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THE year 1843 commenced with intense anxiety in Nauvoo, occasioned by the suspense felt regarding the trial of Joseph Smith, the conclusion of which was recorded in the last chapter. As is natural in such cases all sorts of reports and theories were circulated, and various opinions were expressed as to the best policy to pursue should he be delivered up to the Missouri agent. Some views were of course conservative, while some were extreme. For none of these was the church responsible, for she defined no policy.
From a letter written by Justin Brooks in the November before, and published in Times and Seasons for January 2, 1843, it appears evident that the work was taking on a new impetus in Kirtland, Ohio, and vicinity; notwithstanding the reports abroad that the authorities of the church were in bad repute in their former home. 1
1 KIRTLAND, Ohio November 7, 1842.
Brother Joseph Smith; Sir:-I now take the opportunity to inform you, the brethren in Nauvoo. and all that feel interested in this last dispensation of Almighty God, which has been committed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that since our conference minutes were inclosed [enclosed], Elders Wight, Green, and Badlam have continued their labors in this place, up to this time, with great success; the Lord pouring out
On February 1, 1843, the Times and Seasons editorially makes a very encouraging statement of the progress of the work in different places. 2
Parley P. Pratt, on his return from England, landed in New Orleans, Louisiana, early in January, 1843. He proceeded with his company up the Mississippi River by boat; but learning that the river was not open above St. Louis, the company scattered, seeking places of temporary abode. Elder Pratt and family located for the winter at Chester, Illinois, about eighty miles below St. Louis. Here he left his family and rode to Nauvoo on horseback, arriving early in February, remaining a short time. He then returned to his family and removed them to Nauvoo, arriving April 12,1843.
his Spirit upon them and also upon the people. There have been, since the above-stated time, several persons baptized, which have looked on and have seen the rise and progress of this church from the commencement, and many smart, intelligent young men have also been ordained elders. Amongst the number are Austin Babbitt and William Wilson. The number ordained since conference is ten; and several persons have been baptized. The prospect now is that a great blessing will result to the inhabitants of this region of country from the labors of the above named elders. The reformation which has taken place here has taken some of the most prominent members from among the Methodists; and the Presbyterians begin to think that Mormonism, as they call it, is not dead, as they supposed, in consequence of Bennett's apostasy. . . . Where the reformation that has begun will end, the Lord only knows; such an anxiety to learn the doctrines of this church has never before been manifest since the commencement of the church.
The elders are going to leave us this morning with the prayers and fellowship of the brethren in this region of country. Those which have been the most hostile in their feelings are perfectly friendly with Bro. Wight, and have all invited him to call upon them.
The labors of the elders seem to have effected a union of all parties; and if I must give my opinion I think upon the right principle.
Twelve persons were baptized yesterday. . . . I would further state that Bro. Wight expects to administer baptism to several persons in Painesville, on his way east.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 62, 63.
2The work of the Lord is progressing with great rapidity on every hand; from the north, south, and east we are continually receiving accounts of the progress of eternal truth; we cannot find room for many communications. Elder Andrew L. Lamareaux writes from New Trenton, Franklin County, Indiana, and tells us that the work is rolling forth in that neighborhood with unprecedented rapidity, and that there are more doors open than it is possible for them to fill. This seems to be generally the case where our elders are laboring, throughout the Union as well as in Great Britain.-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 89.
On his departure from England he appointed Thomas Ward in charge of the mission, with Lorenzo Snow and Hiram Clark as his counselors, and gave some excellent instruction. 3
3 I therefore recommend and appoint Elder Thomas Ward as my successor in the office of the general presidency of the church in Europe, in connection with Elders Lorenzo Snow and Hiram Clark. To these persons I commit the care and government of the church in this country for the present, trusting that they will conduct and counsel in all things according to the mind of the Spirit, and according to the counsel which shall be given them from Nauvoo from time to time, by the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency.
I sincerely hope that the officers and members in the several conferences will uphold and support these men in their high and holy calling, by the prayer of faith, and by a willing, submissive, and teachable spirit; and in so doing they will prosper.
It will be necessary as soon as convenient for a General Conference to be called for the United Kingdom, and for high priests and presiding elders to be ordained to fill the several vacancies which have or may occur on account of emigration or otherwise, and to transact all other necessary business for the general welfare.
In regard to the ministry I would recommend, and earnestly exhort that the first principles of the gospel be fully and constantly taught, and the spirit of discussion and contention avoided as far as possible; for he that hath the spirit of contention is not of God, but is of the Devil.
In regard to emigration, I would recommend patience as well as perseverance; and that the saints do not emigrate in haste, leaving their affairs unsettled, or their property to be wasted; and above all, pay every man his honest due as far as possible. And in regard to husbands and wives, we feel bound to forbid the separation of one from the other in emigrating, either on account of poverty or any other cause. Let them go together or stay together, live together or die together, and let nothing separate them from each other during so long and tedious a journey
And again husband and wife have no right to separate because of one being an unbeliever, and those who do so will not be justified by this church. These have ever been our principles and teachings; but we have received a communication from the First Presidency of late on this subject which is very pointed, and which will probably appear in the next number of the Star.-Millennial Star, vol. 3, pp. 110, 111.
The communication referred to above is as follows:-
ADDRESS FROM THE FIRST PRESIDENCY.
To our well beloved brother, Parley P. Pratt, and to the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints in England, and scattered abroad throughout all Europe, and to the Saints; Greeting:-
Whereas, in times past persons have been permitted to gather with the saints at Nauvoo, in North America-such as husbands leaving their wives and children behind; also, such as wives leaving their husbands and children behind; and such as women leaving their husbands, and such as husbands leaving their wives who have no children and some because their companions are unbelievers. All this kind of proceeding we consider to be erroneous and for want of proper information. And the same should be taught to all the saints, and not suffer families to be broken up on any account whatever if it be possible to
Elder Ward also succeeded Elder Pratt as editor of the Millennial Star.
avoid it. Suffer no man to leave his wife because she is an unbeliever, nor any woman to leave her husband because he is an unbeliever. These things are an evil and must be forbidden by the authorities of the church, or they will come under condemnation; for the gathering is not in haste nor by flight, but to prepare all things before you, and you know not but the unbeliever may be converted and the Lord heal him; but let the believers exercise faith in God, and the unbelieving husband shall be sanctified by the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife by the believing husband, and families are preserved and saved from a great evil which we have seen verified before our eyes. Behold this is a wicked generation, full of lyings, and deceit, and craftiness; and the children of the wicked are wiser than the children of light; that is, they are more crafty; and it seems that it has been the case in all ages of the world. And the man who leaves his wife and travels to a foreign nation, has his mind overpowered with darkness, and Satan deceives him and flatters him with the graces of the harlot, and before he is aware he is disgraced forever: and greater is the danger for the woman that leaves her husband. The evils resulting from such proceedings are of such a nature as to oblige us to cut them off from the church.
There is another evil which exists. There are poor men who come here and leave their families behind in a destitute situation, and beg for assistance to send back after their families. Every man should tarry with his family until Providence provides for the whole, for there is no means here to be obtained to send back. Money is scarce and hard to be obtained. The people that gather to this place are generally poor, the gathering being attended with a great sacrifice; and money cannot be obtained by labor, but all kinds of produce are plentiful and can be obtained by labor; therefore the poor man that leaves his family in England, cannot get means, which must be silver and gold, to send for his family; but must remain under the painful sensation that his family must be cast upon the mercy of the people, and separated and put into the poorhouse. Therefore, to remedy the evil, we forbid a man to leave his family behind because he has no means to bring them. If the church is not able to bring them, and the parish will not send them, let the man tarry with his family-live with them, and die with them, and not leave them until Providence shall open a way for them to come all together. And we also forbid that a woman leave her husband because he is an unbeliever. We also forbid that a man shall leave his wife because she is an unbeliever. If he be a bad man (i. e. the unbeliever) there is a law to remedy that evil. And if she be a bad woman, there is law to remedy that evil. And if the law divorce them, then they are at liberty, otherwise they are bound as long as they two shall live, and it is not our prerogative to go beyond this; if we do it, it will be at the expense of our reputation.
These things we have written in plainness, and we desire that they should be publicly known, and request this to be published in the Star.
May the Lord bestow his blessing upon all the saints richly, and hasten the gathering, and bring about the fullness of the everlasting covenant, are the prayers of your brethren.
Written by Hyrum Smith, Patriarch, by the order of Joseph Smith President over the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
-Millennial Star, vol. 3, p. 115.
Elder William Smith, brother of the prophet, was a member of the State Legislature in the winter of 1842-43, and did some very satisfactory work in successfully opposing the repeal of the Nauvoo charter, which was twice undertaken.
The early part of the year after the discharge of President Smith by Judge Pope was a season of peace and tranquility [tranquillity], so far as persecution was concerned.
The city of Nauvoo was rapidly building, the population being increased by accessions from all parts of the States, also from foreign lands, several shiploads having recently arrived from England.
During this time the organization of a society to be known as "The Young Gentlemen and Ladies' Relief Society of Nauvoo" was perfected. President Smith, H. C. Kimball of the Twelve, and others took an active part in bringing about this organization. It had for its purposes the correction of the follies of youth, to guard against temptations to which they are exposed, and to aid in charitable enterprises.
On March 21, 1843, they adopted a preamble and resolutions indicative of their purpose and providing for their government. 4
4 Whereas, the young gentlemen and ladies, citizens of the city of Nauvoo, are desirous of aiding and ameliorating the condition of the poor and of carrying out the principles of charity and benevolence, as taught in the Holy Scriptures, therefore, be it
Resolved, that we form ourselves into a society to be styled the "Young Gentlemen and Ladies' Relief Society of Nauvoo," and that we be governed by the following articles. . . .
6. There shall annually be chosen a committee of vigilance, consisting of five persons, whose duties it shall be to search out the poor of our city, and make known to the society the wants of those whom they, in their judgment, shall consider most deserving of our assistance. . . .
9. This constitution shall be lodged in the hands of the secretary, whose duty it shall be to present it at each meeting of the society, and receive the names of all persons wishing to become members, under thirty years of age, who can sustain a good moral character, and who are willing to support this constitution.
10. Any person being a member of this society, and being found guilty of any disorderly conduct, or refusing to comply with the rules of the society, can be expelled at any regular meeting of the same, by a vote of the majority of the members present. . . .
William Walker was chosen president, William Cutler vice president, Lorin Walker treasurer, and James M. Monroe secretary. Stephen Perry,
April 6,1843, a special conference for the whole church convened on the platform of the temple in Nauvoo.
Some business of historic importance was done. 5
Marcellus L. Bates, R. A. Allred, William H. Kimball, and Garrett Ivans were appointed as a committee of vigilance. After some discussion the meeting adjourned until the next Tuesday evening.-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 156.
5President Joseph then asked the conference if they were satisfied with the First Presidency, so far as he was concerned, as an individual to preside over the whole church; or would they have another? If, said he, I have done anything that injures my character, reputation, or standing, or have dishonored our religion by any means in the sight of men or angels, or in the sight of men and women, I am sorry for it, and if you will forgive me I will endeavor to do so no more. I do not know that I have done anything of the kind; but if I have, come forward and tell me of it. If anyone has any objection to me, I want you to come boldly and frankly and tell me of it; and if not, ever after hold your peace.
Motion was made and seconded that President Joseph Smith continue President of the whole church. After a few minutes silence, the motion was put by President Young, when one vast sea of hands was presented, and the motion was carried unanimously
President Joseph returned his thanks to the assembly for the manifestation of their confidence, and said he would serve them according to the best ability God should give him.
The First Presidency being disposed of, President Joseph said he did not know anything against the Twelve; if he did he would present them for trial. It is not right that all the burden of the Nauvoo House should rest on a few individuals; and we will now consider the propriety of sending the Twelve to collect means for the Nauvoo House. There has been too great a solicitude, in individuals, for the building of the temple to the exclusion of the Nauvoo House. The agents have had too great latitude to practice fraud, by receiving donations and never making report. The church has suffered loss, and I am opposed to that system of collecting funds when any elder may receive moneys.
I am opposed to any man's handling the public funds of the church who is not duly authorized.
I advise that some means be devised for transacting business on a sure foundation. The Twelve are the most suitable persons to perform this business; and I want the conference to devise some means to bind them as firm as the pillars of heaven, if possible. The Twelve were always honest, and it will do them no hurt to bind them.
It has been reported that they receive wages at two dollars per day for their services. I have never heard this till recently, and I do not believe it. I know the Twelve have never had any wages at all. They have fulfilled their duty-they have always gone where they were sent and have labored with their hands for their support, when at home. If we send them into the world to collect funds, we want them to return those funds to this place, that they may be appropriated to the very purpose for which they were designed. I go in for binding up the Twelve, solid, putting them under bonds; and let this conference institute an order to this end, and that the traveling expenses of the agents shall not be borne out of the funds collected for building these houses; and let no man pay money or stock into the hands of the Twelve except he transmit an account of the same immediately to the Trustee in Trust:
At this time and for some time after there was a band of thieves committing depredations in the vicinity of Nauvoo and elsewhere. Some members of the church were doubtless engaged in this disreputable practice.
In consequence of this the church suffered in reputation, as those who were religiously opposed were glad to quote the crimes of the lawless and point to them as the acts of the church. To what extent the church members were involved in this contemptible avocation we do not know; but we have evidence conclusive that the authorities of the church unequivocally condemned it, and used both their ecclesiastical and civil authority to put it down. At the conference above referred to both Hyrum and Joseph Smith denounced the practice in unmeasured terms. 6
and let no man but the Twelve have authority to act as agent for the temple and Nauvoo House. . . .
It was then voted unanimously that the Twelve be appointed a committee to collect funds to build the Nauvoo House, and receive moneys for the temple, with this proviso:-
That the Twelve give bonds for the safe delivery of all funds, coming into their hands belonging to the Nauvoo House and temple, to the Trustee in Trust, and that the payor, also, make immediate report to the Trustee in Trust of all moneys paid by him to the Twelve; and that the instructions of President Joseph Smith to the conference be carried into execution.-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 181,182.
6Patriarch Hyrum Smith commenced by saying that he had some communication to make to the conference, on stealing, and he would do it while waiting for Joseph; and referred to the article in the last number of the Wasp. Said he, I have had an interview with a man who formerly belonged to the church, and he revealed to me that there is a band of men, and some who pretend to be strong in the faith of the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints; but they are hypocrites, and some who do not belong to the church, who are bound together by secret oaths and obligations, and penalties, to keep the secret; and they hold it is right to steal from anyone who does not belong to the church, provided they consecrate two thirds of it to the building of the temple. They are also making bogus money.
This man says he has become convinced of the error of his ways, and has come away from them to escape their fury. I wish to warn you all not to be duped by such men, for they are the Gadiantons of the last days.
He then read from the Wasp as republished from the Times and Seasons, his own affidavit, and the proceedings of the authorities of the church generally, dated November 26, 1841. The man who told me said : "This secret band refer to the Bible, Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and Book of Mormon to substantiate their doctrine;" but no such doctrines are taught there.
They say it has been taught from this stand, that they are the little foxes that spoil the vines, and the First Presidency are the big foxes:
Notwithstanding this practice obtained there, and so much was and is being said about it, Nauvoo was no worse than other places of its size. Governor Ford afterwards made personal investigation of this matter and in his message to the legislature dated December 23, 1844, "in relation to the disturbances in Hancock
and the big foxes wanted the little foxes to get out of the city and spread abroad, so that the big foxes might have a chance; which everybody knows is false. All these things are used to decoy the foolish and unwary.
I will mention two names, David Holman and James Dunn; they were living in my house. I went to them and asked them if they were stealing for a livelihood. Holman confessed that he had stolen from the world, not from the brethren. I told them to get out of my house. David asked me to forgive him, and he lifted his hands towards heaven and swore if I would forgive him he would never do so again. Soon after he went to Montrose, where he was found stealing salt, as is currently reported, he then stole a skiff and came across the river, stole a barrel of flour that had just been landed from a steamer, rowed down the river to Keokuk, and sold the flour for two dollars, saying he had picked it up in the river, and was likely a little damaged, got his pay and went his way. Dunn would not promise to quit stealing, but said he would go to St. Louis. I tell you to-day, the man that steals shall not long after be brought to the penitentiary. They will soon be brought to condign punishment. I demand in the presence of God that you will exert your wit and your power to bring such characters to justice. If you do not the curse of God will rest upon you; such things would ruin any people. Should I catch a Latter Day Saint stealing, he is the last man to whom I would show mercy.
President Joseph Smith said, I think it best to continue this subject. I want the elders to make honorable proclamation abroad concerning what the feelings of the First Presidency is, for stealing has never been tolerated by them. I despise a thief above ground. He would betray me if he could get the opportunity. I would know that he would be a detriment to my cause, and if I were the biggest rogue in the world, he would steal my horse when I wanted to run away.
It has been said that some were afraid to disclose what they know of these secret combinations, consequently I issued a proclamation which you may read in the Wasp, No. 48, which the President read.
To the Citizens of Nauvoo:-
Whereas it appears by the republication of the foregoing proceedings and declaration, that I have not altered my views on the subject of stealing: And whereas it is reported that there now exists a band of desperadoes, bound by oaths of secrecy, under severe penalties in case any member of the combination divulges their plans of stealing and conveying properties from station to station, up and down the Mississippi and other routes: And whereas it is reported that the fear of the execution of the pains and penalties of their secret oaths, on their persons, prevents some of the members of said secret association (who have, through falsehood and deceit, been drawn into their snares) from divulging the same to the legally constituted authorities of the land:
Know ye, therefore, that I, Joseph Smith, Mayor of the city of Nauvoo
County," makes special mention of this feature, and his report is complimentary to Nauvoo and the church; 7
and this notwithstanding his report in general showed him to be strongly prejudiced against Joseph Smith and the church.
At the above-mentioned conference quite a large number of missionaries were appointed to different parts of the United States and elsewhere. 8
will grant and insure protection against all personal mob violence to each and every citizen of this city who will freely and voluntarily come before me and truly make known the names of all such abominable characters as are engaged in said secret combination for stealing or are accessory thereto in any manner; and I would respectfully solicit the coöperation of all ministers of justice, in this and the neighboring States, to ferret out a band of thievish outlaws from our midst.
Given under my hand at Nauvoo City, this 25th day of March, A. D.
JOSEPH SMITH, Mayor of said City.
If any man is afraid to disclose what he knows about this gang of thieves let him come to me, and tell the truth, and I will protect him from violence. Thieving must be stopped.-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp, 183, 184
7Justice, however, requires me here to say, that I have investigated the charge of promiscuous stealing, and find it to be greatly exaggerated. I could not ascertain that there were a greater proportion of thieves in that community than any other of the same number of inhabitants, and perhaps if the city of Nauvoo were compared with St. Louis, or any other western city, the proportion would not be so great. I think it very probable, however, that the Mormons sometimes erred in protecting members of their community from prosecution and punishment, who were accused of offenses, under a belief that the accusation against them was a persecution of their enemies on account of their religion.
I have reason to believe, too, that the report of an alliance with the Indians was a groundless calumny. For, on a late occasion when fifteen or twenty Pottawattamie Indians passed Nauvoo in their canoes on their way to their hunting grounds in Iowa Territory, it was at once asserted that as many as two hundred Indians had come to the assistance of the Mormons, and were ready to scalp and murder their enemies; and this ridiculous story was greedily swallowed by an excited people.-Message of the Governor of the State of Illinois, in Relation to the Disturbances in Hancock County, p. 7.
8James Munroe and Truman Gillet; Auburn, New York
Dominicus Carter; Lockport, Indiana.
Joshua Holman and John Pierce; Madison, Indiana.
Wandle Mace and Isaac Hate; Washingtonville, Orange County, New York.
William O. Clark; Richardson settlement, Iowa.
Benjamin Clapp, John Bear, Wilson Hewitt, and L. O. Littlefield; Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Alonzo Whitney and J. Goodale; Dublin, Ohio
William Eaton; Westfield, Sullivan County, New York.
Zebedee Coltrin, Graham Coltrin, and James Flanigan, Smith and Tazewell Counties, Virginia.
About this time the First Presidency appointed Orson Hyde, of the Twelve, and Elder G. J. Adams. on a mission to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jonathan Dunham; Lawrenceburgh, Indiana.
Lewis Robbins and Jacob Gates; have a roving commission for Massachusetts, with leave to take their wives, but to keep out of the churches.
Stephen Markham and Truman Waite; Berlin, Huron County, Ohio.
John D. Chase and A. M. Harding; Pittsfield, Vermont.
Amos Fuller and Cyrus H. Wheelock; Newfane, Williamsville, Windham County, Vermont.
John S. Gleason and Henry Jacobs; west part of the State of New York
Marcellus L. Bates and Norman B. Shearer, near Sacket's Harbor, New York.
Samuel Brown; Brandywine and Woodville, Maryland.
Lemuel Mallory and George Slater; Saline, Washtenau County, Michigan.
Moses Wade, some county in New York, where there has been no preaching by the saints.
Chillion Daniels and E. Robinson; Pierpont, St. Lawrence County, New York.
William Brown and Daniel Cathcart; Pensacola, Florida.
Eleazar Willis; go where he likes.
John Zundall, Muskootau, St. Clair County, Illinois.
Crandall Dunn; somewhere in Michigan.
George Middow, Waterloo, Canada.
Samuel H. Rogers and Harvey Green; Greenwich, Cumberland, New Jersey.
Daniel Spencer; Eardly, Bristol, and Clarendon, Lower Canada; March and Fitzroy Harbor, Upper Canada.
Elias Harmar; Green, Chenago County, New York.
Harvey Tate; Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.
Robert D. Foster and Jonathan Allen; Candor, Tioga County, New York,
William Wharton, of Philadelphia; Wilmington and vicinity, Delaware.
Leonard Soby; Peru, Miami County, Indiana.
Warner Hoops; York County, Pennsylvania.
F. D. Wilson and G. W. Brandon; Dyer and Montgomery Counties, Tennessee.
E. H. Groves and G. P. Dykes; from Terre Haute to Shawneetown and Cairo, on both sides of the Wabash.
P. Sessions; Oxford County, Maine.
John L. Butler and David Lewis; Lexington and Teesburgh, Kentucky.
Charles C. Rich; Ottawa, Illinois.
W. W. Rust; Worcester County, Massachusetts
Aaron M. York; Maine
Asaph Rice; Pontiac, Michigan.
Orson Spencer; New Haven, Connecticut.
Lorin Farr; Connecticut, leave to call at Milwaukee.
Stephen Perry, Amos B. Tomlinson, E. G. Terrill, Amos P. Rogers, Joseph Outhouse, and William Bird; State of Connecticut.
In the issue of the Times and Season's for June 15, 1843, the Twelve Apostles published a short list of missionary appointments, among others sending Elder Reuben Hedlock to preside over the English mission. 9
Francis Edwards and Charles Ryan; Overton, Jackson County, Tennessee.
Benjamin Kempton; Wheeling to Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Peter Hess, of Philadelphia; Lancaster and vicinity, Pennsylvania.
Noah Curtis and Luman H. Corkins; Wayne County, New York.
Stratton Thornton and Sandford Porter; southeast part of Illinois and Indiana.
Benjamin Leland and Eden Smith; Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Samuel Swarner; Orleans County, New York.
Samuel Parker; York County, Maine.
Jacob E. Terry and Err Terry; Niagara District, Upper Canada.
Edward P. Duzette and Elisha Edwards; Loraine and Huron Counties Ohio.
Edwin Williams, New Germantown, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
Jacob G. Bigler; Weston, Lewis County, Virginia.
Orlando Hovey; New Trenton, Franklin County, Indiana.
William B. Brink; some place in the interior of Pennsylvania, where the elders have not been.
F. B. Jacaway and Samuel Rowland; Adams County, Ohio.
Moses Tracy; Perry County, Illinois.
Alfred Brown; Maysville, Chatauque County, New York.
Noah Rogers, Peter Lemons, Joseph Mount, B. W. Wilson, Addison Pratt, and John Brown; State of Vermont.
Samuel C. Brown; to labor on the temple.
James Carroll; New Castle, Henry County, Indiana.
Levi Stewart and James Pace; Williamson and Gallatin Counties, Illinois.
Edwin Clegg; Rock Island, Illinois.
John Cairns, Richmond, Indiana.
Edward Bosley and Rodman Clark; Genesee, Livingston County, New York.
James Hutchins and Daniel Tyler; Natchez, Mississippi.
George M. Chase; Auburn, Geauga County, Ohio.
John Royce; Sing Sing, New York.
Lyman Whitney; Franklin County, Vermont.
Twenty-two were ordained elders.- Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 157 158.
9APPOINTMENTS BY THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE.
Elder Reuben Hedlock, to England, to preside over the English mission.
Elder John Cairns, to Scotland.
Elder James Sloan, to Ireland.
Elder Benjamin Brown, accompanied by Elder Jesse W. Crosby, to the Province of Nova Scotia.
Elder Edwin W. Webb, to the vicinity of Galena.
Elder Isaac Chase, to the Eastern States.
Elder Stephen Abbott and Charles E. Spencer, to Wisconsin Territory; Elder Isaac Thompson to accompany them.
W. RICHARDS, Clerk.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 232.
About this time occurred the death of Judge Elias Higbee, who had been quite prominent in the councils of the church, especially in his work at Washington in presenting the grievances of the saints before Congress. He was an honorable and faithful man.
A General Conference of the English mission was held at Manchester, June 4. This was said to have been the largest gathering ever witnessed in England under the supervision of the saints. There was, however, no business of especial historic importance done.
June 23, 1843, Joseph Smith was again arrested by Harmon T. Wilson, a constable of Hancock County, and turned over to Joseph H. Reynolds, of Jackson County, Missouri, who had been appointed, by Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri, agent to receive Joseph Smith.
Of this arrest, his trial before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, and his final acquittal, we write more fully in a subsequent chapter.
Conferences were held in various parts of the United States, including Kirtland, Ohio, during the summer months, reports to which showed substantial progress.
The building committees of the temple and Nauvoo House purchased mills in Wisconsin Territory, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars, and an expedition, under Lyman Wight, of the Twelve, and Bishop George Miller, was sent there to manufacture lumber for these two buildings and to ship the same to Nauvoo. This expedition left Nauvoo on July 22, and arrived at its destination August 4, 1843. 10
10 Lyman Wight in his journal states: "I was busily engaged in my domestic concerns, and also making preparations to move my family to the lumber country in Wisconsin Territory, on Black River, distance from this place about five hundred miles. . . . I accordingly started on the 22d of July, with my family, and about one hundred and fifty persons besides, consisting of men, women, and children, with no other purpose in view only to procure lumber to build the temple, the Nauvoo House, and to assist in the building up the City of Nauvoo.
"The building committees of those two houses are now the proprietors of mills, and a lumbering establishment in that place. We passed up
A special conference convened October 6, at Nauvoo. The special features of this conference were, an investigation into the conduct of Sidney Rigdon, of the First Presidency, with whom President Joseph Smith was in a measure dissatisfied, and the building of the temple, work on which had been suspended for a time.
We here insert the minutes on these points:-
"Conference assembled and proceeded to business.
"President Joseph Smith was called to the chair and Gustavus Hills chosen clerk. . . .
"The President stated the items of business to be brought before the conference, to be
"1. The case and standing of Elder Sidney Rigdon, counselor to the First Presidency.
"2. The further progress of the temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.
"Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the saints.
"President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the conference had to make. He stated his dissatisfaction with Elder Sidney Rigdon as a counselor, not having received any material benefit from his labors or counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the post office; a supposed correspondence and connection with John C. Bennett, with ex-Governor Carlin, and with the Missourians, of a treacherous character; also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.
"President Joseph Smith related to the conference the detention of documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself (President Smith),
the Mississippi River on the steamer, Maid of Iowa, and run as far up as the head of Black River Lake, where we landed on the 26th inst. at eleven o'clock a. m., fifty miles below the mills. From this to the 30th of July I was scouting about, and viewing the fair quality, and situation of the country, and patiently awaiting for the arrival of the boats from the Falls on Black River, to convey us up the river to the mills. And on this, which is the 30th of July, the boats arrived. We loaded them and started for the mills, where we landed on the 4th day of August, 1843."
but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orrin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smith's visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counselor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.
"Elder Almon Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last conference.
"President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.
"Elder Sidney Rigdon plead, concerning the documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to him; that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it-did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith; that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb anyone, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith; that he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett. . . .
"Sunday, 8th inst., ten o'clock a. m.
". . . Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defense. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of
Quincy, after his escape from Missouri; the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed; and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith concerning their former friendship, associations, and sufferings; and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.
"Elder Almon Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esquire Johnson, in which he exonerated Elder Sidney Rigdon from the charge or suspicion of having had a treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin.
"President Joseph Smith arose and satisfactorily explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin, which wholly removed suspicion from Elder Sidney Rigdon, and from every other person. He expressed entire willingness to have Elder Sidney Rigdon retain his station, provided he would magnify his office and walk and conduct himself in all honesty, righteousness, and integrity; but signified his lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.
"President Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and expressive remarks on the attribute of mercy in God, as that by which he influences, controls, and conquers, and the propriety and importance of the saints exercising the same attribute towards their fellows; and especially towards their aged companion and fellow servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.
"Elder Almon Babbitt and President William Law followed with remarks in defense of Elder Sidney Rigdon.
"On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, conference voted that Elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as counselor to the First Presidency. . . .
"Monday, ten o'clock a. m.
"Conference assembled, and resumed business. . .
"The business pertaining to the temple was then announced by the President as next in order.
"Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions; also of iron, steel, powder, and clothing; giving as his opinion that the walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.
"Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of Elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the temple, earnestly exhorting the saints here and abroad to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the committee, that the work may advance with rapidity.
"President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work-the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion; that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the temple, or elsewhere.
"On motion by Elder William Law and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, conference voted, that we as a conference and individuals will use all the means, exertions, and influence in our power to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the temple."-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 329-331.
On October 24, 1843, James Arlington Bennett wrote a fawning letter to President Joseph Smith from Arlington House, New York. A friendly correspondence had been carried on between them for some time, but in this letter Mr. Bennett betrayed the design he had in view in gaining the Prophet's favor, and emphatically declared that he expected to locate in Illinois, and become Governor of the State through Joseph's influence; and intimated that he in turn would always favor the saints. 11 In connection with this he writes: "I say, therefore,
11I may yet run for a high office in your State, when you would be sure of my best services in your behalf, therefore a known connection
go ahead; you have my good good wishes. You know Mahomet had his 'right hand man.'"
This proposition was resented by Joseph Smith in a vigorous letter written November 13, becoming to him as a man, and with the dignity belonging to his calling and station. 12
with you would be against our mutual interest. It can be shown that a commission in the legion was a Herald hoax, coined for the fun of it by me, as it is not believed even now by the public. In short I expect to be yet, through your influence, Governor of the State of Illinois.
My respects to Brother Young, Richards, Mrs. Emma, and all friends.
Yours, most respectfully,
JAMES ARLINGTON BENNETT.
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p. 372.
12The summit of your future fame seems to be hid in the political policy of a "mathematical problem" for the chief magistracy of this State which I suppose, might be solved by "double position," where the errors of the supposition are used to produce a true answer.
But sir, when I leave the dignity and honor I received from heaven to boost a man into power, through the aid of my friends, where the evil and designing, after the object has been accomplished, can lock up the clemency intended as a reciprocation for such favors; and where the wicked and unprincipled, as a matter of course, would sieze [seize] the opportunity, to flintify the hearts of the nation against me for dabbling at a sly game in politics; verily, I say, when I leave the dignity and honor of heaven, to gratify the ambition and vanity of man or men, may my power cease, like the strength of Samson, when he was shorn of his locks, while asleep in the lap of Delilah. Truly said the Savior, Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.
Shall I who have witnessed the visions of eternity, and beheld the glories of the mansions of bliss, and the regions and the misery of the damned,-shall I turn to be a Judas? Shall I who have heard the voice of God, and communed with angels, and spake as moved by the Holy Ghost for the renewal of the everlasting covenant, and for the gathering of Israel in the last days,-shall I worm myself into a political hypocrite? Shall I who hold the keys of the last kingdom, in which is the dispensation of the fullness of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets, since the world began, under the sealing power of the Melchisedec priesthood,-shall I stoop from the sublime authority of Almighty God, to be handled as a monkey's cat's paw, and pettify myself into a clown to act the farce of political demagoguery? No, verily no! The whole earth shall bear me witness that I, like the towering rock in the midst of the ocean, which has withstood the mighty surges of the warring waves, for centuries, am impregnable, and am a faithful friend to virtue, and a fearless foe to vice; no odds, whether the former was sold as a pearl in Asia, or hid as a gem in America; and the latter dazzles in palaces, or glimmers among the tombs.
I combat the errors of ages, I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the Gordian knot of powers; and I solve mathematical problems of universities; WITH TRUTH, diamond truth, and God is my "night hand man."
Citizens of Missouri, aided by some from Illinois, began during the closing weeks of the year a policy of kidnapping members of the church and taking them to Missouri without process, and this under pretense that they wanted to see the law executed and justice done.
The Times and Seasons of November 1,1843, published an editorial containing some strong language. Perhaps it might be called harsh language; but the provocation was so great as to furnish excuse for forcible criticism. 13
And to close, let me say in the name of Jesus Christ to you, and to presidents, emperors, kings, queens, governors, rulers, nobles, and men in authority everywhere, do the works of righteousness, execute justice and judgment in the earth that God may bless you, and her inhabitants; and
The laurel that grows on the top of the mountain,
Shall green for your fame while the sun sheds a ray;
And the lily that blows by the side of the fountain
Will bloom for your virtue till earth melts away.
With due consideration and respect I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 374, 375.
Missouri has been playing one of her old pranks again, and not content with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property belonging to the saints, has been engaged again in stealing human beings.
Two of our brethren, Daniel and Philander Avery, father and son were decoyed into the neighborhood of Warsaw, about the 4th of December, and by a gang of desperadoes were forcibly taken across the Mississippi River into Missouri. Daniel Avery was taken by nine men, three of whom were Missourians, and six inhabitants of the State of Illinois. The ruffians were armed, and having forcibly seized Daniel Avery, the father, put him on a horse, and tied his feet underneath. Information was received at Nauvoo relative to this affair, by Mr. Sission Chase, who made affidavit before a magistrate relative to the affair, and a constable was immediately dispatched after a person by the name of John Elliott one of the villains, who is a schoolmaster, and resides four and a half miles below Warsaw. Mr. Elliott, was brought up to Nauvoo, was tried before Aaron Johnson, justice of the peace, proven guilty and committed to the Carthage jail, to wait his trial at the county court.
In the examination facts were developed implicating others, who will in their own due time be brought to punishment. Testimony has since been received which shows that a clan of those villains are associated with the Missourians to assist in killing or kidnapping Joseph Smith and others. Since their names and whereabouts have been ascertained some of them we are informed have fled, whilst officers are in pursuit of others. Colonel Williams, we are informed, is one of the parties engaged in this very honorable transaction.-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, p 375.
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