. They are buoyancy in depression, joy in sorrow, and when the dark clouds of desponding hope are gathering thick around the mental horizon, like the kind angel from the fountain of mercy they dispel the gloom, dry the tear of sorrow, and pour humanity's healing balm into my grieved and sorrowful heart. Be assured, therefore Bro. Joseph, that effusions from the altar of a grateful heart are smoking to heaven daily, in thy behalf; and not only in thine, but in behalf of all Zion's suffering sons and daughters whose generous magnanimity will ever environ and adorn the brow of the object of their compassion. Though now far separated from you, and also from her who with me has suffered the chilling blasts of adversity, yet hope lingers in this bosom, brightened almost into certainty by the implicit confidence reposed in the virtue of that call which was borne on the gentle breeze of the Spirit of God through the dark shades
of midnight gloom, till it found a mansion in my anxious and inquiring heart, that my feet shall once more press the American soil, and under the shade of her streaming banner embrace again the friends I love.
I never knew that I was, in reality, as American, until I walked out one fine morning in Rotterdam along the wharf where many ships lay in the waters of the Rhine. Suddenly my eye caught a broad pennant floating in a gentle breeze over the stern of a fine ship at half-mizzenmast; and when I saw the widespread eagle perched on her banner, with the stripes and stars under which our fathers were led on to conquest and victory, my heart leaped into my mouth, a flood of tears burst from my eyes, and before reflection could mature a sentence, my mouth involuntarily gave birth to these words, "I am an American!"
To see the flag of one's country in a strange land, and floating upon strange waters, produces feelings which none can know except those who experience them. I can now say that I am an American. While at home, the warmth and fire of the American spirit lay in silent slumber in my bosom; but the winds of foreign climes have fanned it into a flame.
I have seen some of the finest specimens of painting and sculpture of both ancient and modern times. The vast variety of curiosities, also, from every country on the globe, together with every novelty that genius could invent or imagination conceive which I have been compelled to witness in the course of my travels, would be too heavy a tax upon my time to describe and upon your patience to read. I have witnessed the wealth and splendor of many of the towns of Europe, have gazed with admiration upon her widely extended plains, her lofty mountains, her moldering castles, and her extensive vineyards; for at this season Nature is clad in her bridal robes, and smiles under the benign jurisprudence of her Author.
I have also listened to the blandishments, gazed upon the pride and fashion of a world grown old in luxury and refinement, viewed the pageantry of kings, queens, lords, and nobles, and am now where military honor and princely dignity must bow at the shrine of clerical superiority. In fine, my mind has become cloyed with novelty, pomp, and show, and turns with disgust from the glare of fashion to commune with itself in retired meditation.
Were it consistent with the will of Deity and consonant with the convictions of my own bosom, most gladly would I retreat from the oppressing heat of public life, and seek repose in the cool and refreshing shades of domestic endearments and bask in the affections of my own little family circle. But the will of God be done. Can the Messiah's kingdom but be advanced through my toil, privation, and excessive labors and at last sanctify my work through the effusion of my own blood, I yield, O Lord! I yield to thy righteous mandate, imploring help from thee in the hour of trial and strength in the day of weakness to faithfully endure until my immortal spirit shall be driven from its earthly mansion to find a refuge in the bosom of its God!
If the friends in America shall be edified in reading this letter from Bro. Hyde, I hope they will remember one thing; and that is this: that he hopes he has a wife and two children living there; but the distance is so great between him and them, that his arm is not long enough to administer to their wants. I have said enough. Lord, bless my wife and children and the hand that ministers good to them, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Adieu for the present.
Good rest on all the saints, throughout the world,
-Times and Seasons, vol. 2, pp. 570-573.
The Times and Seasons for August 1, 1841, contained quite a readable article on "The Twelve," which reflects great credit on their work done in England. 3
3 THE TWELVE.
All of the Quorum of the Twelve who were expected here this season, with the exception of Elder Woodruff, have arrived.
We have listened to the accounts which they give of their success and the prosperity of the work of the Lord in Great Britain, with great pleasure. They certainly have been the instruments in the hands of God of accomplishing much, and must have the satisfaction of knowing that they have done their duty.
Perhaps no men ever undertook such an important mission under such peculiarly distressing, forbidding, and unpropitious circumstances. Most of them when they left this place nearly two years ago were worn down with sickness and disease, or were taken sick on the road. Several of their families were also afflicted and needed their aid and support. But knowing that they had been called by the God of heaven to preach the Gospel to other nations, they conferred not with flesh and blood, but obedient to the heavenly mandate, without purse or scrip, commenced a journey of five thousand miles, entirely dependent on the providence of that God who had called them to such a holy calling.
While journeying to the seaboard, they were brought into many trying circumstances; after a short recovery from severe sickness, they would be taken with a relapse, and have to stop among strangers, without money and without friends. Their lives were several times despaired of, and they have taken each other by the hand, expecting it would be the last time they should behold one another in the flesh. However, notwithstanding their afflictions and trials, the Lord always interposed in their behalf and did not suffer them to sink in the arms of death. Some way or other was made for their escape-friends rose up when they most needed them and relieved their necessities; and thus they were enabled to pursue their journey and rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
They, truly, "went forth weeping, bearing precious seed," but have "returned with rejoicing, bearing their sheaves with them," and thousands upon the shores of Britain have to rejoice that they ever visited their land and proclaimed the sound of the everlasting gospel, which is taking such a wide spread through that empire; and causing the wisdom of the wise to perish and the understanding of the prudent to be hid, but the meek to increase their joy in the Lord, etc., etc.
It is true, they met with considerable opposition from the learned priests, who, like their pious brethren in this land, loved to retail wicked and slanderous reports, and would endeavor, behind their backs to ridicule their religion, but durst not stand the brunt of honorable investigation. But their efforts to stop the progress of truth were unavailing, the people got their ears and their hearts open, and were determined to hear and understand for themselves, and being convinced of the truth of these things, regardless of the scorn of sinners and the anathemas of the self-righteous, they boldly avowed their attachment to the doctrines of the gospel
Under the instrumentality of the Twelve and their fellow laborers large and flourishing churches have been built up in various parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man; and when they left, the work was progressing with rapid strides.
We cannot too strongly urge upon the elders of Israel to imitate the
On August 7,1841, Don Carlos Smith, editor of the Times and Seasons, and youngest brother of the Prophet, died at his residence in Nauvoo. The following obituary notice was published in Times and Seasons, volume 2, pages 503, 504:-
"With emotions of no ordinary kind we announce the death of Don Carlos Smith, the publisher and one of the editors of this paper, which unexpected event took place at his residence in this city on the morning of the 7th inst., at twenty minutes after two o'clock, in the twenty-fifth year of his age.
"The deceased had been afflicted some time, but nothing serious was apprehended, and not until a day or two before his death was he thought to be dangerous. It was then ascertained that disease had been preying upon his system in such a manner as baffled all medical skill to check, and he gradually sunk in the arms of death.
His funeral obsequies took place on the 9th inst., amid a vast concourse of relatives and friends. He was buried with military honors, holding at the time of his death the office of Brigadier General of the Second Cohort of the Nauvoo Legion.
"The death of Bro. Smith, so unexpected, caused a sensation, not only in the minds of his relatives, but his numerous
example which these servants of God have set them, and, whenever they shall be called to proclaim the gospel to the enlightened European, or the dark and benighted African, they will manifest the same zeal and laudable enterprise, trusting in the arm of the Lord for assistance and support, and, undoubtedly, the same blessings will crown their labors and their toil.
We are aware that it is something contrary to the feelings of most men to undertake such a journey without purse or scrip, entirely dependent upon the arm of Jehovah. However it has been done, and those that have gone forth trusting in the name of the Lord, have found his promise true, and have not been suffered to lack any good thing. Let not the faithful laborers be discouraged, but let them gird up their loins, and ever be prepared to move in the direction their heavenly Father would have them go and labor with all their mights, for a great work remains to be accomplished and the laborers are but few. If the Lord's people be a willing people in the day of his power, then every obstacle can be overcome, every difficulty can be surmounted, and the work will roll forth with power and great glory. Israel shall be hunted up from the rocks and corners where they have been hid from the gaze of the world, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.-Times and Seasons, vol. 2, pp. 487, 488.
acquaintance of friends, which will never be forgotten. Endeared to the church and to his friends by all that was virtuous, honorable, and exalted in a Christian and a man,-to his partner and children by all that was affectionate, kind, and lovely in a parent and father,-to his aged mother who yet survives her youngest son, by all that was dutiful, and affectionate in a son.
"In all our associations with mankind we never knew of an individual who stood higher in the estimation of all than did the deceased. His manners were courteous and bland. His disposition was kind and gentle, ever looking over the foibles of his fellow men and putting the best construction upon their actions, at the same time setting them such examples of integrity, sobriety, humanity, and virtue as could not but cause every one to admire him, and consequently he secured the good will of all-their friendship and esteem.
"He was just in the bloom of manhood and bid fair to survive most of his contemporaries. But just as the sun was shining with its luster, and shedding a radiance all around, it set in a moment-
"'Lo at day 'twas sudden night!'
The hopes of relatives and friends and the entire community, who had observed with pleasure and delight the opening glories which shone around his path, who had marked his virtues, faith, and piety, and who had received counsel at his hands, were blasted, and sorrow and distress has taken the place of high strung hopes and ardent anticipations.
"Since our acquaintance with the deceased we have shared his friendship, and have had opportunities of marking his character under various circumstances; we have seen him struggling against misfortune and stemming the tide of adversity, and have seen displayed, under those unpropitious circumstances. patience, resolution, and firmness-his only anxiety seemed to be for the welfare and comfort of his family and parents, who clung to him for support. We have likewise marked his conduct while prosperity and peace filled his noble soul and gladdened his fireside, and
while honor from God and man was deservedly lavished upon him, and he remained the same kind, affable, generous, and pious character.
"He will be missed in the councils of the just, and as President of the High Priesthood, which office he filled with honor to himself and credit of the church. As a councilor in the Church of God he has frequently given evidence of wisdom far beyond his years, and the aged have listened with amazement and delight at the wisdom which flowed from his lips.
"He was warmly attached to the cause of truth, and in the day of trial and bitter persecution, when others wavered and turned aside, he stood firm and immovable, trusting in the mighty God of Jacob, and fearlessly advocated the cause of suffering Zion, and ever maintained his integrity.
"While writing this so many associations crowd upon us which give evidence of his moral worth, his kindness, his sensibility, his piety and friendship, as entirely unman us, and we feel we must bring this notice to a close. May that God who in the order of his providence has called from our midst the spirit of our departed brother and friend, be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless, and assist us by his Spirit to follow him, as he followed Christ.
"A discourse was delivered at his funeral by Elder John Taylor, which was attentively listened to by the immense concourse which assembled to pay their last respects and kind offices to the deceased.
"'Now he's gone we'd not recall him
From a paradise of bliss,
Where no evil can befall him,
To a changing world like this.
His loved name will never perish.
Nor his memory crown the dust;
For the saints of God will cherish
The remembrance of the just.'
"The deceased has left a wife and three children to mourn his loss.-Times and Seasons, vol. 2, pp. 503, 504.
On August 7, there was a conference convened in Zarahemla, Iowa, when the branches on that side of the river
reported a numerical strength of seven hundred and fifty. This conference, on the 9th, appointed George W. Gee, church recorder for the Iowa churches.
Some items of interest we will here present in the words of Joseph Smith:-
"Tuesday, 10th. I spent the day in council with B. Young, H. C. Kimball, J. Taylor, O. Pratt, and George A. Smith, and appointed a special conference for the 16th instant, and directed them to send missionaries to New Orleans; Charleston, South Carolina; Salem, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, District of Columbia; and also requested the Twelve to take the burthen of the business of the church in Nauvoo, and especially as pertaining to the selling of church lands.
"The department of English literature and mathematics of the University of the City of Nauvoo, is in operation under the tuition of Professor Orson Pratt . . .
"Letters from various parts of England and Scotland show that numbers are daily added to the church; while shipwrecks, floods, houses and workshops falling, great and destructive fires, sudden deaths, banks breaking, men's hearts failing them for fear, because no man buyeth their merchandise, shopkeepers and manufacturers failing, and many accidents on the railways, betoken the coming of the Son of Man.
"Thursday, 12th. A considerable number of the Sac and Fox Indians have been for several days encamped in the neighborhood of Montrose. The ferryman this morning brought over a great number on the ferryboat and two flatboats, for the purpose of visiting me. The military band and a detachment of Invincibles were on shore ready to receive and escort them to the grove, but they refused to come on shore until I went down. I accordingly went down, and met 'Keokuk,' 'Kiskukosh,' 'Appanoose,' and about one hundred chiefs and braves of those tribes, with their families, at the landing, introduced my brother Hyrum to them, and after the usual salutations, conducted them to the meeting ground in the grove, and
instructed them in many things which the Lord had revealed unto me concerning their fathers, and the promises that were made concerning them in the Book of Mormon; and advised them to cease killing each other and warring with other tribes, and keep peace with the whites; which was interpreted to them.
"Keokuk replied he had a Book of Mormon at his wick-a-up, which I had given him some years before. 'I believe,' said he, 'you are a great and good man; I look rough, but I also am a son of the Great Spirit. I've heard your advice. We intend to quit fighting, and follow the good talk you have given us.'
"After the conversation they were feasted on the green with good food, dainties, and melons by the brethren; and they entertained the spectators with a specimen of their dancing. . . .
"Sunday, 15th. My infant son Don Carlos, died, aged fourteen months, two days.
"Conference met in Zarahemla, and were addressed by Elders B. Young and George Miller, on building the temple in Nauvoo.
"Monday, 16th. Elder Willard Richards arrived at Nauvoo this morning.
"Ebenezer Robinson succeeded Brother Don Carlos as editor of the Times and Seasons, with Elder Robert B. Thompson."-Millennial Star, vol. 18, pp. 629, 630.
On August 16 a special conference was held in Nauvoo upon the call of President Smith, at which some important business concerning the quorums, the stakes, and other matters of interest was done. 4
4 At a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ Or Latter Day Saints held in the city of Nauvoo, August 16, 1841, Elder Brigham Young was unanimously appointed to preside over the conference, and Elias Smith and Lorenzo Barnes were appointed clerks
After singing by the choir, conference opened by prayer by the President.
"The object of the conference was then presented by the President, who stated that President Joseph Smith (who was then absent on account of the death of his child) had called a special conference to transact certain items of business necessary to be done previous to the October conference, such as to select men of experience to send forth into the vineyard, take measures to assist emigrants who may arrive at the place of
August 25, 1841, Elder Oliver Granger, who had done much valuable work for the church, died at Kirtland, Ohio.
gathering, and prevent impositions being practiced upon them by unprincipled speculators, etc., etc.; and he hoped no one could view him and his brethren as aspiring because they had come forward to take part in the proceedings before them; for he could assure the brethren that nothing could be farther from his wishes and that of his Quorum than to interpose with church affairs at Zion and her stakes, for he had been in the vineyard so long he had become attached to foreign missions, and nothing could induce him to retire therefrom and attend the affairs of the church at home but a sense of duty, the requirements of heaven, or the revelations of God; to which he would always submit, be the consequence what it might; and the brethren of his quorum responded Amen.
A list of names of the elders and cities were read by the president, and a few were selected by nomination and designated as follows: Voted that Elders H. G. Sherwood go to New Orleans, Louisiana, A. O. Smoot go to Charleston, South Carolina, B. Winchester go to Salem, Massachusetts, Erastus Snow go to Salem, Massachusetts, John Murdock go to Baltimore, Maryland, Samuel James go to Washington, District of Columbia. On motion of V. Knight, seconded by Samuel Bent:
Resolved, that the Quorum of the Twelve select the individuals to go and preach in such places as they may judge expedient, and present the same to the conference, with a view of expediting the business of the day.
The situation of the poor of Nauvoo City was then presented to the conference by Bishops Knight and Miller, and a collection taken for their benefit.
After singing, conference adjourned until two o' clock p. m.
Conference assembled at two p. m. and was addressed by Elders L. Barnes and H. G. Sherwood concerning the spread of the gospel and the building up of the kingdom of God in these last days.
President Joseph Smith now arriving proceeded to state to the conference at considerable length the object of their present meeting, and in addition to what President Young had stated in the morning, said that the time had come when the Twelve should be called upon to stand in their place next to the First Presidency, and attend to the settling of emigrants and the business of the church at the stakes, and assist to bear off the kingdom victorious to the nations; and as they had been faithful and had borne the burden in the heat of the day, that it was right that they should have an opportunity of providing something for themselves and families, and at the same time relieve him so that he might attend to the business of translating.
Motion seconded and carried that the conference approve of the instructions of President Smith in relation to the Twelve, and that they proceed accordingly to attend to the duties of their office.
Motion seconded and carried unanimously that every individual who shall hereafter be found trying to influence any emigrants belonging to the church, either to buy of them (except provisions) or sell to them (excepting the church agents), shall be immediately tried for fellowship, and dealt with as offenders, and unless they repent shall be cut off from the church.
President Rigdon then made some appropriate remarks on speculations.
It was moved that the conference accept the doings of the Twelve in designating certain individuals to certain cities, etc.; when President
The 27th, Elder R. B. Thompson, one of the editors of the Times and Seasons died at Nauvoo.
On the 28th a conference was held at Attica, New York.
The Quorum of the Twelve held a council on August 31, at the house of Brigham Young, when it was resolved to send Lorenzo Barnes on a mission to England, Harrison Sagers to the West Indies, and Joseph Ball to South America.
Nothing of peculiar importance transpired during the month of September, though all departments of the work moved on with accustomed regularity, and the good news was being declared in many places, where hundreds were receiving it with gladness.
October 1,1841, the General Semiannual Conference convened in Nauvoo and closed on the 5th. This conference transacted some business of historic importance. 5
Joseph Smith remarked that the conference had already sanctioned the doings of the Twelve, and it belonged to their office to transact such business with the approbation of the First Presidency, and he would then state what cities should now be built up; viz., Nauvoo, Zarahemla, Warren, Nashville, and Ramus.
Resolved that this conference adjourn to the time of the General Conference in October next. Closed with prayer by President Young.
BRIGHAM YOUNG}, President.
ELIAS SMITH, }
LORENZO BARNES}, Clerks
-Times and Seasons vol. 2, pp. 521, 522.
5MINUTES OF A CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS, HELD IN NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, COM-
MENCING OCTOBER 1, 1841
Friday, October 1. In consequence of the inclemency of the Weather the congregation were prevented from assembling in conference for business.
Saturday. 2d, a. m. The conference assembled on the meeting ground, but as the Presidency were absent laying the corner stone of the Nauvoo House, business was delayed, and the conference organized themselves in their several quorums in order. Bro. B. Young opened divine service and Bro. O. Pratt closed. The conference then made choice of Bro. Joseph Smith to preside in conference, and appointed Elias Smith and Gustavus Hills as secretaries.
P. M. President Joseph Smith opened by calling the choir to sing a Hymn, sung eighteenth hymn. The president then read a letter from Bro. O. Hyde giving an account of his journeys and success in his mission, which was listened to with intense interest; and the conference, by vote, expressed their approbation of the style and spirit of said letter. The President then made remarks on the inclemency of the weather and
the uncomfortable situation of the saints with regard to a place of worship and a place of public entertainment.
The conference was then called upon by the President to elect a general church clerk in place of R. B. Thompson, deceased. Conference made choice of James Sloan. Bro. Lyman Wight then called upon the conference to elect a President of the High Priests Quorum in place of Don Carlos Smith, deceased. Bro. George Miller was nominated and duly elected.
Bro. B. Young then presented to the notice of the conference the business commenced at a late special conference, with regard to the appointment of suitable and faithful men to the several important stations of labor in this and other countries.
Bro. L. Wight then addressed the conference on the importance of order and uniformity of instruction, and of a unanimity of effort to spread the work of the kingdom. President Joseph Smith then made some corrections of doctrine in quoting a passage from 1 Corinthians 12:28, showing it to be a principle of order or gradation in rising from one office to another in the priesthood.
Bro. Hyrum Smith made remarks disapprobatory of the course pursued by some elders in withstanding the efforts of the Presidency to gather the saints, and in enticing them to stop in places not appointed for the gathering; particularly the conduct of Elder Almon Babbitt, of Kirtland. Brn. Lyman Wight and Henry Miller having traveled in places where Bro. A. Babbitt had been in his journeying eastward from his visit to Nauvoo, testified that he had in many places taught doctrine contrary to the revelations of God and detrimental to the interest of the church.
Moved, seconded, and carried that Elder Almon Babbitt be disfellowshipped by the Conference as an elder till such time as he shall make satisfaction.
Closed with singing by the choir, hymn 124, and prayer by Bro. George Smith.
Conference adjourned till to-morrow morning, nine o'clock.
Sunday, 3d, a. m. Conference assembled and was called to order by President Marks, and divine service commenced by the choir singing hymn 274, and prayer by Bro. H. C. Kimball.
President Joseph Smith, by request of some of the Twelve, gave instructions on the doctrine of baptism for the dead, which was listened to with intense interest by the large assembly. The speaker presented baptism for the dead as the only way that man can appear as saviors on Mount Zion. The proclamation of the first principles of the gospel was a means of salvation to men individually; and it was the truth, not men, that saved them, but men by actively engaging in rites of salvation substitutionally, became instrumental in bringing multitudes of their kin into the kingdom of God. He explained a difference between an angel and a ministering spirit; the one a resurrected or translated body, with its spirit ministering to embodied spirits; the other a disembodied spirit, visiting and ministering to disembodied spirits. Jesus Christ became a ministering spirit (while his body was lying in the sepulcher) to the spirits in prison; to fulfill an important part of his mission, without which he could not have perfected his work or entered into his rest. After his resurrection he appeared as an angel to his disciples, etc. Translated bodies cannot enter into rest until they have undergone a change equivalent to death. Translated bodies are designed for future missions. The angel that appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos was a translated or resurrected body. Jesus Christ went in body, after his resurrection to minister to translated and resurrected bodies. There has been a claim of authority and power from Adam down to the present
time. The only way to obtain truth and wisdom is, not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer and obtain divine teaching. It is no more incredible that God should save the dead than that he should raise the dead. There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy who have not committed the unpardonable sin, which hath no forgiveness, neither in this world nor the world to come. There is a way to release the spirit of the dead, that is, by the power and authority of the priesthood-by binding and loosing on earth.
This doctrine appears glorious inasmuch as it exhibits the greatness of divine compassion and benevolence in the extent of the plan of human salvation. This glorious truth is well calculated to enlarge the understanding and to sustain the soul under troubles difficulties, and distresses. For illustration the speaker presented by supposition the case of two men, brothers, equally intelligent, learned, virtuous, and lovely walking in uprightness and in all good conscience, so far as they had been able to discern duty from the muddy stream of tradition, or from the blotted page of the book of nature. One dies and is buried, having never heard the gospel of reconciliation; to the other the message of salvation is sent, he hears and embraces it, and is made the heir of eternal life. Shall the one become a partaker of glory and the other be consigned to hopeless perdition? Is there no chance for his escape? Sectarianism answers, None! none!! none!!! Such an idea is worse than atheism. The truth shall break down and dash in pieces all such bigoted Pharisaism; the sects shall be sifted, the honest in heart brought out, and their priests left in the midst of their corruption.
The speaker then answered the objections urged against the Latter Day Saints for not admitting the validity of sectarian baptism, and for withholding fellowship from sectarian churches. It was like putting new wine into old bottles, and putting old wine into new bottles. What! new revelations in the old churches! New revelations knock out the bottom of their bottomless pit. New wine into old bottles! The bottles burst and the wine runs out. What! Sadducees in the new church! Old wine in new leathern bottles will leak through the pores and escape; the Sadducee saints mock at authority, kick out of the traces, and run to the mountains of perdition, leaving the long echo of their braying behind them.
The speaker then contrasted the charity of the sects in denouncing all who disagree with them in opinion, and in joining in persecuting the saints, with the faith of the saints, who believe that even such may be saved in this world and in the world to come, (murderers and apostates excepted.)
This doctrine, he said, presents in a clear light the wisdom and mercy of God in preparing an ordinance for the salvation of the dead, being baptized by proxy, their names recorded in heaven, and they judged according to the deeds done in the body. This doctrine was the burden of the Scriptures. Those saints who neglect it, in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.
The dispensation of the fullness of times will bring to light the things that have been revealed in all former dispensations, also other things that have not been before revealed. He shall send Elijah the prophet etc., and restore all things in Christ.
The speaker then announced, "There shall be no more baptisms for the dead until the ordinance can be attended to in the font of the Lord's house; and the church shall not hold another General Conference until they can meet in said house; for thus saith the Lord!"
Closed by prayer by President Hyrum Smith; adjourned for one hour.
P. M. Conference opened by the choir singing hymn 105, and prayer by Bro. Lyman Wight.
Bro. B. Young addressed the elders at some length, on the importance of teaching abroad the first principles of the gospel, leaving the mysteries of the kingdom to be taught among the saints. Also on the propriety of the elders, many of them, remaining at home, and working on the Lord's house; and that their labors will be as acceptable to the Lord as their going abroad, and more profitable for the church, that those who go abroad must take a recommend from the proper authorities without which they will not be fellowshipped, and that those who go and those who remain make consecrations more abundantly than heretofore.
Bro. Lyman Wight followed with remarks of a similar purport, resigning his mission of gathering means for the buildings.
Bro. B. Young called upon the conference to appoint a committee to petition Congress for redress of wrongs and injuries received in Missouri.
On motion Elias Higbee, John Taylor, and Elias Smith were appointed said committee.
On motion Elder John Taylor was appointed to present said petition at the city of Washington.
Closed by choir singing hymn 125, and prayer by Elder John Smith.
Monday, 4th, a. m. Conference opened by the choir singing hymn 183 and prayer by Bro. George Smith.
President Joseph Smith made a lengthy exposition of the condition of the temporal affairs of the church, the agency of which had been committed to him at a General Conference in Quincy, explaining the manner that he had discharged the duties involved in that agency, and the condition of the lands and other property of the church.
On motion, Resolved that Elder Reuben McBride be vested with power of attorney to go, settle, and if possible close a business concern left in an uncertain condition by Elder Oliver Granger deceased.
Prayer by Bro. L. Wight; adjourned for one hour.
P. M. Conference opened by the choir singing hymn 88 and prayer by Elder John Smith.
Bro. Lyman Wight spoke at some length on the subject introduced in the former part of the day, and on the old debts and obligations that are frequently brought up from Kirtland and Missouri; one of which, in the form of a fifty dollar note, he held in his hand and proclaimed as his text.
On motion, voted viva voce unanime, that the trustee in trust of church property here be instructed not to appropriate church property to liquidate old claims that may be brought forward either from Kirtland or Missouri
Pres. H. Smith presented to the notice of conference some embarrassment growing out of his signing as security a certain obligation in Kirtland in favor of Mr. Eaton.
On motion, voted that church property here shall not be appropriated to liquidate said claim.
Bro. B. Young made some appropriate and weighty remarks on the importance of more liberal consecrations and more energetic efforts to forward the work of building, etc. After purchasing Bro. L. Wight's text, by paying him fifty cents, he tore it in pieces and gave it to the winds, saying, "Go ye and do likewise." Choir sung hymn 104 and President Hyrum Smith closed by prayer. Conference adjourned to meet to-morrow morning nine o'clock.
Tuesday 5th, a. m. Conference opened by the choir singing hymn 274 and prayer by Bro. O. Pratt.
In the issue for October 15, 1841, the Times and Seasons contains an epistle signed by eight of the Twelve, giving some general instruction. 6
Bro. Orson Pratt, by request of President Joseph Smith, presented and read to the conference a recent letter from Smith Tuttle, Esq., one of the proprietors of the Hotchkiss purchase, in reference to some misunderstanding in the adjustment of their claims, and conciliatory of any hard feelings growing out of such misunderstanding.
Bro. B. Young spoke on the contents of the letter, and expressed his earnest desire that that business might be speedily adjusted, and a proper title obtained by the church. Brothers L. Wight and H. Smith followed with appropriate remarks.
On motion, voted that President Joseph Smith write an answer to Mr. Hotchkiss on the subject of his claim.
On motion by President Joseph Smith, voted that the Twelve write an epistle to the saints abroad to use their influence and exertions to secure, by exchange, purchase, donation, etc., a title to the Hotchkiss purchase.
Bro. B. Young presented an appeal from the Elders' Quorum against Elder John A. Hicks, charging him with a breach of the ordinances of city and of the peace, with falsehood, and with schismatical conversation and behavior, signed by Dimick B. Huntington. After hearing sufficient testimony on his case, On motion conference voted that Elder John Hicks be cut off from the church.
Closed by the choir singing 275th hymn, prayer by B. Young. Adjourned for one hour.
P M. Conference opened by the choir singing hymn 104, and prayer by Bro. O. Pratt.
Bro. O. Pratt read to the conference the minutes of a special conference held in the city of Nauvoo, August 16, 1841.
President Joseph Smith made remarks explanatory of the importance of the resolutions and votes passed at that time.
On motion, voted that this conference sanction the doings of said special conference.
Bro. B. Young proposed to the congregation that those who would take laborers on the Lord's house into their houses to board with them while thus laboring should manifest their willingness by rising and giving their names. About sixty persons arose.
Conference closed by the choir singing hymn 284 and prayer by Bro. B. Young.
Conference adjourned sine die.
Although conference commenced under discouraging circumstances owing to the inclemency of the weather, yet a vast number of brethren and visitors from abroad were present, and on Saturday and Sunday, the weather having become favorable, the congregation was immense. The greatest unanimity prevailed; business was conducted with the most perfect harmony and good feelings, and the assembly dispersed with new confidence in the great work of the last days.
JOSEPH SMITH, President.
ELIAS SMITH, }
GUSTAVUS HILLS,} Clerks.
-Times and Seasons vol. 2, pp. 576-580
6In this city the church has succeeded in securing several extensive plats of land, which have been laid out in city lots, a part of which have been sold, a part has been distributed to the widow and the orphan and a part remains for sale. These lots are for the inheritance of the
On October 28,1841, Joseph Smith, as Trustee in Trust for the church, gave power of attorney to Reuben McBride, of Kirtland, Ohio, authorizing him to transact all church business left in an unfinished condition at
saints, a resting place for the church, a habitation for the God of Jacob; for here he has commanded a house to be built unto his name where he may manifest himself unto his people as in former times, when he caused the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple to be reared and the cloud and the fire to rest down thereon; and not that the temple be built only, but that it be completed quickly, and that no more General Conference be held till it shall be held therein; and that the Nauvoo House be finished for the accommodation of the brethren from afar, and the stranger who shall come up hither to inquire after the work of the Lord and worship in his temple. . . .
What then shall we do? Let us all arise and with one united and mighty exertion, by the strength of Israel's God, oppose the powers of darkness, and every being and principle that may rise up against us, and complete the work already commenced. Let us not for a moment lend an ear to evil and designing men, who would subvert the truth and blacken the character of the servant of the Most High God, by publishing abroad that the prophet is enriching himself on the spoils of the brethren. When Bro. Joseph stated to the General Conference the amount and situation of the property of the church, of which he is Trustee in Trust by the united voice of the church, he also stated the amount of his own possessions on earth; and what do you think it was? We will tell you: his old Charley horse, given him in Kirtland; two pet deer; two old turkeys, and four young ones; the old cow given him by a brother in Missouri; his old Major, dog; his wife, children, and a little household furniture;-and this is the amount of the great possessions of that man whom God has called to lead his people in these last days; this is the sum total of the great estates, the splendid mansions and noble living of him who has spent a life of toil and suffering, of privation and hardships, of imprisonments and chains, of dungeons and vexatious suits, and every kind of contumely and contempt ungodly men could heap upon him, and last of all report him as rolling in wealth and luxury which he had plundered from the spoils of those for whose good he had thus toiled and suffered. Who would be willing to suffer what he has suffered and labor near twenty years as he has done, for the wealth he is in possession of?
Brethren, in view of all these things let us be up and doing. Let those in the Eastern States use all diligence in communicating to us their ability to assist in the Hotchkiss payment, being assured that no exertion they can make will equal what has already been made for them and the church generally; and let all the saints come up to the places of gathering, and with their mites and their abundance as God has given them in trust, help to build up the old waste places which have been thrown down for many generations, knowing that when they are completed they will belong unto the people of the Most High God, even the meek, the honest in heart, he shall possess all things in the due time of the Lord. Be not covetous, but deal in righteousness, for what the saints shall not possess by purchase and in righteousness they shall not possess, for no unrighteous thing can enter into the kingdom; therefore beloved brethren, deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly before God, and whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might, keeping all the commandments, and then, whether in life or in death, all things will be
Kirtland, he to succeed Oliver Granger deceased in this capacity. 7
October 2, a conference was held in Kirtland, Ohio, A. W. Babbitt president, W. W. Phelps clerk, at which conference
yours, whether they be temples or lands, houses or vineyards, baptisms or enduements. revelations or healings, all things will be yours, for you will be Christ's and Christ is God's.
HEBER C. KIMBALL.
GEO. A. SMITH.
Nauvoo, October 12,1841.
-Times and Seasons vol. 2, pp. 567, 569, 570
7Know all men by these presents, that I, Joseph Smith. of Nauvoo, Hancock County, and State of Illinois, "sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," have made, constituted and appointed, and by these presents do make, constitute, and appoint, Reuben McBride, of Kirtland, Lake County, and State of Ohio, my true and lawful attorney for me and in my name, and for my use as "sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," to ask, demand, sue for, recover, and receive all such sum or sums of money, debts, goods, wares, and other demands which are or shall be due, owing, payable, or belonging to me, as Trustee in Trust as aforesaid, by any manner or means whatsoever; also, to dispose of in my name, to grant, bargain, sell, release, and confirm all or any part of my real estate as Trustee in Trust as aforesaid, in and about Kirtland, Lake County, and State of Ohio, and throughout any of the northern and eastern States, and to receive all such sum or sums of money accruing therefrom, for me and for my use as sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and to take up the power of attorney which I gave to Oliver Granger, and all the papers and obligations of every description specified therein, or in his possession by virtue thereof, and to settle the same in my name, for me and for my use as above described; and I, as Trustee in Trust as aforesaid, hereby give and grant unto the said Reuben McBride, my attorney, full power and authority in and about the premises, to have, use, and take all lawful ways and means in my name for the purposes aforesaid, and upon the receipt of any such debts dues, or sums of money (as the case may be), acquittances or other sufficient discharges, for me and in my name as aforesaid Trustee, to make and give, and generally to do all other acts and things in the law whatsoever needful and necessary to be done, in the before-mentioned places, for me and in my name as aforesaid Trustee, to do, execute, and perform, as fully and to all intents and purposes, as I might or could do if personally present. Hereby ratifying all and whatsoever my said attorney shall [do], in the places above specified, by virtue hereof.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 28th day of October, 1841.
JOSEPH SMITH, (L. S.)
Witness, John Taylor, John B. Fullmer.-Millennial Star, vol. 18, pp. 741, 742.
they appointed Thomas Burdick, Bishop of Kirtland, and his counselors, a company to publish a religious paper called the Olive Leaf.
October 31, Hyrum Smith wrote a letter to Kirtland strongly disapprobating this and other business of the conference. 8
November 8, a temporary baptismal font was dedicated in the Lord's house at Nauvoo, a description of which was published in Millennial Star. 9
8 All the saints that dwell in that land are commanded to come away, for this is, "Thus saith the Lord;" therefore pay out no moneys nor properties for houses, nor lands, in that country; for if you do, you will lose them, for the time shall come that you shall not possess them in peace, but shall be scourged with a sore scourge; yet your children may possess them, but not until many years shall pass away; and as to the organization of that branch of the church, it is not according to the Spirit and will of God; and as to the designs of the leading members of that branch relative to the printing press, and the ordaining of elders, and sending out elders to beg for the poor, are not according to the will of God; and in these things they shall not prosper, for they have neglected the house of the Lord, the baptismal font, in this place, wherein their dead may be redeemed, and the key of knowledge that unfolds the dispensation of the fullness of times may be turned, and the mysteries of God be unfolded, upon which their salvation and the salvation of the world, and the redemption of their dead depends; for "Thus saith the Lord," "there shall not be a General Assembly for a General Conference assembled together until the house of the Lord shall be finished, and the baptismal font, and if we are not diligent the church shall be rejected and their dead also," "Saith the Lord;" therefore, dear brother, any proceedings otherwise, than to put forth their hands with their might to do this work, is not according to the will of God, and shall not prosper; therefore tarry not in any place whatever, but come forth unto this place from all the world, until it is filled up, and polished, and sanctified according to my word, saith the Lord; come ye forth from the ends of the earth, that I may hide you from mine indignation that shall scourge the wicked, and then I will send forth and build up Kirtland, and it shall be polished and refined according to my word; therefore your doings and your organizations, and designs in printing, or any of your councils, are not of me, saith the Lord, even so, Amen.
HYRUM SMITH, Patriarch for the whole church.
-Times and Seasons vol. 3, p. 589.
9Monday, 8th. At five o'clock p. m., I attended the dedication of the baptismal font in the Lord's house. President Brigham Young was spokesman.
The baptismal font is situated in the center of the basement room, under the main hall of the temple. It is constructed of pine timber, and put together of staves tongued and grooved, oval shaped, sixteen feet long east and west, and twelve feet wide, seven feet high from the foundation the basin four feet deep. The molding of the cap and base are formed of beautiful carved work in antique style; the sides are finished with panel work; a flight of stairs in the north and south sides leading up and down into the basin, guarded by side railing.
On November 15 the Twelve wrote an epistle "to the saints scattered abroad in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the eastern continent," in which they gave instruction regarding the gathering, the building of the temple, and the Nauvoo House. This epistle was signed by each one of the quorum except P. P. Pratt, who was in England, Orson Hyde, who was on a mission to Jerusalem, and John E. Page.
November 20, the Twelve in council expressed their disapproval of the manner in which the Times and Seasons was conducted.
Sunday, November 21, the first baptisms for the dead in the font were administered by Elders B. Young, H. C. Kimball, and John Taylor.
On November 22,1841, Orson Hyde wrote a letter from Alexandria, Egypt, in which he gave an account of his visit to Jerusalem and of his prayer upon the Mount of Olives. 10
The font stands upon twelve oxen, four on each side and two at each end, their head, shoulders, and forelegs projecting out from under the font; they are carved out of pine plank, glued together, and copied after the most beautiful five-year-old steer that could be found in the country and they are an excellent striking likeness of the original; the horns were geometrically formed after the most perfect horn that could be procured.
The oxen and ornamental moldings of the font were carved by Elder Elijah Fordham, from the city of New York, which occupied eight months of time. The font was inclosed [enclosed] by a temporary frame building sided up with split oak clapboards, with a roof of the same material, and was so low that the timbers of the first story were laid above it. The water was supplied from a well thirty feet deep in the east end of the basement.
This font was built for the baptisms for the dead until the temple shall be finished, when a more durable one will supply its place.-Millennial Star, vol. 18, pp. 743, 744.
10INTERESTING NEWS FROM ALEXANDRIA AND JERUSALEM.-
LETTER FROM ELDER HYDE.
ALEXANDRIA, Nov. 22, 1841.
Dear Brother Pratt:-A few minutes now offer for me to write, and I improve them in writing to you. I have only time to say that I have seen Jerusalem precisely according to the vision which I had. I saw no one with me in the vision; and although Elder Page was appointed to accompany me there, yet I found myself there alone.
The Lord knows that I have had a hard time, and suffered much; but I have great reason to thank him that I enjoy good health at present and have a prospect before me of soon going to a civilized country where I shall see no more turbans or camels. The heat is most oppressive, and has been all through Syria.
The Quorum of Twelve being dissatisfied with the conduct of the Times and Seasons, met on November 30,1841; present Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Pratt, Lyman Wight, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff; President Joseph
I have not time to tell you how many days I have been at sea, without food, or how many snails I have eaten; but if I had had plenty of them, I should have done very well. All this is contained in a former letter to you written from Jaffa.
I have been at Cairo, on the Nile, because I could not get a passage direct. Syria is in a dreadful state; a war of extermination is going on between the Druses and Catholics. At the time I was at Beirut a battle was fought in the mountains of Lebanon, near that place, and about eight hundred killed. Robberies, thefts, and murders are daily being committed. It is no uncommon thing to find persons in the street without heads. An English officer in going from St. Jean d'Acre to Beirut, found ten persons murdered in the street, and was himself taken prisoner, but was rescued by the timely interference of the Pasha. The particulars of all these things are contained in a former letter.
An American traveler by the name of Gager, who was a licensed minister of the Congregational or Presbyterian Church, left Jerusalem in company with me. He was very unwell with the jaundice when we left, and at Damietta we had to perform six days' quarantine before we ascended the Nile. On our passage up he was taken very ill with a fever, and became helpless. I waited and tended upon him as well as our circumstances would allow; and when we landed at Bulak, I got four men to take him to the American consul's, in Cairo, on a litter; I also took all his baggage there, and assisted in putting him upon a good bed-employed a good faithful Arabian nurse, and the English doctor. After the physician had examined him, he told me that he was very low with a typhus fever, and that it would be doubtful whether he recovered. Under these circumstances I left him to obtain a passage to this place. After I had gone on board a boat, and was just about pushing off, a letter came from the doctor stating that poor Mr. Gager died in about two hours after I left him. He told me before we arrived at Cairo that he was twenty-seven years of age, and his friends lived in Norwich, Connecticut, near New London, I think. There are many particulars concerning his death which would be interesting to his friends, but I have no time to write them now.
On Sunday morning, October 24, a good while before day, I arose from sleep and went out of the city as soon as the gates were opened, crossed the brook Cedron, and went upon the Mount of Olives, and there in solemn silence, with pen, ink, and paper, just as I saw in the vision offered up the following prayer to him who lives for ever and ever:-
"O Thou, who art from everlasting to everlasting, eternally and unchangeably the same, even the God who rules in the heavens above, and controls the destinies of men on the earth, wilt thou not condescend through thine infinite goodness and royal favor to listen to the prayer of thy servant which he this day offers up unto thee in the name of thy holy child Jesus, upon this land where the Sun of Righteousness sat in blood, and thine Anointed One expired!
"Be pleased, O Lord, to forgive all the follies, weaknesses, vanities, and sins of thy servant, and strengthen him to resist all future temptations. Give him prudence and discernment that he may avoid the evil, and a heart to choose the good; give him fortitude to bear up under trying
Smith was also present. The following business was done:-
"It was voted that Ebenezer Robinson be solicited to give up the department of printing the Times and Seasons to Elder Willard Richards.
"Voted that if Brother Robinson does not comply with this solicitation, Elder Richards be instructed to procure a press and type and publish a paper for the church.
and adverse circumstances, and grace to endure all things for thy name's sake, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall rest in peace.
"Now, O Lord, thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of thine outstretched arm he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto thee, for the gathering together of Judah's scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy prophets-for the building up of Jerusalem again after it had been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a temple in honor of thy name. Everlasting thanks be ascribed unto thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast preserved thy servant from the dangers of the seas and from the plague and pestilence which have caused the land to mourn! The violence of man has also been restrained, and thy providential care by night and by day has been exercised over thine unworthy servant. Accept, therefore, O Lord, the tribute of a grateful heart for all past favors, and be pleased to continue thy kindness and mercy towards a needy worm of the dust.
"O thou who didst covenant with Abraham thy friend, and who didst renew that covenant with Isaac, and confirm the same with Jacob with an oath, that thou wouldst not only give them this land for an everlasting inheritance, but that thou wouldst also remember their seed forever! Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have long since closed their eyes in death, and made the grave their mansion. Their children are scattered and dispersed abroad among the nations of the Gentiles like sheep that have no shepherd, and are still looking forward for the fulfillment of those promises which thou didst make concerning them; and even this land which once poured forth nature's richest bounty, and flowed, as it were with milk and honey, has, to a certain extent, been smitten with barrenness and sterility since it drank from murderous hands the blood of him who never sinned.
"Grant therefore, O Lord, in the name of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to remove the barrenness and sterility of this land, and let spring of living water break forth to water its thirsty soil. Let the vine and the olive produce in their strength, and the fig tree bloom and flourish. Let the land become abundantly fruitful when possessed by its rightful heirs; let it again flow with plenty to feed the returning prodigals who come home with a spirit of grace and supplication; upon it let the clouds distill virtue and richness, and let the fields smile with plenty. Let the flocks and the herds greatly increase and multiply upon the mountains and the hills; and let thy great kindness conquer and subdue the unbelief of the people. Do thou take from them their stony heart, and give them a heart of flesh; and may the Sun of thy favor dispel the cold mists of darkness which have beclouded their atmosphere. Incline them to gather in upon this land according to thy word. Let them come like clouds and
"Moved by Elder Young, and seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Lyman Wight and John Taylor present these resolutions
like doves to their windows. Let the large ships of the nations bring them from the distant isles; and let kings become their nursing fathers, and queens with motherly fondness wipe the tear of sorrow from their eye.
"Thou, O Lord, did once move upon the heart of Cyrus to shew favor unto Jerusalem and her children. Do thou now also be pleased to inspire the hearts of kings and the powers of the earth to look with a friendly eye towards this place, and with a desire to see thy righteous purposes executed in relation thereto. Let them know that it is thy good pleasure to restore the kingdom unto Israel, raise up Jerusalem as its capital, and constitute her people a distinct nation and government, with David thy servant, even a descendant from the loins of ancient David, to be their King.
"Let that nation or that people who shall take an active part in behalf of Abraham's children, and in the raising up of Jerusalem, find favor in thy sight. Let not their enemies prevail against them, neither let pestilence or famine overcome them; but let the glory of Israel overshadow them, and the power of the highest protect them; while that nation or kingdom that will not serve thee in this glorious work must perish, according to thy word-'Yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.'
"Though thy servant is now far from his home and the land bedewed with his earliest tear, yet he remembers, O Lord, his friends who are there, and family, whom for thy sake he has left. Though poverty and privation be our earthly lot, yet ah! do thou richly endow us with an inheritance where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.
"The hands that have fed, clothed, or shown favor unto the family of thy servant in his absence, or that shall hereafter do so, let them not lose their reward, but let a special blessing rest upon them, and in thy kingdom let them have an inheritance when thou shall come to be glorified in this society.
"Do thou also look with favor upon all those through whose liberality I have been enabled to come to this land; and in the day when thou shalt reward all people according to their works, let these also not be passed by or forgotten, but in time let them be in readiness to enjoy the glory of those mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare. Particularly do thou bless the stranger in Philadelphia, whom I never saw, but who sent me gold, with a request that I should pray for him in Jerusalem. Now, O Lord, let blessings come upon him from an unexpected quarter, and let his basket be filled, and his storehouse abound with plenty, and let not the good things of the earth be his only portion, but let him be found among those to whom it shall be said, 'Thou hast been faithful over a few things, and I will make thee ruler over many.'
"O my Father in heaven! I now ask thee in the name of Jesus to remember Zion, with all her stakes, and with all her assemblies. She has been grievously afflicted and smitten; she has mourned; she has wept; her enemies have triumphed, and have said, 'Ah, where is thy God?' Her priests and prophets have groaned in chains and fetters within the gloomy walls of prisons, while many were slain, and now sleep in the arms of death. How long, O Lord, shall iniquity triumph, and sin go unpunished?
"Do thou arise in the majesty of thy strength and make bare thine arm in behalf of thy people. Redress their wrongs, and turn their sorrow into joy. Pour the spirit of light and knowledge, grace and wisdom,
to Brother Robinson."-Millennial Star, vol. 18, p. 791.
Under date of January 17,1842, Joseph Smith wrote:-
into the hearts of her prophets, and clothe her priests with salvation. Let light and knowledge march forth through the empire of darkness, and may the honest in heart flow to their standard, and join in the march to go forth to meet the Bridegroom.
"Let a peculiar blessing rest upon the Presidency of thy church, for at them are the arrows of the enemy directed. Be thou to them a sun and a shield their strong tower and hiding place; and in the time of distress or danger be thou near to deliver. Also the Quorum of the Twelve, do thou be pleased to stand by, for thou knowest the obstacles which we have to encounter, the temptations to which we are exposed, and the privations which we must suffer. Give us, therefore, strength according to our day, and help us to bear a faithful testimony of Jesus and his gospel, and to finish with fidelity and honor the work which thou hast given us to do, and then give us a place in thy glorious kingdom. And let this blessing rest upon every faithful officer and member in thy church. And all the glory and honor will we ascribe unto God and the Lamb forever and ever. Amen."
On the top of Mount Olives I erected a pile of stones as a witness according to the ancient custom. On what was anciently called Mount Zion, where the temple stood, I erected another, and used the rod according to the prediction upon my head.
I have found many Jews who listened with intense interest. The idea of the Jews being restored to Palestine is gaining ground in Europe almost every day. Jerusalem is strongly fortified with many cannon upon its walls. The wall is ten feet thick on the sides that would be most exposed, and four or five feet where the descent from the wall is almost perpendicular. The number of inhabitants within the walls is about twenty thousand. About seven thousand of this number are Jews, the balance being mostly Turks and Armenians. Many of the Jews who are old go to this place to die, and many are coming from Europe into this Eastern world. The great wheel is unquestionably in motion, and the word of the Almighty has declared that it shall roll.
I have not time to write particulars now, but suffice it to say that my mission has been quite as prosperous as I could expect.
I am now about to go on board a fine ship for Trieste, and from thence I intend to proceed to Regensburgh, and there publish our faith in the German language. There are those who are ready and willing to assist me.
I send you this letter by Captain Withers, an English gentleman, who goes direct to England on board the oriental steamer. He has come with me from Jerusalem. If I had money sufficient I should be almost tempted to take passage on board of her to England, but this I cannot do.
On receipt of this I wish you to write to me immediately, and direct to Regensburgh, on the Danube, Beyern, or Bavaria. If you know anything of my family, tell me.
My best respects to yourself and family, to Brothers Adams and Snow and to all the saints in England.
May grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, rest upon you all from this time, henceforth, and forever. Amen.
Your brother in Christ
P. S.-Mr. Gager died on the 15th instant, at four o'clock in the afternoon.
-Times and Seasons vol. 3, pp. 739-742.
"In the evening I attended a council of the Twelve at my office; present Elders Young, Kimball, Orson Pratt, Taylor, Woodruff, George A. Smith, and Richards. . . . The council were unanimously opposed to Robinson's publishing the Book of Mormon and other books."-Millennial Star, vol. 19, p. 22.
Under date of January 28, Joseph Smith made this entry in his history:-
"I received the following revelation to the Twelve concerning the Times and Seasons, given January 28, 1842." 11
Under date of February 4, President Smith wrote:-
"Elder Woodruff took the superintendence of the printing office, and Elder Taylor the editorial department of the Times and Seasons; who commenced by taking an inventory of the establishment this day."
It was finally arranged for Joseph Smith to be chief editor, with John Taylor assistant editor. Elder Robinson published his "valedictory" in the Times and Seasons for February 15, 1842, which was strongly expressive of confidence in the church, both before, and at the time of writing. 12
11 Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph, go and say unto the Twelve that it is my will to have them take in hand the editorial department of the Times and Seasons, according to that manifestation which shall be given unto them by the power of my Holy Spirit in the midst of their counsel, saith the Lord. Amen.-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 38, 39.
As is customary on like occasions, it now becomes my duty to say a few words to the friends and patrons of the Times and Seasons, by way of farewell address.
When I look back and survey the scenery through which this church has passed, for the short space of three years, it is impossible to find words to express my feelings-to recollect that three years this present month many thousands of the members of this church were compelled to leave their peaceful and happy firesides, to sacrifice all the enjoyments of a sweet and pleasant home, which they had purchased with their own money and made comfortable by the labor of their own hands, to flee for their lives, and seek protection in a strange land, among strangers,-all to satisfy the avarice and hellish desire of an infatuated mob, and to obey the order of a second Nero, who then acted as Governor of a, said to be, free and sovereign State-all conspire to fill the mind with solemnity and sad recollections of bygone days.
It is not, however, my intention at present to dwell at length upon these things, more than to draw the contrast between those days and the present.
In the summer of 1839, having a few months previous emerged from
On December 4 and 5 a conference was held at Ramus, at which time the organization of the Ramus stake was discontinued.
December 13, the Twelve wrote an important epistle on baptism for the dead, temple building, and church rejection. By this epistle it appears that the Twelve understood as early as December 13, 1841, that unless the temple was completed speedily the rejection
the confines of a Missouri prison, where I had been thrust together with about sixty of my brethren, solely because we would not renounce the religion of heaven, Bro. D. C. Smith and myself purchased the remains of a printing establishment, had by the church in Missouri, which had been saved from the ruins by being buried in the earth, and after having carefully extracted the polluted soil of Missouri from the press and type, which, by the by, like ourselves, were none the better for having passed through the scrutinizing ordeal of an ungodly mob, we issued a prospectus for publishing this paper, under circumstances the most adverse possible. The only place we could obtain wherein to put our press was an underground room to an old warehouse, without any floor, and almost destitute of light. Here we succeeded in issuing a few copies of the paper, when disease (which we had contracted while laboring in a damp room) brought us upon our sick beds, and we were compelled to suspend business for several months. However, in the month of November we were permitted, through the blessings of a kind Providence, again to issue the paper, which has been published until the present time without interruption, notwithstanding two good and mighty men have fallen while acting as its editors.
The Times and Seasons is now placed on a permanent basis, with a liberal patronage, and its circulation is daily increasing. The building in which it is published was erected expressly for a printing establishment, with spacious rooms, where each branch can be carried on in its own department, without interfering with the other. The church also is in a flourishing and prosperous condition-more so than at any previous period since its rise; naught but joy and gladness seems to pervade the bosoms of the saints, and peace and happiness attend all their footsteps.
Under these circumstances I now take leave of the editorial department of the Times and Seasons, having disposed of my entire interest in the printing establishment, bookbindery, and stereotype foundry, and they are transferred into other hands. The editorial chair will be filled by our esteemed brother, President Joseph Smith, assisted by Elder John Taylor, of the Quorum of the Twelve, under whose able and talented guidance this will become the most interesting and useful religious journal of the day.
With these considerations I feel confident that the agents and friends of the Times and Seasons will exert themselves to support the press knowing that while it is under the supervision of him whom God has chosen to lead his people in the last days, all things will go right.
With these brief remarks, and a bosom filled with kind and grateful feelings towards all my friends, I will say to the patrons of the Times Farewell. E. ROBINSON.
NAUVOO, February 15, 1842.
-Times and Seasons vol. 3, pp. 695, 696.
of the church was inevitable. 13 This is a serious reflection, and causes one to inquire anxiously, "Was the temple ever completed?" If not, we are confronted with evidence conclusive, if the Twelve are correct, that the church organization existing at that time has been rejected of God.
13BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD.-AN EPISTLE OF THE TWELVE TO THE
SAINT OF THE LAST DAYS.
The building of the temple of the Lord, in the city of Nauvoo, is occupying the first place in the exertions and prayers of many of the saints at the present time, knowing as they do, that if this building is not completed speedily, "we shall be rejected as a church with our dead," for the Lord our God hath spoken it; but while many are thus engaged in laboring, and watching, and praying for this all-important object, there are many, very many more, who do not thus come up to their privilege and their duty in this thing, and in many instances we are confident that their neglect arises from want of proper understanding of the principles upon which this building is founded, and by which it must be completed. . . .
There are individuals who have given nothing as yet, either as tithings or consecration, thinking that they shall be able to do a great deal sometime hence, if they continue their present income to their own use; but this is a mistaken idea. Suppose that all should act upon this principle, no one would do aught at present, consequently the building must cease, and this generation remain without a house, and the church be rejected, then suppose the next generation labor upon the same principle, and the same in all succeeding generations, the Son of God would never have a place on earth to lay his head. Let every individual remember that their tithings and consecrations are required from what they have, and not from what they expect to have sometime hence, and are wanted for immediate use.
All money and other property designed for tithings and consecrations to the building of the temple must hereafter be presented to the Trustee in Trust, President Joseph Smith, and entered at the Recorder's office in the book before referred to; and all receipts now holden by individuals which they have received of the building committee for property delivered to them, must also be forwarded to the Recorder's office for entry, to secure the appropriation of said property according to the original design.
The elders everywhere will instruct the brethren, both in public and in private, in the principles and doctrine set forth in this epistle, so that every individual of the church may have a perfect understanding of his duty and privilege.
HEBER C. KIMBALL.
GEO. A. SMITH.
Nauvoo, Illinois, December 13, 1841.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 625-627
That it was the intention of the church to finish the temple, appears from the following statements:-
P. P. Pratt, Willard Richards, John Taylor, and W. W. Phelps on July 15,1844, stated:-
"Let us then humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and endeavor to put away all our sins and imperfections as a people and as individuals, and to call upon the Lord with the spirit of grace and supplication; and wait patiently on him, until he shall direct our way.
"Let no vain and foolish plans, or imaginations scatter us abroad, and divide us asunder as a people, to seek to save our lives at the expense of truth and principle; but rather let us live or die together and in the enjoyment of society and union. Therefore, we say, let us haste to fulfill the commandments which God has already given us. Yea, let us haste to build the temple of our God, and to gather together thereunto, our silver and our gold with us, unto the name of the Lord; and then we may expect that he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 586.
August 15, 1844, the Twelve in an epistle signed by "Brigham Young, President of the Twelve," stated:-
"The temple must be completed by a regular system of tithing, according to the commandments of the Lord, which he has given as a law unto this church, by the mouth of his servant Joseph."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 619.
An editorial in January 1, 1845, when John Taylor was editor, contained the following:-
"Our warning voice therefore is; 'Be ye also ready;' be ready for the times and seasons; be ready for the gathering; be ready for the tithing; be ready to give a reason of your hope; be ready to help finish the temple; be ready to leave apostates to themselves; be ready for the events of the last days; and be ready to serve God according to his commandments; and thus our prayer for all shall be, May God bless you this year according to your works."-Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 762.
An editorial in October, 1842, by Joseph Smith, is very
significant, taken in connection with subsequent events. This is an extract:-
"Perhaps we have said enough on this subject, but we feel the importance of it, and therefore speak plainly. It is for you, brethren, to say whether the work shall stand or progress. One thing is certain, that unless that is done all our efforts to aggrandize or enrich ourselves will be vain and futile. We may build splendid houses, but we shall not inhabit them; we may cultivate farms, but we shall not enjoy them; we may plant orchards, or vineyards, but we shall not eat the fruit of them. The word of the Lord is, Build my house; and until that command is fulfilled we stand responsible to the great Jehovah for the fulfillment of it; and if not done in due time we may have to share the same fate that we have heretofore done in Missouri."-Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 939.
P. P. Pratt claims that he received a revelation soon after the death of the martyrs, which, if true, makes it plain that it was the Lord's will for them to complete the temple; and in answer to the inquiry as to whether they should flee "to the wilderness," or remain there, they were instructed to remain.
"As I walked along over the plains of Illinois, lonely and solitary, I reflected as follows: I am now drawing near to the beloved city; in a day or two I shall be there. How shall I meet the sorrowing widows and orphans? How shall I meet the aged and widowed mother of these two martyrs? How shall I meet an entire community bowed down with grief and sorrow unutterable? What shall I say? or how console and advise twenty-five thousand people who will throng about me in tears, and in the absence of my President and the older members of the now presiding council, will ask counsel at my hands? Shall I tell them to fly to the wilderness and deserts? Or, shall I tell them to stay at home and take care of themselves, and continue to build the temple? With these reflections and inquiries, I walked onward, weighed down as it were unto death. When I could endure it no longer, I cried out aloud, saying: O Lord! in the name of Jesus Christ I pray thee, show me what these things
mean, and what I shall say to thy people? On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and while the spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were fire, the Spirit said unto me: 'Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold! it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed. Go and say unto my people in Nauvoo, that they shall continue to pursue their daily duties and take care of themselves, and make no movement in church government to reorganize or alter anything until the return of the remainder of the Quorum of the Twelve. But exhort them that they continue to build the house of the Lord which I have commanded them to build in Nauvoo.'
"This information caused my bosom to burn with joy and gladness, and I was comforted above measure; all my sorrow seemed in a moment to be lifted as a burthen from my back.
"The change was so sudden I hardly dare to believe my senses; I, therefore, prayed the Lord to repeat to me the same things the second time; if, indeed, I might be sure of their truth, and might really tell the saints to stay in Nauvoo, and continue to build the temple.
"As I prayed thus, the same Spirit burned in my bosom, and the Spirit of the Lord repeated to me the same message again. I then went on my way rejoicing, and soon arrived in Nauvoo, and delivered this message both to the people and friends individually, and in the great congregation. In confirmation that the message was right, I found them already renewing their labors on the temple, under the direction of John Taylor and Willard Richards, who were members of our quorum, and were in jail with the prophets when they were murdered-Taylor being wounded with four bullets, and Richards escaping uninjured."-Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 370-372.
The church failed to do the Lord's will in this matter, and hence according to the epistle of the Twelve, in December,
1841, and the command of God, (Doctrine and Covenants 107:10, 11,) 14 was rejected as a church.
That the church did not finish the temple is evident from the following statements from men who know of what they affirm. The two first-named were reared at Nauvoo and were acquainted with the temple and its condition through all the years of its existence. The last named was one of the chief men at Nauvoo and certainly knew concerning whereof he speaks:-
"TEMPLE AT NAUVOO NOT FINISHED.
"I lived at Nauvoo from 1839 to 1866; with the exception of the time between September 12,1846, and February 19, 1847.
"I knew of the work being done on the temple at that place from the time it began until the building was burned in 1848. It was not finished. The basement was fitted for occupation, and the baptismal font was ready for use. The auditorium on the first floor was completed sufficiently to be seated and occupied for assembly purposes. The stairway on the south side was completed for use. The auditorium on second floor, the stairway on north side, nor any other portion of the building except those above-named were completed; though the small rooms above the second floor auditorium were used by President Young and the resident church authorities for various purposes.
"As boy and man I visited the building both while it was being built and after work on it stopped, was all over it from cellar to the dome, many times, with visitors from abroad, and with comrades, after the saints left the city and while David La Barron had charge, attended meetings in it both for worship and for political purposes, and know from actual personal observation that the temple at Nauvoo was
14But I command you, all ye my saints, to build an house unto me and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build an house unto me, and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But, behold, at the end of this appointment, your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment, ye shall be rejected as a church with your dead saith the Lord your God.
not finished. I know, too, that it was a matter of common talk among members of the church that changes were made in the designs, after the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith; and that those portions that were completed so as to be occupied were not in accordance with the original plans.
"Lamoni Iowa, June 26, 1897."
"Inasmuch as the subject of the temple built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois, has been in controversy in the past and sometimes of late called up; and as some have claimed that the temple was finished according to the revelation or command of God, and endowments legally given therein, I wish to make a statement and leave my testimony in history, that perhaps it may correct an error, and free some minds which may be in doubt upon the matter.
"When a boy I was privileged to wander all over the building, and sometimes when the man in charge did not feel like climbing up the many flights of stairs, which led into the cupola to show visitors the wonderful building and beautiful view to be had from the dome, he requested me to show them. I well remember that on one of those occasions I ventured out of the small door on the east side of the rounded top which was covered with bright tin. I walked all around it, and as I approached the door the gentleman whom I was guide to caught me and drew me in, and lectured me for my imprudence, declaring that he would not dare do it.
"The offices in the corner to the left of main entrance on the ground floor were finished, but not furnished. The auditorium or main meeting room was temporarily finished; the seats and pulpit were only temporary.
"The upper auditorium; the plastering was not done, the floor was only the rough boards, intended only for the lining, was laid, and from this floor upward the stairs, except in the tower, or circular main stairs, were also temporary; the upper floor which was to have been divided into numerous rooms was laid, and partitioned off with cotton factory cloth, and used for some purposes before the saints were driven away.
"I was told that the cloth of those partitions was subsequently used for wagon covers, by the saints on their journey across the plains.
"To my knowledge the temple never was finished, and those who have been led to believe it was, have been deceived. I make this statement freely for the benefit of the present and future generations.
"ALEXANDER H. SMITH.
"AUDUBON, Minnesota, July 2, 1897."
"REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG, DELIVERED AT
THE TEMPLE, ST. GEORGE, JANUARY 1, 1877.
"I cannot consent in my feelings to retire from this house without exercising my strength, the strength of my lungs, stomach, and speaking organs, in speaking to this people. I hardly dare say what is in my heart to say to this people. Perhaps it would not be prudent, but I will say a few encouraging things to the Latter Day Saints; that is, they ought to be encouraging. We that are here are enjoying a privilege that we have no knowledge of any other people enjoying since the days of Adam; that is, to have a temple completed, wherein all the ordinances of the house of God can be bestowed upon his people. Brethren and sisters, do you understand this? It seems that a great many of the people know nothing about it. It is true that Solomon built a temple for the purpose of giving endowments, but from what we can learn of the history of that time they gave very few if any endowments, and one of the high priests was murdered by wicked and corrupt men, who had already begun to apostatize, because he would not reveal those things appertaining to the priesthood that were forbidden him to reveal until he came to the proper place. I will not say but what Enoch had temples and officiated therein, but we have no account of it. We know that he raised up a people so pure and holy that they were not permitted to remain with the wicked inhabitants of the earth, but were taken to another place. We as Latter Day Saints have been laboring for over forty years, and the revelations given us in the first were to establish the kingdom by gathering the saints, building temples, and organizing the people as the family of
heaven here on the earth. We reared up a temple in Kirtland, but we had no basement in it, nor a font, nor preparations to give endowments for the living or the dead. It was left by the saints before it was completed, they going to Missouri. Joseph located the site for the Temple Block in Jackson County, Missouri, and pointed out the southeast corner of the temple in the year 1831; also laid the corner stone for a temple in Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. These temples were not built. We built one in Nauvoo. I could pick out several before me now that were there when it was built, and know just how much was finished and what was done. It is true we left brethren there with instructions to finish it, and they got it nearly completed before it was burned; but the saints did not enjoy it. Now we have a temple which will all be finished in a few days, and of which there is enough completed to commence work therein, which has not been done since the days of Adam, that we have any knowledge of. Now those that can see the spiritual atmosphere can see that many of the saints are still glued to this earth and lusting and longing for the things of this world in which there is no profit. It is true, we should look after the things of this world and devote all to the building up of the kingdom of God.'"-Journal of Discourses, vol. 18, pp. 303, 304.
Joseph Smith gives as a fitting close to the history of 1841, a partial list of publications issued for and against the church. 15
15 The following list shows some of the books pamphlets letters, etc., etc., published for and against the Latter Day Saints in 1841.
"A Proclamation to the Saints scattered abroad;" January 15, by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith.
Twenty-three numbers of the Times and Seasons, were published at Nauvoo.
Twelve numbers of the Millennial Star were published in England by Parley P Pratt.
First edition of the "Book of Mormon," published in England, 21st January, by Elders B. Young and W. Richards.
A third edition of the "Voice of Warning," was published in Manchester England, by Parley P. Pratt.
"A Letter to Queen Victoria of England, Touching the Signs of the Times, and the Political Destiny of the World;" in pamphlet form; by Parley P. Pratt, Manchester, England.
Five hundred copies of "An Address to the Hebrews," in the Dutch
language, by O Hyde. Published in Rotterdam Holland: being the first pamphlet pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints written in a foreign language; July.
A pamphlet containing l16 pages, 8 vo., by O. Hyde, containing "A Synopsis of the Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints;" addressed to the German nation in their own language.
A small selection of hymns, by Christopher Merkley.
"Evidences in proof of the Book of Mormon;" a work of 256 pages, 32 mo. Published at Batavia, New York, by Charles Thompson.
A lengthy "Address to the Citizens of Salem, Massachusetts, and Vicinity," by E. Snow and B. Winchester; October.
Gospel Reflector, a monthly periodical, by Benjamin Winchester. Published in Philadelphia.
"Proclamation and Warning to the Inhabitants of America," by Charles Thompson.
The editor of the Times and Seasons noticed the following:-
From the Upper Mississippian, a series of letters entitled "Nauvoo Mormon Religion," etc. The writer no doubt intended to give a fair statement, and in the main did; but respecting our faith (on some points), "The Book of Mormon," etc., he is widely from the mark.
An article was published in the North Staffordshire Mercury, showing the difference between the Baptists and Latter Day Saints; Hanley, February 16; Signed, "A Baptist;" replied to by Parley P. Pratt, who showed the difference between the Baptists and former-day Saints.
A severe article against the Latter Day Saints, which filled several columns of fine print, was published in the Edinburgh Intelligencer, of April 7, taken from the Athenúum, on the subject of the "Book of Mormon" and the Latter Day Saints; replied to by Parley P. Pratt, May.
Mr. J. B. Rollo, of Edinburgh, Scotland, published a pamphlet entitled "Mormonism Exposed;" replied to by Parley P. Pratt, July 10.
The Preston Chronicle of April 24, published a long article against the Latter Day Saints, which was replied to by Parley P. Pratt in the Millennial Star, July 10.
A bitter article was published in the Cheltenham Free Press of August 23, headed "Latter Day Saints' Swindle;" replied to by Parley P. Pratt in the Star of October.
"A few plain facts, showing the folly, wickedness, and imposition of the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews;" by George J. Adams, Bedford, England
The St. Louis, Missouri, Atlas published a favorable article entitled, "The Latter Day Saints."
The Joliet Courier published a favorable account of the late trial of Joseph Smith; Monmouth, June.
The Philadelphia Saturday Courier and the Public Ledger on July 10 published several articles anathematizing the Latter Day Saints.
A slanderous pamphlet entitled "Mormonism Unmasked;" by A. Gardner, of Rochdale, England.
"The Mormons-Arrest of Joe Smith," was the heading of an article published in the New York Herald of Commerce, and copied in many of the eastern papers.
The Christian Messenger and Reformer published an account of the Latter Day Saints, collected from the book of E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio.
Tom Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, devoted his entire time to slander, lie against, and misrepresent the Latter Day Saints.-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 8, 9.
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