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THE political situation assumed a peculiar aspect this summer, and the lines were being drawn between anti-Mormons and Mormon sympathizers. A convention was held and a county ticket nominated, pledged to receive no support from and to yield no quarter to "Mormons."
On July 1 Joseph Smith published s statement strongly calling upon the independent element to come out and stand for liberty and right. 1
1 TO THE CITIZENS OF HANCOCK COUNTY.
As a people the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are found "more sinned against than sinning." In political affairs we are ever ready to yield to our fellow citizens of the county equal participation in the selection of candidates to offices.
We have been disappointed in our hopes of being met with the same disposition on the part of some of the old citizens of the county. They indeed seem to manifest a spirit of intolerance and exclusion incompatible with the liberal doctrines of true republicanism.
At the late anti-Mormon convention a complete set of candidates pledged to a man to receive no support from, and to yield no quarters to "Mormons," are commended to all the citizens of this county for their suffrages!
As a portion of the said citizens of Hancock we embrace the opportunity to decline this ticket for the want of reciprocity in its terms and honesty and intelligence in the character of some of its candidates.
If the old citizens of the county are still desirous of equal participations with us in the choice of candidates, we are ready to coöperate with them. If independent gentlemen will announce themselves and possess the requisite qualities, capacity, and integrity, they will receive the united support of our people in the country.
The time for holding a convention seems to have already gone by; there is time enough for the friends of justice and fair play to elect a ticket to be announced in the independent manner we have suggested. Let the gentlemen who have the courage to oppose the spirit of dictation which governed the anti-Mormon convention candidates, show themselves, and we will exercise enough, on the terms proposed in this article, to insure complete success.
-Millennial Star, vol. 19, pp. 536, 537
July 4, there was a parade and celebration at Nauvoo, at which everything passed off pleasantly. Two individuals were fined ten dollars and twenty five cents each for offering whisky for sale on the ground.
July 6, two boats started for the pineries. Of these Joseph writes:-
"Two keel boats, sloop rigged, and laden with provisions and apparatus necessary for the occasion, and manned with fifty of the brethren, started this morning on an expedition to the upper Mississippi, among the pineries, where they can join those already there, and erect mills, saw boards and plank, make shingles, hew timber, and return next spring with rafts for the temple of God, Nauvoo House, etc., to beautify the city of Nauvoo, according to the prophets."
August 31; Bishop Vinson Knight died at Nauvoo.
On August 8, Joseph Smith was arrested at Nauvoo on the charge of "being an accessary [accessory] before the fact to an assault with an intent to kill, made by one O. P. Rockwell on Lilburn W. Boggs on the night of the 6th of May, 1842." O. P. Rockwell was arrested at the same time.
Of this case so far as it concerns Joseph Smith, we give a fuller account on succeeding pages.
Joseph, as will be seen, eluded the officers by keeping himself concealed. All kinds of rumors were in circulation concerning his whereabouts, even among the saints. Some supposed he had gone to Washington to plead his cause there, some supposed that he had gone to Europe. But at a special conference held at Nauvoo, August 29, while his brother Hyrum was speaking he suddenly stepped upon the stand amid the rejoicing of the saints.
On September 1, Joseph wrote an epistle to all the saints in Nauvoo concerning the subject of baptism for the dead. 2
2 NAUVOO, September 1 1842.
To all the Saints in Nauvoo:-
1. Forasmuch as the Lord has revealed unto me that my enemies, both in Missouri and this State, were again on the pursuit of me; and inasmuch as they pursue me without a cause, and have not the least shadow
or coloring of justice or right on their side in the getting up of their prosecutions against me; and inasmuch as their pretensions are all founded in falsehood of the blackest dye, I have thought it expedient and wisdom in me to leave the place for a short season, for my own safety and the safety of this people. I would say to all those with whom I have business, that I have left my affairs with agents and clerks, who will transact all business in a prompt and proper manner; and will see that all my debts are canceled in due time, by turning out property, or otherwise as the case may require, or as the circumstances may admit of. When I learn that the storm is fully blown over, then I will return to you again.
2. And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world, for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in; it all has become a second nature to me. And I feel like Paul to glory in tribulation for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all and will deliver me from henceforth; for, behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
3. Let all the saints rejoice, therefore, and be exceeding glad, for Israel's God is their God; and he will mete out a just recompense of reward upon the heads of all your oppressors.
4. And again, verily thus saith the Lord, Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence and your perseverance, and patience and your works be redoubled; and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven.
5. And again, I give unto you a word in relation to the baptism for your dead. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder; and let him be eyewitness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord; that in all your recordings, it may be recorded in heaven, that whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth may be loosed in heaven; for I am about to restore many things to the earth pertaining to the priesthood, saith the Lord of hosts.
6. And again, let all the records be had in order, that they may be put in the archives of my Holy Temple, to be held in remembrance from generation to generation. saith the Lord of hosts.
7. I will say to all the saints, that I desired, with exceeding great desire, to have addressed them from the stand, on the subject of baptism for the dead, on the following Sabbath. But inasmuch as it is out of my power to do so, I will write the word of the Lord from time to time, on that subject, and send it to you by mail, as well as many other things.
8. I now close my letter for the present, for the want of more time for the enemy is on the alert, and, as the Savior said, The prince of this world cometh, but he hath nothing in me.
9. Behold, my prayer to God is, that you all may be saved. And I subscribe myself your servant in the Lord, prophet and seer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
-Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 109.
On September 6 he wrote another epistle, in which he renewed the subject and considered it more minutely. 3
3 Nauvoo, September 6,1842.
To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sendeth Greeting:-
1. As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time, and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead; as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.
2. I wrote a few words of revelation to you concerning a recorder. I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify. That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a recorder, who should be eyewitness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of a truth before the Lord.
3. Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes; and let him be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings, certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes and heard with his ears, giving the date and names, etc., and the history of the whole transaction; naming, also, some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can, at any time when called upon, certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
4. Then let there be a general recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures, certifying that the record which they have made is true. Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement that he verily believes the above statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes and heard with his ears and made a record of the same on the general church book.
5. You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.
6. And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 20:12, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works."
7. You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened, and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained
in the letter which I wrote to you, previous to my leaving my place, "that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven."
8. Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria personú or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.
9. It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of-a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven; nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?
10. And again, for a precedent, Matthew 16:18, 19 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
11. Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the holy priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.
12. Herein is glory and honor, and immortality and eternal life. The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other. To be immersed in the water, and come forth out of the water, is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead.
13. Consequently the baptismal font was instituted as a simile of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to show forth the living and the dead; and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another; that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared. (1 Corinthians 15:46-48.)
14. "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This, therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, which consists in the key of knowledge.
15. And now my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers, "that they without us cannot be made perfect;" neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
16. And now in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul. 1 Corinthians 15:29, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?"
17. And again, in connection with this quotation, I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel; viz.: the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5 and 6, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
18. I might have rendered a plainer translation to this but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know in this case that the earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children upon some subject or other, and, behold, what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they or we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.
19. Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? "A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things and that say unto Zion, Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them."
20. And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets-the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca County, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the Devil when he appeared as an angel of light. The voice of Peter, James, and John, in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County, and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna River declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times.
21. And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer in Fayette, Seneca County, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the archangel, the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or
Excepting the excitement occasioned by and interest in the case of Joseph Smith, things passed off in their usually quiet way.
In the November 15 number of the Times and Seasons is published Joseph Smith's "valedictory," he resigning the editorial chair to John Taylor. 4
Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little-giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope.
22. Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free.
23. Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys Cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King. And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy. And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy. And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever. And again I say, How glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers.
24. Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.
25. Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time.
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend,
I beg leave to inform the subscribers of the Times and Seasons that it is impossible for me to fulfill the arduous duties of the editorial department any longer. The multiplicity of other business that daily devolves upon me renders it impossible for me to do justice to a paper so widely circulated as the Times and Seasons. I have appointed Elder John Taylor, who is less encumbered and fully competent to assume the responsibilities of that office, and I doubt not but that he will give satisfaction to the patrons of the paper. As this number commences a new volume, it also commences his editorial career
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 8.
There was a book circulated, written by a Mr. Jacobs on the subject of marriage. that some supposed had the indorsement [endorsement] of Joseph Smith because issued from the office of the Times and Seasons; but Joseph corrects this misunderstanding and disapproves the book in a notice published in the December 1 issue. 5
Sometime in December Orson Hyde returned to Nauvoo from his oriental mission.
Thus the year passed away, with Joseph absent, but everything in Nauvoo moving smoothly along.
5There was a book printed at my office a short time since, written by Udney H. Jacobs, on marriage, without my knowledge; and had I been apprised of it, I should not have printed it; not that I am opposed to any men enjoying his privileges, but I do not wish to have my name associated with the authors, in such an unmeaning rigmarole of nonsense, folly, and trash.
-Times and Seasons vol. 4, p. 32.
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