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THE next in order was the movement under William Smith, brother of the prophet and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He was one of the three of his quorum who refused to indorse the acts of Brigham Young and others. He did not claim that he was in fact the successor of his brother Joseph, but did claim that the office of President of the Church should descend according to the law of lineage, as set forth in the revelation, from father to son, and hence the eldest son should succeed his father. The eldest son being but thirteen years old, was too young to assume the duties of so responsible a position. So William Smith, being of the same family, and holding as high position as any man in the church, assumed to act as guardian, and to take charge of the church as temporary President, until the legal successor should claim his right. In this he was bitterly opposed by other members of the Quorum of Twelve, and an irreconcilable contention arose between them.

The Utah people, as has been their unfortunate policy with reference to everyone who has opposed them, sought to cover his name with contumely and disgrace. Elder Brigham H. Roberts states:-

"After his failure in Nauvoo, and in Wisconsin in connection with Mr. Strang, we next hear of William Smith in the winter and spring of 1850, visiting those who had been members of the church in Illinois and Kentucky, teaching 'lineal priesthood as applied to the Presidency of the Church."'-Succession in the Presidency, p. 23.

Again this writer says of William Smith:-

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"Not until 1850 did he begin to proclaim the right of 'young Joseph' to be the President of the Church," etc.- Ibid. p. 65.

The error of Mr. Roberts is shown by the Millennial Star, a periodical issued by the people whom Mr. Roberts represents. On pages 134 and 135 of volume 7 is a letter written by one James Kay, from St. Louis, Missouri, November 22, 1845, from which we extract the following:-

"Doubtless you will have heard of William Smith's apostasy. He is endeavoring to 'make a raise' in this city. After he left Nauvoo he went to Galena, when he published a 'proclamation' to the church, calling upon them to renounce the Twelve as an unauthorized, tyrannical, abominable, bloodthirsty set of scoundrels. I suppose you have his pamphlet. I did think to send one the day he landed here, but felt inclined to hear and see his course a little while. Reports were daily coming from east to west of William's unmanly conduct; sorry I was to hear them, they seemed so well authenticated. He contends the church is disorganized, having no head; that the Twelve are not, nor ever were, ordained to be head of the church; that Joseph's priesthood was to be conferred on his posterity to all future generations, and that young Joseph is the only legal successor to the presidency of this church, etc. G. J. Adams is William's right hand man, and comes out as little Joseph's spokesman. They intend holding a conference here this week and organizing the church on the old original plan, according to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon, and New Testament. Discussions are to take place between the Rigdonites and Josephites on the claims of each to the 'Mormon throne.' Two high priests have been disfellowshiped, one seventy, and a number of other officers and members from this branch I suppose will join the Smith party."-Millennial Star, vol. 7, p. 134.

This is conclusive proof that lineal priesthood was preached by William Smith as early as November, 1845, and before. Prior to this William Smith did not espouse the cause of J. J. Strang, as a brief sketch of his history will show. He was in the East at the time of the murder of his

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brothers, but returned to Nauvoo with his family the following spring, and on this return trip he called at St. Louis. Of this visit, and of William Smith, this same writer, James Kay, wrote from St. Louis, May 20, 1845, as follows:-

"William Smith and his family stayed a few days here the other week; they are gone to Nauvoo. Mrs. Smith is not expected to live long. They boarded at this house. I, and brother Thomas Clark, had the pleasure of sleeping on the floor to give them our bed, and how happy we felt in trying to give some little comfort to Zion's mourners.

"Elder Smith,-no,-you must form your own opinion; I can only say if any compassion ever was in my heart or if ever felt sympathy for others' woe, it was while looking on that distressed man of God; and yet there was a sort of melancholy cheerfulness in his countenance. I will not attempt describing him, lest I come as far short as others who have tried to give us a portrait of Joseph."-Millennial Star, vol. 6, p. 27.

The editor of the Times and Seasons, John Taylor, wrote of William Smith the February before, as follows:-


"The New York Prophet, of January 25, contains cheering news from Elder William Smith. In the midst of trials tribulations, and accusations from false brethren, he triumphs; and really, when we learned that his 'wife was better,' we rejoiced, for it seemed good before the Lord.

"We give the letter entire, that the saints generally may sympathize with Elder Smith in all his afflictions, and pray for him, and rejoice, as the Lord, in his infinite mercy blesses him and his family."-Times and Seasons, vol. 6 p. 814.

The reader will see that William Smith was in good repute with these people in February, 1845, and was hailed as a man of God in May of the same year.

From St. Louis he proceeded to Nauvoo, where his wife died, and was buried from the residence of Mrs. Emma Smith, May 24, 1845.

Soon after his arrival he received the office of Patriarch,

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to succeed his brother Hyrum. On this occasion the Times and Seasons said of him editorially:-

Father Smith, the first Patriarch, and Hyrum, his successor, conferred many blessings upon the saints that made their hearts glad. But they, in the wisdom of God, have been called away, and William, the son and brother, succeeds them. How many now will say, I wish I had my patriarchal blessing? This has been the lamentation of many since the death of Joseph and Hyrum. William is the last of the family, and truly inherits the blood and spirit of his father's house, as well as the priesthood and patriarchal office from his father and brother, legally, and by hereditary descent."-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 905.

He continued in fellowship with the rest of the Twelve until October 6, 1845, when he was objected to by Elder Pratt, for reasons given, and he was not sustained. The record in this case is as follows:-

"It was next moved, that William Smith be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded. Whereupon Elder Pratt arose and said, I have an objection to Brother William continuing in that office. I feel, as an individual, that I cannot, conscientiously, uphold and sustain Brother William as one of the Twelve Apostles, until he thinks different from what he does now. I have many reasons for this, but I will merely mention one or two, which must suffice for the present. In the first place, I have proof positive that he is an aspiring man; that he aspires to uproot and undermine the legal Presidency of the Church, that he may occupy the place himself. This he has avowed openly in the East, which I can prove by good and substantial witnesses. In the second place, while Brother William was in the East, to my certain knowledge, his doctrine and conduct have not had a savory influence, but have produced death and destruction wherever he went. This also I am well prepared to prove. I have been waiting in all long-suffering for an alteration in Brother William's course, but up to the present time I have been disappointed. For these two reasons, I would plead for one, that we no longer sustain him in his office, till a proper investigation can be had,

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and he make satisfaction. I do this individually; I leave others to do as they please. The motion being seconded, a vote was then taken to sustain him, but was lost unanimously."-Times and Seasons, vol. 6, p. 1008.

He was also rejected as Patriarch on the same day.

It is claimed by the church in Utah that they soon after formally expelled him. Possibly they did, but when they represent that his advocacy of lineal priesthood was an after consideration, and that he did not mention the claim until five years later, they greatly err, as we have seen by their own publications that he was advocating this position in St. Louis the next month after the culmination of the breach between him and the people in Nauvoo. One of the chief objections urged against him by Mr. James Kay was that he proposed "organizing the church on the old original plan, according to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon, and New Testament."

He continued to visit the churches, advocating the rights of "Young Joseph," and obtained quite a following. To trace the details of his movements would be uninteresting, as the organization, after several years of troublesome existence, ceased, and the members were scattered.

The following brief but comprehensive statement of the movement under William Smith is from the pen of Elder Jason W. Briggs:-

"In the general disorder and darkness that prevailed from the death of Joseph Smith, here and there appeared a gleam of light and hope, a manifestation of the Spirit that all was not lost, but that truth should yet prevail. Many ran to and fro in the character of prophets, leaders, and shepherds. Among these appeared William Smith, who, in the spring of 1850, called a conference at Covington, Kentucky; from which time he visited many of the branches and scattered saints, teaching "lineal priesthood" as applying to the Presidency of the Church; and thus disposing of all pretenders already arisen, or to arise out [outside] of the posterity of the original President of the Church. This principle, though pretty clearly shown in the books, had been almost entirely overlooked or forgotten by the saints;

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but when their attention was thus called to it, many at once received it as the solution of the question of presidency. William Smith taught also in connection with this, that it was his right, as the only surviving brother of the former President, and uncle and natural guardian of the seed of Joseph, to stand, during the interim, as President pro tem. And in this there seemed a general acquiescence on the part of the saints among whom he labored; and he was so acknowledged, and began to organize, choosing Lyman Wight 1 and Aaron Hook as counselors pro tem., to the President pro tem., and Joseph Wood as Counselor and Spokesman. Many branches, and nearly all the saints in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin were identified with this movement, and among them was enjoyed a large measure of the spiritual gifts.

"During the spring and summer of 1851, Palestine, in Lee County, Illinois, had been designated as a stake, and become the residence of William Smith, Wood, Hook, and others; and the two former had visited most of the branches in Wisconsin, among which was the one at Beloit, Rock County. This branch was originally raised up by the labors and ministry of Jason W Briggs, in 1843, who was their presiding elder at the time of this movement.'" . . . -Life of Joseph the Prophet, by Tullidge, pp. 576, 577.

In the further completion of his organization he chose a quorum of Twelve Apostles, but a majority of them did not accept the appointment. They were:-







1 Evidently Lyman Wight refused to accept this appointment. for he wrote under date of December 26,1851: "I was sent with this company to this place, by Bro. Joseph in his lifetime. Brigham offered to revoke it on his own responsibility, and appoint to me a new mission. Mr. Strang offered to let me go on, provided I would give strict adherence to his mandates. William Smith proffered to receive me as I was, provided I would receive him as president of the Church and Joseph Wood as God's spokesman. For an absolute refusal I was disfellowshiped by all three," etc.-Manuscript.

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In a publication issued by authority of William Smith some time before the April conference at Palestine, Illinois, in 1851, it is stated that William Smith, Joseph Wood, Aaron Hook, and two of the Twelve resided at Palestine, Illinois two of the Twelve at Voree, Wisconsin; and Lyman Wight, and eight of the Twelve in Texas; but that they were all expected to attend the conference to be held at Palestine in April, 1851. Those who were with Lyman Wight in Texas did not respond to the call. Whether the others did or not, we are not informed.


The next movement that we shall mention was that under Lyman Wight, another member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Some have represented him as being a claimant for the position of President of the Church as the successor of Joseph Smith, but this is a mistake. He led a colony to Texas, which continued an organization until and after his death in 1858. He never represented this as the church, but only as a branch of the church. He claimed that he was assigned a mission to Texas by Joseph Smith, and that he was there to prosecute that mission; but claimed no other authority than that which he held by virtue of his ordination to the apostleship and as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He, like William Smith, maintained that "young Joseph" was the legal successor of his father by virtue of the law of lineage; and he further testified, as shown in his biography, that he was present and laid his hands, with President Smith, on the head of a "youth" who was blessed as the successor of Joseph Smith, and that it was then predicted that he was to occupy that office. (See this work, vol. 2, p. 789.)

Lyman Wight lived and died an honorable man, respected well by those who knew him best. The only thing that can be urged against his character is that about 1845 or 1846 he entered into the practice of polygamy, but we have seen no record of any teaching of his upon the subject.

On the occasion of his death the Galveston News, then as now the leading paper of Texas, published the following:-

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"We believe we have omitted to notice the death of Mr. Lyman Wight, who for some thirteen years past has been the leader of a small and independent Mormon settlement in Texas. As far as we have been able to learn, these Mormons have proved themselves to be most excellent citizens of our State, and we are no doubt greatly indebted to the deceased leader for the orderly conduct, sobriety, industry, and enterprise of his colony. Mr. Wight first came to Texas in November, 1845, and has been with his colony on our extreme frontier ever since, moving still farther west as settlements formed around him, thus always being the pioneer of advancing civilization, affording protection against the Indians. He has been the first to settle five new counties, and prepare the way for others. He has at different times built three extensive saw and grist mills," etc.

After the death of Elder Wight the people over whom he presided scattered. A large majority of them became identified with the Reorganization, a few united with the Utah Church, while some stand aloof from all parties.


James J. Strang proved to be quite a skillful leader, and for a time had quite a following. He was comparatively unknown during the life of Joseph Smith, not having been baptized until February 25,1844, but claimed that he was appointed by Joseph Smith to succeed him, and pointed to the fact that the revelations provided that Joseph Smith should appoint his own successor; and as evidence that he was so appointed he produced a letter, which he claimed was written to him by Joseph Smith a short time before the martyrdom. 2 The genuineness of this

2 Nauvoo, June 18, 1844.
My Dear Son:-Your epistle of May 24, proposing the planting a stake of Zion in Wisconsin and the gathering the saints there was duly received, and I, with most of the brethren whose advice I called in, were of opinion that you were deceived by a spirit not of this world, great but not good. Brother Hyrum, however, thought otherwise, and favored the project, not doubting it was of God. I, however, determined to return you an unfavorable answer for the present. But oh, the littleness of man in his best earthly state! Not so the will of the Almighty. God hath ruled it otherwise, and a message from the throne of grace directed

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letter was disputed by many, but strenuously maintained by Mr. Strang's followers. Even now though the organization

me as it hath inspired you, and the faith which thou hast in the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel, hath been repaid to thee a thousandfold, and thou shalt be like unto him; but the flock shall find rest with thee, and God shall reveal to thee his will concerning them.
I have long felt that my present work was almost done, and that I should soon be called to rule a mighty host, but something whispers me it will be in the land of spirits, where the wicked cease from troubling and the bands of the prisoner fall off. My heart yearns for my little ones, but I know God will be a father to them, and I can claim face to face the fulfillment of promises from him who is a covenant-keeping God, and who sweareth and performeth and faileth not to the uttermost.
The wolves are upon the scent, and I am waiting to be offered up, if such be the will of God, knowing that though my visage be more marred than that of any, it will be unscarred and fair when archangels shall place on my brow the double crown of martyr and king in a heavenly world.
In the midst of darkness and boding danger the spirit of Elijah came upon me, and I went away to inquire of God how the church should be saved.
I was upon the hill of the temple. The calm Father of Waters rolled below, changeless and eternal. I beheld a light in the heavens above, and streams of bright light illuminated the firmament varied and beautiful as the rainbow, gentle, yet rapid as the fierce lightning.
The Almighty came from his throne of rest. He clothed himself with light as with a garment. He appeared, and moon and stars went out. The earth dissolved in space. I trod on air and was borne on wings of cherubims. The sweetest strains of heavenly music thrilled in my ear, but the notes were low and sad as though they sounded the requiem of martyred prophets.
I bowed my head to the earth and asked only wisdom and strength for the church. The voice of God answered, My servant Joseph, thou hast been faithful over many things and thy reward is glorious: the crown and scepter are thine and they wait thee. But thou hast sinned in some things, and thy punishment is very bitter. The whirlwind goeth before and its clouds are dark, but rest followeth, and to its days there shall be no end. Study the words of the vision for it tarrieth not. And now behold my servant James J. Strang hath come to thee from far for truth when he knew it not, and hath not rejected it but had faith in thee, the Shepherd and Stone of Israel, and to him shall the gathering of the people be, for he shall plant a stake of Zion in Wisconsin and I will establish it; and there shall my people have peace and rest and shall not be moved, for it shall be established on the prairie on White River, in the lands of Racine and Walworth; and behold my servants James and Aaron shall plant it, for I have given them wisdom, and Daniel shall stand in his lot on the hill beside the river looking down on the prairie, and shall instruct my people and plead with them face to face.
Behold my servant James shall lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes of Zion, and my servant Aaron shall be his counselor, for he hath wisdom in the gospel, and understsandeth the doctrines and erreth not therein.
And I will have a house built unto me there of stone, and there will I show myself to my people by many mighty works, and the name of the

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formed by him has ceased to exist, there are a few who maintain the genuineness of his appointment and the truth of his claims.

Mr. Strang made the further claim that an angel of God appeared unto him at half past five o'clock in the afternoon of June 27,1844, and ordained him to lead the people. This

city shall be called Voree, which is, being interpreted, garden of peace; for there shall my people have peace and rest and wax fat and pleasant in the presence of their enemies.
But I will again stretch out my arm over the river of waters, and on the banks thereof shall the house of my choice be. But now the city of Voree shall be a stronghold of safety to my people, and they that are faithful and obey me I will there give them great prosperity, and such as they have not had before; and unto Voree shall be the gathering of my people, and there shall the oppressed flee for safety, and none shall hurt or molest them.
And by this shall they know that I have spoken it; the people there and the owners of the land shall show kindness to them, for great calamities are coming on the church, and such as have not been, and if they scatter, the ungodly of the world shall swallow them up, but if they gather to my city of Voree, there will I keep them under the shadow of my wings, and the cities from whence my people have been driven shall be purged with a high hand, for I will do it, and my people shall be again restored to their possession; but dark clouds are gathering, for the church is not yet wholly purged.
And now I command my servants, the apostles and priests and elders of the church of the saints, that they communicate and proclaim this my word, to all the saints of God in all the world, that they may be gathered unto and round about the city of Voree and be saved from their enemies, for I will have a people to serve me.
And I command my servant Moses Smith that he go unto the saints with whom he is acquainted, and unto many people, and command them in my name to go unto my city of Voree and gain inheritances therein, and he shall have inheritance therein, for he hath left all for my sake and I will add unto him many fold if he is faithful, for he knows the land and can testify to them that it is very good.
So spake the Almighty God of heaven. Thy duty is made plain, and if thou lackest wisdom ask of God, in whose hands I trust thee and he shall give thee unsparingly, for if evil befall me thou shalt lead the flock to pleasant pastures. God sustain thee. JOSEPH SMITH.
P. S.-Write me soon and keep me advised of your progress from time to time.
{I certify that the above is a true and
Certificate. {compared copy of the original, now
{in my possession. CHAS. J. STRANG.
LANSING, February 3, 1891.
I also testify that I, in company with Charles J. Strang, on the above date, compared the foregoing with the original letter purporting to have been written by Joseph Smith to James J. Strang, and that the foregoing is a verbatim copy. The original is not in the hand writing of Joseph Smith, but was printed with a pen. WILLARD SMITH.
DETROIT, Michigan, Oct. 30, 1896.

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it will be observed was on the same day and about the time that Joseph Smith was killed.

He claimed further to have found by direction some plates known as the plates of Laban from which he translated what is known as the "Book of the Law." This was published in book form and is still extant. Seven witnesses testify to having viewed these plates, and that the kingdom of God was established.

It was probably from this Book of the Law that Elder Strang received his teaching in favor of polygamy, and not, as many have supposed, from the teaching and practice of the church at Nauvoo prior to the death of Joseph Smith.

It is certain that Strang and his colleagues were emphatically opposed to polygamy for over three years after the death of Joseph Smith; nor was the practice known among them until about 1848 or 1849. At a conference held by them August 7-10, 1846, at Kirtland, Ohio, among other resolutions they adopted the following:-

"Resolved unanimously. That we utterly disclaim the whole system of polygamy known as the spiritual wife system lately set up in Nauvoo, by the apostates who claim the authority there, and will neither practice such things nor hold any fellowship with those that teach or practice such things."-Voree Herald, September, 1846.

This was confirmed at a General Conference held at Voree, Wisconsin, October 6-19, as the following will show:-

"The proceedings of the special conference, at Kirtland, of August 6, 7, 8, and 9, were presented by President Strang.

"On motion of General Bennett, resolved unanimously, that this General Conference cordially approve of the reorganization of the stake of Kirtland, and of the proceedings of its special conference."-Voree Herald, October, 1846.

In Zion's Reveille for July 22,1847, is an article from the pen of the editor, James J. Strang, entitled: "Polygamy not Possible in a Free Government."

In the same publication for August 5, 1847, there is an article from the pen of John E. Page from which we extract the following:-

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"TO THE SAINTS; Greeting:-

"Our eyes and ears are sometimes saluted with communications from abroad that there are persons who profess to be adherents to President J. J. Strang, who are privately teaching and some practicing what is called the 'western camp doctrine,' or, in other words, 'spiritual wifery' or polygamy. We also hear that there are some persons who do President Strang the injustice to say that he justifies the principle above stated.

"This is to say emphatically, and we mean just what we say, and if our course in the future does not prove us true in this matter then let that execration rest on us that is due to such a course of conduct, that we believe ourself to be as much ingratiated into the confidence of President Strang as any other man. (This we say without egotism, merely to discharge a moral duty.)

"We have talked hours, yea, even days with President Strang on the subject of the temporal and moral condition and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we find to our utmost satisfaction that he does not believe in or cherish the doctrine of polygamy in any manner, shape, or form imaginable whatever."-Zion's Reveille, Aug. 5, 1847, vol. 2, p. 83.

The same publication for August 12, 1847, contains a card from James J. Strang relating to the above, reading as follows:-

"Elder John E. Page has referred me to an article in No. 20 addressed 'To the Saints; Greeting.' In the remarks he has there made he has justly and truly represented my sentiments. I am only astonished that it should be necessary to state them at all. Within three years I have, in the work of the ministry, traveled over sixteen thousand miles, visited all the States north of the Carolinas but three, most of them several times, preached to large congregations in all the principal cities and in most of the large branches in the country. And I have uniformly and most distinctly discarded and declared heretical the so called 'spiritual wife system' and everything connected therewith. It is a well-known fact that several men of talent and influence have

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separated from me and from the Church of God, merely because I would not in any manner countenance such a doctrine. One of them, Reuben Miller, has, in a pamphlet extensively circulated, given as a reason for separating from the church and becoming a Brighamite that I did not believe in the 'spiritual wife system.' I have recently refused to ordain a man to a high and responsible office, although a warm personal friend, and after he had been sustained by the unanimous vote of a General Conference, for no other reason than that it was discovered that he believed in 'spiritual wifery.' I now say distinctly, and I defy contradiction, that the man or woman does not exist on earth or under the earth who ever heard me say one word, or saw me do one act, savoring in the least of spiritual wifery, or any of the attending abominations. My opinions on this subject are unchanged, and I regard them as unchangeable. They are established on a full consideration of ALL the Scriptures, both ancient and modern, and the discipline of the church SHALL conform thereto. But I do not profess to be omniscient, and if any are found in this fault, not in my presence, it is necessary that those who know the facts present them to the proper council and attend to it. If, like many I know of, when a brother finds others in this sin he renounces the prophet and denies the faith, or like others STANDS STILL, HIS damnation is sure. I know little difference between the heresy in the one case or the other.

"JAMES J. STRANG, President of the Church.

"VOREE, August 6, 1847."

-Zion's Reveille, August 12, 1847, vol. 2, p. 88.

The October conference minutes for 1847 contain the following entries:-

"James M. Adams, apostle, excommunicated for apostasy and believing the spiritual wife system. Delivered over to the buffetings of Satan till he repent. And the whole congregation lifted their hands against him.

"Benjamin C. Ellsworth, excommunicated for teaching and practicing the spiritual wife system. Delivered over to the buffetings of Satan till the day of the Lord. And the

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whole congregation lifted their hands against him."-Gospel Herald, Oct. 14, 1847, vol. 2, p. 122.

On December 23, 1847, J. W. Crane was tried before the First Presidency, J. J. Strang being present, and convicted under nine counts, the third being: "Heresy; teaching that it is right to plunder unbelievers; three witnesses. Teaching that saints may have other women than one wife; five witnesses."-Gospel Herald, vol. 2, p. 192.

These extracts show conclusively that whatever Strang may have subsequently taught on this subject, he did not receive the doctrine until more than three and a half years after the death of Joseph Smith.

Mr. Strang was willing to publicly discuss the issues between himself and the Brighamites, but they declined to do so. On August 30, 1846, he very respectfully invited John Taylor and Orson Hyde to canvass the issues, but they very summarily dismissed the challenge. The original letter, with answer thereon, is now before us. 3

Mr. Strang settled, according to the so-called letter of appointment, in Wisconsin, and built up a city which he called Voree, at a place now known as Spring Prairie, in Walworth County. He organized the church with himself as President. Aaron Smith and George J. Adams are mentioned

3 PHILADELPHIA, August 30, l846.
Mess. J. Taylor and Orson Hyde:-Knowing from your published proceedings, as well as otherwise, that you and others associated with you, claim the right, and are attempting to use the power of dictating all the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ, in all the world; not under the direction of the First Presidency thereof, but independently, I suggest to you the propriety of your publicly showing by what means you are authorized to act as leaders to said church, and offer to publicly discuss that question with you in this city or any other place that will suit your convenience. Your answer to this, left at the house of Jacob Gibson, N. E. corner of Third and Dock Street, near the Post Office, will receive immediate attention. Most respectfully,
The following answer is written on the same sheet of paper:-
Sir:-After Lucifer was cut off, and thrust down to hell, we have no knowledge that God ever condescended to investigate the subject or right of authority with him. Your case has been disposed of by the authorities of the church. Being satisfied with our own power and calling, we have no disposition to ask from whence yours came.

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at different times as his counselors, but we have not been able to obtain the names of all the leading officers.

At their General Conference held at Voree, Wisconsin, April 6,1846, the following action was taken regarding the Twelve:-

"It was unanimously resolved:-

"1. That we sustain and uphold Elder John E. Page by our faith and prayers and confidence as one of the Twelve.

"2. That we cordially and affectionately invite Elder William Smith and Wilford Woodruff to take their places in the church as members of the Quorum of the Twelve.

"3. That Elder Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, John Taylor, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and Lyman Wight be left to the ordinary course of discipline."-Voree Herald, June, 1846.

At the same conference a High Council was formed for the trial of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Willard Richards, and George A. Smith. For some reason, not stated, the names of Orson Pratt and Lyman Wight were not included in the charges. The seven tried were found guilty-Young, Kimball, and Hyde of all the charges, and the other four of "the principal part of them." The charges were for "conspiracy to overthrow the order of the church," "usurpation," "tyrannous administration," "teaching false doctrine," and "blasphemy," with a separate charge against Orson Hyde for "falsely pretending to a revelation from God." The penalty was as follows:-

"After a full hearing, and the remarks of six members of the council, President Strang pronounced the unanimous judgment of the council that Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Willard Richards, and George A. Smith, be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan in the flesh.

"The proceedings of the High Council in the premises were submitted to the conference and unanimously approved."-Voree Herald, April, 1846.

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John C. Bennett was prominently connected with Mr. Strang for a time, and it was claimed by some that Joseph Smith had intrusted to Mr. Bennett certain documents to be held in trust until after Joseph's death. He was expelled from this organization October 8,1847, at a General Conference held at Voree.

In their records William Marks is mentioned at different times; first as one of the High Council, second as Bishop, and third as a member of the Presidency. Whether he accepted all these offices we do not know. If he did, of the extent to which he officiated in them we are not informed; but he evidently did not remain with Mr. Strang very long.

Quite a number of men were ordained to the office of apostle, but so many of them remained with Mr. Strang for so short a time that changes in this quorum were quite frequent. We notice in this capacity the names of William Smith, William E. McLellin, John E. Page, Ira J. Patten, Moses Smith, C. W. Appleton, A. N. Hosmer, Samuel Bennett, Samuel Graham, Phineas Wright, James Blakeslee, Ebenezer Page, Jehiel Savage, L. D. Hickey, Warren Post, Edward Preston, H. P. Brown, A. W. Prindle, Edward Chidister, L. D. Tubbs, Isaac Pierce, James Hutchins, James M. Adams, Lester Brooks, John Greenhow, B. C. Ellsworth.

William Smith for a time favored Mr. Strang, and was acknowledged as Patriarch, as well as one of the Twelve; but from what we can learn their association was not very intimate nor of long duration. He was expelled October 8, 1847.

Some of these men in accepting Mr. Strang evidently did not understand that his occupancy as President of the Church was to be permanent. Mr. Strang's adherents must generally have expected that Joseph Smith, the son of the Martyr, would sometime fill an important place in the church, and that the revelations of God so taught. This is evident from the following resolution adopted at their Annual Conference held at Voree, Wisconsin, in April, 1849:-

"On motion, resolved, unanimously, that we give our prayers daily for Joseph, the son of Joseph, that he may be

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raised up of God to fill the station to which he has been called by prophecy."-Gospel Herald, vol. 4, p. 16.

The Voree Herald was first issued at Voree, Wisconsin, January, 1846, as the official organ of Mr. J. J Strang. It was published under this title until November, 1846, when it assumed the name of Zion's Reveille and continued as such until September 23, 1847, when it appeared under the name of Gospel Herald, maintaining under all these titles its character as an organ of the church. It was continued at least until June 6,1850, which is the last number we have seen.

After being in Voree a few years Mr. Strang removed his headquarters to Beaver Island, one of the Manitou group, in Lake Michigan, where he built the city of St. James. Here a paper called the Northern Islander was published by Cooper and Chidister in the interest of Strang's organization.

Mr. Strang made his home the remainder of his life at St. James. The following is from volume 17 of "Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections":-

"The community at Voree grew steadily under Strang's energetic leadership, but in 1846 he determined to plant a colony on the Lake Michigan archipelago, and in the following year he visited Beaver Island at the head of a prospecting party. In the face of the resistance of the few traders already in possession, and amid many hardships, they thoroughly explored it and decided to settle there. This is the largest of the many islands scattered thickly through the northeastern extremity of Lake Michigan, divided into three groups, known by the names of Manitou, Fox, and Beaver, and organized into the county of Manitou by the State of Michigan. It is fifteen miles in length by six in width, contains several thousand acres of fertile and well watered lands, and has one of the finest natural harbors upon the chain of great lakes. These islands now contain an isolated community of small farmers, woodcutters, traders, and fishermen, are visited only irregularly by passing vessels, and are chiefly known as valuable fishing stations. Thirty-five years ago they were sparsely inhabited by Indians and

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Indian traders, and were camped upon occasionally by fishing parties; but little or nothing else was known of them even at the principal lake ports. Strang believed that there he could establish his church on a secure temporal foundation, and could escape that hostility of Gentile neighbors which had proved so fatal to Smith's settlements at the far west and Nauvoo. Convenient visions, duly communicated to the faithful for their edification and guidance, then ordered him not merely to gather his people at Voree, but to also take them to 'a land amid wide waters and covered with large timber, with a deep, broad bay on one side of it.' 4 There was accordingly some emigration from Wisconsin to Beaver Island in 1847-48, but it acquired considerable proportions in 1849-50, and in the latter year the headquarters of the Primitive Mormons were removed from Voree to the new village at Beaver Harbor, to which the name of St. James had been given in honor of its founder. The Voree Herald was then succeeded by the Northern Islander, an exceedingly creditable specimen of backwoods journalism. The communistic principle was abandoned, and the saints became the owners of their own homesteads. In July, 1850, the government of the church was thoroughly reorganized 'by the union of church and state,' and the formation of a kingdom, with Strang as king. Precisely the nature of his claim to the royal title is thus stated by one of the most.

4 A portion of the vision furnishing authority for the move to Beaver Island is as follows: "1. I, James J. Strang, was at Elizabeth, on the Monongahela River, on the twenty-fifth day of August, in the year eighteen hundred and forty-six, and had a vision, and lo, I beheld a land amidst wide waters, and covered with large timber, with a deep, broad bay on one side of it; and I wandered over it upon little hills, and among rich valleys where the air was pure and serene, and the unfolding foliage, with its fragrant shades, attracted me till I wandered to bright clear waters scarcely ruffled by the breeze. And Indians in canoes glided about, and caught fish and sat down to eat, and they gathered in assemblies and men taught words of truth and ways of holiness, and they harkened, and I beheld wonders there.
"2. And one came near unto me, and I said, What meaneth this? And he answered and said, Behold, here shall God establish his people, even the sons of Joseph, on an everlasting foundation; and from thence shall the gospel of the kingdom go unto the tribes, and they shall not any more be despised; for the nation that set their feet upon their necks will he cut off, that they be no more a people."-Revelations of James J. Strang, p. 11.

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intelligent of his followers, Wingfield Watson, who still lives at Boyne, Charlevoix County, Michigan:-

"'Mr. Strang did claim to be a king only to the Mormon people, and upon the same principles, and the same only, upon which Moses, Melchisedec, Elijah, Elisha, Noah, Enoch, Peter, Joseph Smith, 5 and all the great and leading prophets of God claimed that office since the world began; namely, by an appointment by revelation and an ordination under the hands of angels; and as none of those persons ever proposed in any way to be king only to those who, after a proper investigation of his claims and character, chose to receive him as such, so it was with Mr. Strang. By virtue of this ordination he claimed to hold the conjoint, kingly, prophetic and apostolic office held by all the above-mentioned personages."?-Sketch of James Jesse Strang and the Mormon Kingdom on Beaver Island, pp. 6, 7.

In the fall of 1854 Mr. Strang was elected to the Michigan Legislature to represent the organized counties of Newaygo, Emmet, Oceana, Cheboygan, and Grand Traverse, and the unorganized counties of Antrim, Wexford, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Leelanaw, Presque Isle, Crawford, Alpena, Oscoda, Montmorency, Alcona, Otsego, Ogemaw, Roscommon, and Iosco. He took the oath of office on January 3, 1855, and made quite a good record for ability. Of his election and incidents connected therewith and of his subsequent election, the work quoted above states:-

"In 1852 the king became a legislator. The score of new counties of the northwestern quarter of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan formed at that time what was known as the Newaygo district. It was of immense extent, and its few centers of settlement were widely scattered. The result was that five legislative candidates were voted for, the Mormons solidly supporting Strang, who received a very decided plurality. An attempt was made to arrest him on some charge and thus keep him away from Lansing, but he used his privilege as a legislator to escape that snare.

5 We have seen no evidence that these parties claimed the title of king

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Next his seat was contested on constitutional and other grounds. He showed skill in the management of his own case in this instance, made a forcible speech before the House, and was admitted by a vote of 49 to 11. In 1854 he was reëlected, and this time he took his seat without resistance, thus serving two terms as a member of the State House of Representatives. King Strang also dabbled in politics a little, coöperating in the main with the Democrats, who were at that time in power in Michigan. 'The Mormon vote' he controlled absolutely, and used it to secure advantages for his community and to make bargains that would help on his schemes of personal or church advancement. In one or two doubtful State contests the action of the islanders under his leadership became a matter of solicitude to party managers, and one or two trips were made to St. James on political errands by that now veteran negotiator, John E. Harmon. Strang did not lack for political ambition. While at Lansing he broached a scheme for subdividing Michigan, which embodied a plan for the erection of a new Mormon territory. This, of course, received no encouragement, and then he applied to Robert McClelland, of Michigan, who was then Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Pierce, for an appointment as Governor of Utah, promising that his administration should be attended by the uprooting of Brighamite Mormonism in the Salt Lake Valley."-Sketch of James Jesse Strang and the Mormon Kingdom on Beaver Island, pp. 10, 11.

On June 16,1856, he received wounds which culminated in his death. It is thought by some that he was the victim of a conspiracy. A United States vessel landed at St. James, and one of the officers went to Mr. Strang's house and invited him to visit the vessel. As they approached the vessel two of Strang's followers, Alexander Wentworth and Thomas Bedford, stepped up behind him and shot him. The assassins were taken on board the vessel and escaped. They were never punished. Mr. Strang was removed to Voree, Wisconsin, where he died on July 9,1856.

The following published account is perhaps correct:-

"The end of King Strang's reign came in 1856. Externally

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the affairs of the 'kingdom' were then at their zenith, but serious internal troubles had arisen. Polygamy had proved a source of discontent, and gave excuse for revolt against Strang's rigid discipline in small matters. Jealousies also sprang up at times between him and the more intelligent of his disciples. Soon after the occupation of Beaver Island, the most effective of his preachers, a strolling actor named George J. Adams, became insubordinate and was excommunicated. He failed in an attempt to organize a revolt and joined the Gentiles: he made several futile attempts to break up the new settlement, but finally gave up the contest. Later, the most capable of Strang's followers, an educated Baltimorean named Dr. H. D. McCulloch, became disaffected, and he successfully stimulated the hostility to the King both on Beaver Island and along the shore, until it bore tragic fruit. Two men named Bedford and Wentworth had been subjected to public discipline. One of them had been severely whipped, and, as he believed, by Strang's orders, although this was denied. They were eager for revenge, and determined to kill the Mormon leader whenever it could be done with any hope of escaping the fury of his followers. The result was thus narrated in the columns of the Northern Islander of June 20, 1856:-

"'Murderous Assault.-On Monday last the United States steamer Michigan entered this harbor at about one o'clock p. m. and was visited by the inhabitants promiscuously during the afternoon. About seven o'clock Capt. McBlair sent a messenger (Alex. St. Barnard, the pilot), to Mr. Strang requesting him to visit him on board. Mr. Strang immediately accompanied the messenger, and just as they were stepping on the bridge leading to the pier, in front of F. Johnson and Company's store, two assassins approached in the rear, unobserved by either of them, and fired upon Mr. Strang with pistols. The first shot took effect upon the left side of the head, entering a little back of the top of the ear, and, rebounding, passed out near the top of the head. This shot, fired from a horse pistol, brought him down, and he fell on the left side so that he saw the assassins as they fired the second and third shots from a revolver, both taking

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effect upon his person; one just below the temple, on the right side of the face, and lodged in the cheek bone; the other on the left side of the spine, near the tenth rib, followed the rib about two inches and a half and lodged. Mr. Strang recognized in the persons of the assassins Thomas Bedford and Alexander Wentworth. Wentworth had a revolver and Bedford a horse pistol, with which he struck him over the head and face while lying on the ground. The assassins immediately fled on board the United States steamer, with pistols in hand, claiming her protection. The assault was committed in view of several of the officers and crew from the deck of the steamer, also of Dr. H. D. McCulloch, F. Johnson, and others, and no effort was made to stop it. Mr. Strang was taken up by a few friends and some of the officers of the boat and carried to the house of Messrs. Prindles, where the surgeon of the steamer made an examination of his wounds and declared recovery hopeless. Process was taken out for the apprehension of the assassins, and the sheriff of the county called on Captain McBlair for their delivery. The Captain refused to give them up, saying that he would take them to Mackinac and deliver them into the hands of the civil authorities of the State there. The steamer left the next day, carrying off all the persons supposed to be implicated in the affair, thus affording military protection to murderers and overthrowing the sovereignty of civil law.'

"All the parties suspected of any share in the homicide were taken to Mackinac on the Michigan, and were there enthusiastically received by the people and speedily discharged from nominal custody. Strang was removed in a few days to Voree, where he died on July 9. He was buried at Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, and his family, which consisted of five wives and twelve children, lived in that neighborhood for a short time, but finally scattered. Shortly after his removal from St. James a mob of angry fishermen and others descended upon the Mormon settlement, burned the temple, sacked the 'royal palace,' and drove the subjects of the fallen monarch from the islands in hot haste. The dispersion of the Beaver Island Mormons was complete.

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and they have since ceased to profess any organized existence. The men (or their successors) who expelled the saints are still in possession of the fruits of conquest. They dwell in the abandoned homes, substantial cabins of hewn logs, vine-clad and surrounded by little gardens. The office of the Northern Islander has become a boarding house, and is now the 'best hotel' in St. James. The island nomenclature alone preserves the traditions of the fallen kingdom. The village on Beaver Harbor is still St. James. The excellent road which leads into the interior is the King's highway. The largest of the inland lakes is called Galilee, and a trout brook which winds through a ravine near the eastern shore is the Jordan. The Mormon tabernacle is a mere mound of charred ruins; Catholicism has become the dominant religion of the island, and is represented by a handsome chapel."-Sketch of James Jesse Strang and the Mormon Kingdom on Beaver Island, pp. 11-13.

Since their expulsion most of them have lost faith in Strang's theories and united with other organizations, but a few yet retain confidence in his claims. The following conclusions of his son, Charles J. Strang, we commend to a careful consideration:-

"LANSING Michigan, July 18, 1882.

"Editor Herald:-Concerning James J. Strang's claim as successor to Joseph Smith, which is urged from time to time by certain of the faithful, permit me to give through your paper a brief statement of the matter as it looks to me.

"Some time ago I was permitted to see what purported to be the original letter of appointment, and there is written below the signature a postscript which is not given in any printed copy of the letter I ever saw. I carefully compared the whole letter with the copy printed in the Diamond, a gospel tract, and found it a true copy except the postscript, which was as follows: 'P. S.-Write me soon and keep me advised of your progress from time to time.' Without this the letter may be easily construed to mean just what was claimed for it, but this, it seems to me, puts the whole matter in a different light. In the very first sentence of the letter I would understand that Strang had written to Smith

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'proposing the planting a stake of Zion in Wisconsin;' and this letter was a reply to that proposal. And it is equally clear to me that Smith would not have made a request for reports of progress from time to time if he had known he was going to be martyred and the appointment was not to go into effect until his death.

"The point I wish to make is this: Strang was appointed just as the letter reads as a whole, to establish a 'stake of Zion,' or a branch of the main church, to which he was subject and must make report, and with his death or removal that branch would be without a head until a new one could be appointed by the President of the central or mother church. But Smith's death occurring so suddenly, and before the letter had been made public, gave Strang an opportunity, which he was shrewd enough to grasp, to undertake to lead the whole church. How well he succeeded is a matter of history.

"His removal from Voree was one of the primary causes of his fall, for in the words of the vision, 'There shall my people have peace and rest, and shall not be moved.' So far as I have been able to learn the history of the church at Voree, before any other scheme was advanced, it had peace, and rest, and prosperity. But with the removal to Beaver Island, Strang and his followers passed from the dominion of primitive Mormonism into a little kingdom of their own, and thereby Strang became supreme ruler of the whole kingdom, instead of head of simply a branch.

"Bearing indirectly on this subject is another item of some importance. In 1846, at Voree, Strang pronounced a curse upon certain ministers, a portion of which I here quote: 'As for those who, as gospel ministers, have assumed to teach such damning, soul destroying doctrines (that deceit, fraud, lying, perjury, plundering unbelievers, polygamy, fornication, and adultery are required by the command of God in the upbuilding of his kingdom) in the name of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, may their bones rot in the living tomb of their flesh; may their flesh generate from its own corruptions a loathesome [loathsome] life for others; may their blood swarm a leprous life of motelike ghastly corruption,

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feeding on flowing life, generating chilling agues and burning fevers. . . . And I prayed unto God, saying, Oh, God, curse them not, and let me not raise my voice against my fellows! But he said, Curse, curse, curse! I will altogether curse, until they return to me, for they have perverted my law and deceived my servants; unto the Destroyer shalt thou deliver them, for their prayer is sin.'

"Yet later on Strang fell under this very curse-in the matter of polygamy if nothing else.

"Permit me also to say in this connection that all that has been said to his credit as a shrewd, intelligent, capable man, can be multiplied a hundred times without flattery; for all who knew him personally have only the highest praise of his extraordinary ability, and his perseverance and success in whatever he undertook to accomplish. The press notices published in your paper for June 1 could be multiplied many times without exhausting the number or quality.


-The Saints' Herald, vol. 29, pp. 237, 238.


Charles B. Thompson, who subsequently gained quite a following, united with the church some time prior to 1835, and about that time began preaching. He seems to have been quite successful, and his ministry attended with much spiritual power. A letter from him written from Batavia, New York, February 2, 1841, may be found in this work, volume 2, page 522. About this time he wrote quite an able defense of the Book of Mormon which was published in book form, some copies of which are still extant.

After the death of Joseph Smith he accepted the claims of J. J. Strang. In the Voree Herald for August, 1846, there is a poem from his pen strongly favoring Strang's claims.

Subsequently he claimed that on January 1, 1848, he received a communication by revelation in which he was informed that the church was rejected of God on June 27, 1844, and that it had no power after its rejection to reorganize itself, but that the priesthood having been conferred prior to the forming of church organization, it was not

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dependent upon the church, and hence continued with those holding it after church rejection. In a proclamation issued from St. Louis, Missouri, January 1, 1848, he declared that "the Lord will have no more church organization, until after the redemption of Zion."

He claimed to be authorized and directed to organize "Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion." In this organization there were orders and quorums provided for too numerous and complicated for special mention.

He published several proclamations. The first was addressed to the nations, in which he claimed to be Ephraim "born again among the Gentiles," thus proclaiming the doctrine of transmigration of souls. In the second proclamation he proclaimed himself "Baneemy, Patriarch of Zion," and addressed himself "to all the scattered members of the priesthood."

The third proclamation represents himself as "the Patriarch and Apostle of the Free and Accepted Order of Baneemy and Fraternity of the Sons of Zion," and is addressed to kings, princes, presidents, governors, rulers, etc.

The fourth proclamation is "By the Chief Teacher of the Preparatory Department of Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion" and addressed "to all the children of Zion, and remnant of the priesthood."

These proclamations, all issued from St. Louis, Missouri, at various dates on and before April 1,1850, together with revelations, covenants, laws, etc., were published in book form at Preparation, Iowa, in 1857.

This book contains the "testimony of the three Chief Evangelical Pastoral Apostles of the restitution of all things," signed Charles B. Thompson, Rowland Cobb, Guy C. Barnum. Also the "testimony of the Twelve Apostles of Ephraim," signed







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On April 9,1853, a revelation appointing Richard Stevens, William Marks, and Harvey Childs a locating committee, "to search out a proper location on the frontier, which may serve as a gate of entrance into the land of Ephraim," etc., was presented by Elder Thompson. Whether these men acted in this capacity or not, we have not been informed, but in some way a place was selected in Monona County, Iowa, on the Soldier River, and a city laid out called Preparation, and there this order, commonly known as Baneemyites, gathered, and for a time drew quite a following from the scattered membership of the church.

About 1855 a weekly family newspaper was published called Preparation News and Ephraim's Messenger, Charles B. Thompson proprietor, Charles B. Thompson and Andrew G. Jackson editors, Daniel W. Butts printer. We do not know just how long this continued, but the last number we have seen is September 19, 1855. Later a weekly periodical known as Western Nucleus and Democratic Echo, devoted to politics, science, arts, literature, and general intelligence, was published at Preparation; Thompson and Butts editors and proprietors, A. G. Jackson corresponding editor. The only three numbers that we have seen were issued in 1857.

Dissatisfaction became quite prevalent among them in consequence of some system of holding all property in common. Many separated from them and threats of violence were indulged in by the dissenters. This called forth an explanation from Thompson and his followers and a long communication in reply was published in the News and Messenger for June 13, 1855, from which we make the following extracts:-

"This common treasury is supplied from the surplus productions of the four patriarchal families; whatever is needed for the support and comfort of the separate families is deposited in the common treasury, as a sacred and holy oblation and sacrifice, for the purpose of purchasing additional lands and implements of husbandry, and then organize additional families from amongst the poor and desolate inhabitants of the earth, and make them in all respects as free and independent as the other families are, who produced these

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things for them, and who sacrificed them voluntarily for the benefit of establishing the Lord's poor; and thus we design to fulfill the saying of Jesus, that the poor have the gospel preached to them, not in form and theory only, but it will be the gospel of good news of great joy; for it will be an invitation of a return to the Father's house, where there is bread and to spare, it will be the practical realization of the spirit and design of the gospel of Jesus Christ; it will be the exemplification of the great practical maxim taught by the Son of God, when he said, (Matthew 7:12,) 'Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men [should] do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.'

"And this is what the people of Preparation have done; those who were a little better off than others have sacrificed in common with those who had but little; all is now merged into one common treasury, and they are now equal in earthly things; none, according to the spirit of brotherly kindness and love, of equality and benevolence, calls anything his own, not in the fraternity of the Presbytery, but all are willing to share and enjoy all things, produced by united industry on common and on equal terms. This is the spirit and practical operation of the work; but in law every individual has so much real interest deposited in the common treasury, and which the law of the land secures to him, whatever that amount may be; and this is positive proof that the work is voluntary; and those who have left us, have taken their interest they had here away, and they have therefore no further claim upon us. Every individual who ever joined the Presbytery was well instructed in the design of the work and the conditions and requisitions for membership. Every individual relinquishes morally all claim to all he has, according to the spirit of the work, and by his free and voluntary consent, he does not claim anything as his own; just as it was in the days of the apostles, of which we read in Acts fourth chapter, thirty second verse, as follows: 'And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and [of] one soul: neither said any of them that aught [ought] of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had

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all things common.' This is exactly what we want to do, to establish a brotherhood of perfect liberty and equality, having everything in common, that none may suffer. And though the title of the property is in law vested in the individual who owns it legally out of the Presbytery, yet in the Presbytery he renounces, upon moral honor and moral honesty, all claim to exclusive right to such property; but they regard it alike as their common inheritance, a common home, where the curse of poverty and riches shall not be known. All understand it to be a perpetual order, that is never to be broken up, but to remain an everlasting home for the dwellers therein, and to be a place of refuge and redemption from starvation and slavery for the honest poor, whose condition is getting worse from day to day. No one has therefore any right to leave the Presbytery without making proper settlement with us according to moral honor, common justice, and according to prior agreement of our solemn covenants and solemn bonds. And here is the clue to the difficulties with those who have left us; when they grew tired of the work, they were found unwilling to settle on honorable and just terms. Some went off and did not settle at all, and then reported that we had robbed them. Others who never had any property at all, went and did the same. Others drew a portion of their property, and went off without the other portion, intending to return to us after a time; but they subsequently drew it all out, and turned enemies with the rest. Again others settled up fairly, to all appearance well satisfied; but some of them have since then made common cause with the rest against us."-Preparation News and Ephraim's Messenger, June 13,1855.

This was signed by Charles B. Thompson, Chief Steward of the Lord's House; Andrew G. Jackson, Clerk; Samuel Scott, Andrew Hall, and Guy C. Barnum, Chief Patriarchs.

Family Patriarchs: Hugh Lytle, Job V. Barnum, John Thomas, F. D. Winegar. Heads of families: Rowland Cobb, George Warner, S. Blackman, Orrin Butts, Henry Brooke, E. Johnson, A. Clements, Thomas Lewis, H. C. Hoyt, C. C. Perrin, Silas Wilcox, George Rarick, John R. McIntyre, Jacob Paden, Jebiel Savage, J. Outhouse. Single

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males: William Swett, Nels Turner, L. C. Cottingham, A. Haines, G. R. Outhouse, Den. W. Butts, Daniel W. Butts, Iven Lytle, George M. Scott, J. M. Durphy, Isaac Swett, John Lytle. Single females: J. V. V. Scott, S. Gordon, S. G. Canfield, Matilda Lane, M. J. Anderson, C. M. Lane, M. M. Outhouse, C A. Cooley, A. E. Thompson, A. Winegar, N. E. Younger, T. M. Butts.

It seems, however, that the dissatisfaction continued to grow, as some of the parties who signed the above soon after withdrew from the association. The following was published in the News and Messenger for August 1, 1855:-

"We, the undersigned, members of 'Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion,' have left the fraternity of Preparation, not because that our faith in the work has at all abated, or that we intend to apostatize from the original principles of the work, but on account of believing that the system of separate and single family order is best adapted to our present sentiments and inclinations, but in all other respects, we deem ourselves as much in the faith as heretofore.

"Hugh Lytle, J. R. McIntyre, F. D. Winegar, John Outhouse, John Thomas, Andrew Hall, Jacob Paden, A. Clements, J. M. Outhouse, Henry Brooke."-Preparation News and Ephraim's Messenger, August 1, 1855.

"The History of Western Iowa," published by Western Publishing Company, Sioux City, Iowa, 1882, has this to say of this movement:-

"In 1854 he brought some fifty or sixty families, and preëmpted several thousand acres of the best land to be found in the region. Some of the land he subsequently entered. Thompson regulated and controlled all the affairs of the colony, both temporal and spiritual, pretending that he had authority to do so under the direction of a spirit which he called Baneemy. Among other assumptions, he pretended that he was the veritable Ephraim of the Scriptures, and directed his people to call him Father Ephraim. A strict compliance with his teachings divested his followers of all worldly care, and prepared them for the further essential doctrine of his religion, that in order to obtain the kingdom,

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they must sacrifice all their earthly possessions. They accordingly conveyed to him all their lands and other property, including even their wearing apparel, and the right to their services.

"Under this arrangement, 'Father Ephraim' and Baneemyism progressed swimmingly, until the autumn of 1855, when a little rebellion occurred under the leadership of an elder named Hugh Lytle, who, with some twenty of them, began a suit in the courts for the recovery of their property, but they failed, and the matter was subsequently compromised by the Lytle party receiving some of their property and withdrawing from the society.

"The remainder adhered to Thompson without serious difficulty until the autumn of 1858. During the summer of that year most of the male adults of the society were absent in other States, preaching the doctrines of Baneemyism to the Gentiles. Thompson, who arrogated to himself the title of 'Chief Steward of the Lord,' took advantage of their absence to convey all the realty to his wife, Catharine [Catherine]Thompson, and to one Guy C. Barnum, reserving only forty acres as a homestead for himself. His disciples, hearing of this transaction, returned and immediately called on 'Father Ephraim' for restitution. Being unable to obtain a satisfactory adjustment of the matter, they notified him that on a stated day he would be expected to meet them in Preparation to make settlement.

"The 'Chief Steward of the Lord,' and 'Assistant Steward of the Lord,' Barnum, had not sufficient courage to 'face the music,' however, and postponed their visit to Preparation until the day after the one appointed, doubtless thinking that the angry crowd would have become dispersed by that time. On the way they were met, about a mile from the village, by a young woman who had not yet lost confidence in 'Father Ephraim' and Baneemyism, and who informed them that the people were still congregated at Preparation, and would hang him on sight; which information had the effect on 'Father Ephraim' it was well calculated to have, especially as at about that moment of time, men on horseback were observed coming from Preparation at full speed,

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and heading in all earnestness in the direction of the Chief Steward and Assistant. Springing from the wagon in which they were seated, and unharnessing their horses, the two Stewards hurriedly sprang upon the backs of the animals, and the chase, which ensued, was of an exciting and highly interesting character. After a lively race of fifteen miles, across prairies and over creeks and ravines, the 'Father' and the 'Assistant Father,' arrived safely in Onawa, where they were given protection by the citizens.

"Thompson went from Onawa to St. Louis, and Barnum remained in Onawa until the following spring, removing thence to Nebraska, where he, in course of time, became a prominent citizen. Thompson subsequently attempted to found another similar religious society, but was unsuccessful, and next turned his attention to publishing a book on the 'Origin of the Black and Mixed Races,' which book he pretended to translate largely from the Hebrew and Greek languages, which, it is said, he in reality knew nothing about. The last heard of him by his former followers in Monona, was to the effect that he was in Philadelphia in destitute circumstances. After his flight from Preparation, his family was sent to him at Onawa, his followers (?) dividing the personal property among themselves, each taking such of his own property as he could identify. An action in chancery was immediately begun to set aside the conveyances of real estate, which litigation lingered in the courts for eight years, or until December, 1866, when the conveyances were all declared to be fraudulent, and were set aside, the Supreme Court of Iowa holding that Thompson held the property only as a trustee. The property was sold under an order of the court, and the proceeds were divided among the original contributors in ratio to the amount contributed by each. Of the sixty families brought to Monona by Thompson-to the settlement at Preparation-only three or four remain-to such an inglorious termination was Baneemyism destined to attain."-History of Western Iowa, pp. 245-247.

We cannot vouch for the correctness of all the details of the above extract, but give it for what it may be worth.

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Charles B. Thompson was the first county judge of Monona County, Guy C. Barnum treasurer, Hugh Lytle clerk, and Homer C. Hoyt sheriff.

Though the county seat was never located there, the first business of the county was transacted at Preparation. The county was organized in 1854.

In August, 1860, Mr. Thompson published at St. Louis, Missouri, the first number of the Nachashlogian, in which he defended negro slavery on the grounds that "the negro race are descendants, by natural generation, from the Nachash, (which name is erroneously rendered 'serpent,' in the first verse of the third chapter of Genesis,) who was the instrument used by the Evil Spirit in effecting the fall of Adam, and who is shown to have a terrigenous soul and species of the human genera, inasmuch as he was created more wise than all the brute kingdom, but inferior to Adam. Hence his posterity, the negro race, are, jure divino, de facto the natural subjects and slaves of the white race, thus fully establishing the moral right of the white race, jure humano, either to make of negroes individual property, as they are in the Southern States, or public subjects,-to possess nominally freedom, as they do in the northern portion of the American Union, according as the citizens of any sovereign commonwealth may elect."

Whether there was a second number of the Nachashlogian published or not, we do not know. We have only No. 1.

So far as we know the majority of the people who accepted the claims of Mr. Thompson were honorable and upright. We have known many of them whose characters are above reproach for virtue and honesty. Like the followers of Mr. Strang they renounced polygamy, and unlike Mr. Strang they adhered to their integrity on this point. Mr. Thompson claimed to receive a revelation which is clear and specific in its denunciation. We extract the following:-

"And, behold, polygamy, or a plurality of wives, is an abomination before me, and is forever forbidden, in this my Holy Presbytery of Zion, saith the Lord Jehovah."-The Law and Covenants of Israel, pp. 184, 185.

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James Colin Brewster was born about the year 1827, and hence was but about seventeen years old at the death of President Joseph Smith. He claimed that at some time (date we have not learned) Joseph Smith and others ordained him and pronounced upon him the blessing of being a prophet, seer, revelator, and translator. Mr. Brewster's account of this, as quoted by Elder Hazen Aldrich, in Olive Branch, volume 1, page 94, is as follows:-

"I and my father were requested by J. Smith, Sen., and Elder Beaman to come to the house of the Lord. We went in and the door was locked. After some conversation with Messrs. Smith, Beaman, and Holman, Elder Beaman called upon the Lord. They then proceeded to lay their hands upon my head and pronounced a blessing upon me in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and sealed it upon me by the power of the holy priesthood which they held, J. Smith then acting as First President of the Church in Kirtland. The prophetic blessing was, that I should be a prophet, a seer, a revelator, and translator, and that I should have power given me of God to discover and obtain the treasures which are hid in the earth."-Olive Branch, vol. 1, p. 94.

He claimed to have translated the writings of Esdras in which instruction was given regarding organization, gathering, and other important matters. The account of his translating these writings and the events preceding can best be related in his own words:-


"SPRINGFIELD, Ill., August 30, 1848.

"The question being often asked, 'How are those writings of Esdras obtained,' I have thought proper to write a short article on this subject.

"In the Apochrypha [Apocrypha] we find the books called first and second Esdras. In the fourteenth chapter of the latter, we read that the prophet's prayer to the Almighty was this: 'But if I have found grace before thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the

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world since the beginning, which were written in thy law, that men may find thy path, and that they which will live in the latter day may live;' and according to his faith it was done, his request was granted, and he was commanded to prepare for the task he had taken upon him. It is recorded that during the next forty days, the five ready writers he was commanded to take with him, wrote from his mouth two hundred and four books, or as the marginal reading has it, nine hundred and four books. Those books, it appears, were written for the express purpose of being a guide to the people in the last days, that those who desired to live might live. But the question at once arises, Where are those books? where are those writings that in those latter times were to be a guide unto life, for those that sought it? I answer, those pamphlets that have been published at Springfield, Illinois: the first in 1842, entitled, 'The Words of Righteousness to all Men;' the second in July, 1845, 'A Warning to the Latter Day Saints;' and the third in March, 1848, 'The Word of the Lord to his People,' contain a part of those ancient Writings of Esdras, which I have written since 1838.

"The manner in which I obtained them is as follows: When in Kirtland, Ohio, in the year 1837, being at that time ten years of age, I saw a vision in which I was shown a large round table and on it a vast quantity of writing, etc. I inquired what was the interpretation, and was told 'The round table denotes equality, and the writings are ancient records that are to be written.' The vision passed away, and I did not then know anything about the books of Esdras, and I had not the least idea what those records were.

"Time passed on, and in August of the following year, (1838,) when near Dayton, Ohio, I saw in another vision a large number of books in the English language, and was told, 'These are the lost books of Esdras.' I read the titles of some of these volumes. One was 'The Words of Righteousness to all Men.' The vision then passed from my sight, and I obtained no light as to what was the value of those books, or by whom they were to be written; in fact, I was

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not at that time informed whether or not they were to be written.

"On the last day of September, 1838, I arrived in Springfield, with my father and the rest of his family. In December following I saw a third vision, and the angel whom I had seen before then declared that, 'It is the will of the Lord that you should commence and write those books of Esdras.' At the same time the first book was presented to me; that is, I saw it again in vision.

"On the 27th of December, 1838, I commenced a book called 'The Words of Righteousness to all Men,' and wrote a few lines, but could not write so as to render it intelligible to any but myself, so poor a writer was I at that period. I told my father what I had seen, and he was rather inclined to disbelieve. He did not doubt that I had seen the visions, as I had related them, but he thought it highly improbable that an all wise God should command a family as poor and illiterate as we were, to perform so great a work. Said he, 'We have not wisdom enough amongst us to write a single book, and if it was written, we would not know whether it was correct or not;' but if he could be satisfied that the Lord required it of us, he was willing to commence and do what we could; but until he was convinced, he did not feel disposed to move."-Olive Branch, vol. 1, pp. 33, 34.

He here relates some visions which convinced his father, and continues:-

"In obedience to this command he did commence, and as I saw the books in vision, he wrote the words as I repeated them to him. He had not written any in many years and could proceed but slowly. The first Sunday after his seeing the vision, we spent all day in writing seventy lines, or little more than one page of the first pamphlet. A short time after, Jonathan Dunham came to this place from Missouri. We employed him, and he wrote about two hundred pages in writing, for which we paid him thirty six dollars. On account of the prejudice of the members of the church then here, we said nothing about these writings to any but a few. One of these, E. Merriam, came whenever an opportunity

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offered, and wrote for us. He wrote in all nearly two hundred pages.

"About the time he commenced writing, my father took the first book, and went to Nauvoo to lay it before Joseph Smith; but he would not even look at it, as he was so pressed by other business that he could not examine it. My father returned, and soon after was reduced so low by a fever that he was not able to work for nearly a year. During this time he wrote several small books as I dictated the matter as it appeared to me.

"It was late in the fall of 1840, that the first light was obtained from those writings on the subject of the gathering, or the place of refuge for the saints. Soon after, it became generally known to the branch in Springfield that we had these writings, and Hyrum Smith visiting this place, my father invited him to his house and laid it before him. He made no decision, but advised us to lay it before Joseph, at the same time saying, 'We have no right to condemn a gift in a child.'

"In June, 1841, my father went to Nauvoo again, taking with him the manuscript we had written. Joseph took the writings, and after keeping them in his possession six days, he returned them, saying, 'I have inquired of the Lord concerning this, and have not received an answer.' After this we continued to write as often as we had time without neglecting our other business. Many members of the church had by this time heard a part of the writing read, as they came to our house for this purpose; but as yet nothing had been published. Our duty in this respect we did not know, and we made it a matter of prayer daily for months, and on the twenty-ninth day of March, 1842, I received the following instruction:-

"'Thus saith the Lord your God, it is my will that ye should make known the place of safety unto those that strive to serve me, and also the time when they shall gather themselves together to depart, and that ye cause small portions of the books to be printed in various places, that the people may read and understand before the day and the hour of my judgments shall come; amen.'

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"'Fear not wicked men, neither Satan, neither secret combinations; for the Lord your God and his Son Jesus Christ shall prosper you, in all works of righteousness, if ye remain steadfast unto the end.'

"We at once set ourselves about it, and in June following the pamphlet entitled 'The Words of Righteousness to all Men' was printed. Since that time, we have published extracts from the Writings of Esdras as much as our poverty would permit. I will here add that those writings are not altered or revised after they are first written. In the same words that it [was] first written, it is given to the public, without any additions or corrections, except it is to rectify some mistake of the scribe, such as misspelling or omitting a word. Some few typographical errors have occurred in the pamphlets that have been published, but with these exceptions no alteration has taken place in those writings since it was first put upon paper.

"From the very commencement of this work we have carefully noted the many prophecies they contain and looked for their fulfillment, and in hundreds of instances the events spoken of have taken place in the same manner that Esdras foretold, and in no case have any of the predictions failed. I think that it may be safely said that no prophecies of ancient or modern times are so plainly and clearly expressed, and so free from ambiguity, as those of Esdras. Through the medium of this paper I intend to present to the public the prophecies that have been published, and the fulfillment of the same, and also many prophecies that have not been published, and the events spoken of in them are yet in the future.


-Olive Branch, vol. 1, pp. 35, 36.

On June 26,1848, an organization was begun with nine members, called the Church of Christ. Elder Hazen Aldrich was chosen president. Elder Aldrich published an address, from which we extract the following:-

"That all may understand, we will give a description of our organization. We learned from the Writings of Esdras, and the same has since been published in the Olive Branch, that

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the call was to saints to commence anew upon the same foundation.

"We counseled together and agreed that none were acknowledged to be saints by the Lord but those that had obeyed the gospel as set forth in the Bible and Book of Mormon. This we had already done. We had those amongst us that had been ordained in the commencement of the church, under President Smith's organization. We then adopted the following:-

"We, the undersigned, being members of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, or saints of the last days, having received a commandment of the Lord, given by the Prophet Esdras, and revealed and brought forth by James Colin Brewster, to whom power has been given of the Lord to bring forth that record unto his saints for their salvation in the last days, do organize ourselves on the first foundation of the church, taking the Bible and Book of Mormon as the standard of our faith and the rule of our practice in this the Church of Christ.

"We then chose one to preside, appointed a clerk, and now stand forth as the church of the Savior and Redeemer of all the saints, upon the same foundation that the church did in 1830.

"And now, as we have said in a former address, it is the privilege of all that are called saints, wherever there is a sufficient number, to choose one to preside over the branch, hold meetings, strengthen and edify each other by improving each his or her gift.

"In the word of the Lord to his people you will learn that the Lord has appointed the place of the temple, or in other words, Kirtland, for the temporary gathering of the saints (save those that live nearer California). We deem it the best economy to have the general church record kept at Kirtland.

"Every branch and individual saint that is willing to start with us on the first or same foundation, can make out a list of their names, stating what office they hold, if any, and forward them to Kirtland, and they will be put upon the general church record.

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"The sentence so often found in the Writings of Esdras, same foundation, may be construed two ways (our organization embraces them both); the first is the articles adopted by the church, composed of six members, April 6, 1830. The second is revelation.

"The church in 1830 was organized by revelation. The church was established anew on the twenty sixth day of June, 1848, by revelation (composed of nine members), embracing the same principles as did the first organization. The correctness of the position that we have taken has been confirmed unto us through the Writings of Esdras."-Olive Branch, vol. 1, pp. 82, 83.

Hazen Aldrich was prominently connected with the church prior to the death of its first President. (See History, vol. 2, p. 99)

On September 29, 1849, at a conference held at Springfield, Illinois, President Aldrich nominated James C. Brewster and Jackson Goodale as his counselors, and they were unanimously elected. (Olive Branch, vol. 2, p. 50.)

Provision was made in their organization for not only a First Presidency, but a quorum of Twelve Apostles, elders divided into quorums or schools of seventy each, priests, teachers, and deacons; but we have not learned who if any were appointed to occupy in leading positions other than the Presidency. (Ibid., pp. 78, 79.)

It was claimed that the church had gradually departed from the faith, the apostasy culminating in 1842 with the introduction "of a secret order." This appears from the following editorial comment in Olive Branch, December, 1849, when J. C. Brewster was editor:-

"The inquiry is sometimes made, When did the apostacy [apostasy] of the church take place? And in answer to this question we will here say that the apostacy [apostasy] did not occur suddenly. It was by almost imperceptible degrees that the church departed from the truth; one erroneous principle after another was introduced, until in 1842 the fatal step was taken by the introduction of a secret order in direct violation of almost every command contained in the gospel of Christ. The church was not entirely rejected until that time. Since that

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time the church as a body has not been recognized as the Church of Christ. Every party that has arisen claiming to be the true church, have, and still continue to maintain, some if not all of the false doctrines that caused the rejection and overthrow of the first church. The organization of June, 1848, was upon the true foundation, and in this respect differs very materially from all the parties into which the church is divided."-Olive Branch, vol. 2, p. 90.

Though Kirtland, Ohio, was to be a temporary gathering place, the permanent place of gathering was to be in the valleys of Colorado and Gila Rivers, on the shores of the Gulf of California, then in Southern California. An extract from an article entitled, "The Word of the Lord to His People," reads as follows:-

"In the land of California shall my people find refuge from the evils and troubles that afflict the nations of the earth. There they shall have peace and enjoy all the blessings that those that remain faithful shall receive. They shall not make war upon those that dwell there, neither shall these have power to make war upon them; for my power shall be their defense, and my glory their salvation.

"The pure in heart shall be gathered there from amongst the nations and the righteous from all the people of the earth; the upright shall see the light of the truth and rejoice therein. They that have been oppressed by the unjust laws of men shall there find liberty. They that have been driven by their enemies shall there find a resting place. They that have been overthrown by the wicked shall there be built up.

"They that have been afflicted shall there find peace and repose; for the reward of the righteous that remain faithful shall be all those things which God has created for their good, and which all other nations strive to obtain, but fail because of their great wickedness."-Olive Branch, vol. 1, p. 25.

It was predicted in the Writings of Esdras that the government of the United States (Bethsula) should begin to fall in the seventieth year of the nation (1846) and in four years after the saints should establish a kingdom of righteousness that should finally be acknowledged as an independent

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nation, while the government of the United States should pass away, and "in the days of their prosperity shall their destruction come upon them; in the midst of their rejoicing shall they lament, and in the midst of victory shall they be visited with defeat; in the midst of their liberty shall a tyrant rule over them; and to escape from all these evils many shall repent and flee to the land of safety, and receive their inheritance with the righteous nation, unto whom wisdom shall be given, that they shall never be overcome or destroyed; for by the power of God shall they be protected, that no power under the whole heavens shall prevail against them, but an everlasting kingdom shall be."-Olive Branch, vol. 1, pp. 39, 40.

The Writings of Esdras contain also extensive instruction and laws for the political and religious government, as also the platting of cities and farms, in the promised land of "Bashan."

The first company to start for this future Zion was organized at Independence, Missouri, July 15, 1850, with Jackson Goodale captain. It appears that J. C. Brewster was with them, as he writes to Olive Branch several times enroute, though his name is not mentioned in the list as published. The list with number in each family is found in Olive Branch for October, 1850, and is as follows:-

"Jackson Goodale 7. W. O. Wilder 4.

"Z. H. Brewster 10. George Meeter 10.

"John Prior 2. William W. Lane 3.

"Ira Thompson 6. J. B. Wheeling 7.

"John W. Crandal 9. A. Patching 7.

"A. W. Lane 5. O. F. Beckwith 1.

"William J. Conner 3. Robert Kelly 1.

"Royce Oatman 10. John Kelly 1.

"John Richardson 4." (Olive Branch, vol. 3, p. 37.)

This company with twenty-seven wagons, two hundred head of cattle, and a few horses started from Independence on August 6, 1850. Accounts of their journey were written by the way by J. C Brewster and others. Mr. Brewster wrote from Socorro, New Mexico, January 16,1851, stating that on December 4,1850, he and a part of the company

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"crossed the Amli [Rio del Norte] and entered into the land of our inheritance."

He writes:-

"In my address to the church written at Albuquerque, in November, 1850, I informed the readers of the Olive Branch that it was our intention to make a settlement on this river, not far from Socorro. I am now happy to be able to inform them that we have purchased a large tract of land, and that the settlement has already been commenced."-Olive Branch, vol. 3, p. 147.

They named this new settlement Colonia, a name taken from the Writings of Esdras.

As late as September 20, 1851, J. C. Brewster was at Colonia and we have seen no account of his company going farther west, but a part of the company through some disagreement left him near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they, after much suffering, reached the valleys of Colorado and Gila. We have but little information of what was accomplished there by either settlement. A second company followed the first in 1851, but we cannot say how they prospered.

Things did not seem to work smoothly among the leading authorities. Hazen Aldrich, who remained at Kirtland, Ohio, to publish the Olive Branch, says in his issue for August, 1851: "We believe J. C. Brewster has misconstrued the Writings of Esdras to his own liking."-Vol. 4, p. 13.

A revelation to Elder Brewster says of Elder Aldrich:-

"Moreover, the advice that thou hast given to the first elder of the church, concerning the council of the Presidency of my church, is right, and in rejecting it he has rejected that which is good, and caused confusion and disorder by acting contrary to the order of the church, in taking upon himself the duties and privileges that belong to the council of three.

"Let him take heed lest he be found preventing the prosperity of the church."-Olive Branch, vol. 4, p. 65.

Jackson Goodale, the other member of the Presidency, also fell under the displeasure of his associates, and after

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leaving Independence in charge of the first company he was relieved of his command. J. C. Brewster writes of this:-

"On the l9th of October, Jackson Goodale, the leader of the first company, was guilty of a transgression of the law of God; consequently his authority to lead the company was on that day forfeited and lost."-Olive Branch, vol. 3, p. 149.

The Olive Branch, the official organ of this church, first appeared August, 1848, issued from Kirtland, Ohio, but neither the editor nor publisher's name appeared until January, 1849, when the names of Austin Cowles editor and Hazen Aldrich publisher appeared. This order continued for three numbers only, when the names are dropped for two numbers, then the name of H. Aldrich publisher appeared alone. This continued until July, 1849, the beginning of volume 2, when the paper was issued from Springfield, Illinois, with J. C. Brewster editor and Hazen Aldrich publisher. This continued during the entire volume closing June, 1850. It was then returned to Kirtland, Ohio, H. Aldrich editor and proprietor. It thus continued without interruption until January, 1852, which is the sixth number of the fourth volume. On February 23, 1852, Mr. Aldrich wrote Mr. John McKenzie, now of Jefferson City, Missouri: "February No. is delayed for want of means to pay the printer." We have never seen a number after this date and think it was issued no more.

These people, so far as we have learned, would compare favorably with any others for morality, and among them were some men of ability and influence. Like the majority of the factions, they were opposed to polygamy. This is significant, for it has been supposed that these factions generally accepted polygamy, and this, it is argued, is circumstantial evidence that it was taught by the original church from which they came; but when it is considered that the majority of these factions rejected it, the inference is that those who taught it did not receive it from the original church.

In an article against polygamy by J. Goodale, one of their Presidency, on July 29, 1849, occurs the following:-

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"The above is sufficient to silence every one that would dare to teach the doctrine of polygamy and at the same time pretend to believe in the Book of Mormon. And I believe that there is not one of the different and conflicting parties into which the church is divided, that teach or believe the doctrine of polygamy, except that which has gone west under the guidance of Brigham Young; and yet they are accusing all of being apostates that cannot and will not follow their teaching in all things."-Olive Branch, vol. 2, p. 20.

The last we heard of James C. Brewster he was lecturing in California in advocacy of the system known as spiritualism.


The movement under Austin Cowles was an offshoot from the one under Brewster, Aldrich, and others. There was a General Assembly held by them in Kirtland, Ohio, commencing June 23,1849, presided over by Hazen Aldrich. The President decided that no one was entitled to a vote in the Assembly who did not believe in the Writings of Esdras and the revelations that had come through J. C. Brewster. Before formally organizing he called a vote on the acceptance of two revelations coming through Brewster in order to determine who had a right to vote in the organization. The Cowles party dissented from this, claiming that the Assembly should first be organized and the question of eligibility be determined by the body. This resulted in the withdrawal of the Cowles party and the formation of a separate organization with Austin Cowles chairman, I. H. Bishop secretary.

We have not learned that this dissenting organization accomplished much. At a conference held by the Brewster organization at Springfield, Illinois, September 29,1849, the following action was had in their case:-

"The following resolutions were then presented and read:-

"Whereas, Austin Cowles and I. H. Bishop, together with seven others, whose names are appended to their circular published in the first number of the second volume of the

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Olive Branch, have dissented from this church and have acted in open and direct violation of the order and faith of the church.

"And whereas, they have been faithfully admonished and labored with, both in private and in public, and still persist in their opposition to the church.

"Resolved, therefore, that their names, which are as follows: Austin Cowles, I. E. Bishop, David Purdun, William Carr, Charles Wood, Lemon Copley, Joseph Robinson, Norman G. Brimhall, Sheldon Hurd, be erased from the general church record.

"Resolved, that we approve of the course adopted and pursued by President Hazen Aldrich, at the General Assembly, which met in the temple at Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, on the 23d day of June, 1849."-Olive Branch, vol. 2, p. 50.

There were several other claimants for leadership which we but casually mention. Of the most of them we have no publications representing and do not think proper to relate what rumor says regarding their positions, as that is often conflicting and unreliable.


William Bickerton for a time had quite a large following, the most of whom settled in Pennsylvania. There is a settlement of them now near Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, under the presidency of William Cadman. Mr. Bickerton's followers also formed a settlement at St. John, Kansas, where some of them now remain.

William Bickerton was not a member of the church during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, but was converted to the faith under Sidney Rigdon, in 1845. From a pamphlet called the Ensign, published by Mr. Bickerton and others at Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania, in 1863, we glean the following items. He says:-

"I entered the church under Elder Rigdon's organization. I was called by the Holy Spirit to be an elder. I received ordination, and the power of God came down and sealed that office upon me. I went forward preaching to all that would

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hear. I was afterwards called into the quorum of the seventies. I received ordinations the second time, but the church became disorganized. Here I was left to myself. I paused to know what course to pursue. I knew my calling was from Heaven, and I also knew that a man cannot build up the Church of Christ without divine commandment from the Lord, for it would only be sectarianism, and man's authority. But the Lord did not leave me; no, he showed me a vision, and in the vision I was on the highest mountain on the earth; and he told me that if I did not preach the gospel I would fall into a dreadful chasm below, the sight thereof was awful. I moved with fear, having the Holy Spirit with me. Here I was, none to assist me, and without learning, popular opinion against me, and the Salt Lake Mormons stood in the way. I could not turn back unto Methodism again. No, I knew they had not the gospel. I stood in contemplation. The chasm was before me, no other alternative but to do my duty to God and man. I went ahead preaching repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Some believed my testimony and were baptized, and we met together, the Lord met with us, and we could many times sing with the poet, the Spirit of God, like a fire, is burning, the latter day glory begins to come forth. The visions and blessings of old are returning. The angels are coming to visit the earth."-The Ensign, p. 10.

He then gives accounts of other manifestations and revelations:-

"And again, in conference, July 9,1861, the power of God was made manifest in the gifts and callings, for there were twelve of our number chosen and called by the Holy Spirit to be apostles of Jesus Christ in this the last dispensation, and the power and Spirit of God accompanied their callings, for we were made to rejoice with that joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. Hear also the word of the Lord given previous to the vision. Hear ye the word of the Lord God of Hosts to-day. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I sent forth my servant Joseph with a message of glad tidings to this generation. Him have they slain, saith the Lord; my people they have persecuted, scattered and

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driven out; yet once again I have raised up another like unto Joseph, to lead forth my people; him shall ye hear in all things. I decreed that I would set up an ensign, and raise up a standard. That ensign has been lifted, that standard raised, and now I have called forth my servant William Bickerton to lead forth my people, and they shall go in and out and find pasture, and the world shall know that there is a God in heaven; therefore, touch not mine anointed, saith the Lord; amen."-The Ensign, p. 13.

At a conference held at Greenock, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, July 5-8,1862, the following twelve men were ordained apostles:-







-The Ensign, p. 15.

Other ordinations were also performed as follows:--

"Moved by the President, seconded by Counselor Brown, that Elder John Stevenson be called and ordained into the Quorum of the Seventies, and also John Ashton, John Dickerton, William Menzies, James Louttit, John Caldwell, Charles Cowan, John McPherson, James Thompson, Thomas Stevens, and Hugh Scott."-The Ensign, p. 15.

While in conference in January, 1863, a revelation was presented, referred to as follows:-

"Yes, we might fill up pages with an account of the dealings of God towards us as his people; and as he has declared that the world shall know that he has loved us by the power he will make manifest through us, his servants, therefore we hope that all who may read these pages will consider that they are living in the last dispensation, or the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him; having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself, that while we were assembled in conference again, that his servant William Bickerton shall

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be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church, through the will of God and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ; and also it was felt to be the will of God that the two counselors, Charles Brown and George Barnes, should have the same calling laid upon them; and as soon as the calling was laid upon them, and they set apart, the Spirit and power of God came down and sealed that high and holy calling upon them; so much so that the glory of God filled the house, and we had to exclaim, 'Surely the Lord God will do nothing but what he revealeth unto his servants the prophets;' and it also brings to pass the saying of the Prophet Isaiah, 'I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning.'"-The Ensign, p. 16.

Their declaration on doctrine was not materially different from that of other factions. Their declaration on marriage was as follows:-

"We believe that a man shall have but one wife, and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women, and whoredoms are an abomination before me: thus saith the Lord of hosts. Again in the second chapter of Malachi, verse 15: 'And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.'"-The Ensign, p. 20.

Under date of November 23, 1863, Mr. Bickerton wrote to Mr. John McKenzie, now of Jefferson City, Missouri, from West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, as follows:-

"The Lord has given us a commandment to organize his church with apostles and prophets, etc., so that they have been ordained; and several have been sent out on missions, and have pretty good success."


Alpheus Cutler followed the fortunes of the movement under Brigham Young to Western Iowa, there dissented, and with his followers settled in Southwestern Iowa, in what now is Fremont County, at a place

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which they called Manti. Quite a number of the Cutlerites afterward located in Minnesota, where the majority of them united with the Reorganization.


George M. Hinkle organized what was called "The Bride, the Lamb's Wife;" but it was weak, and finally disappeared.

There were some other minor movements which we need give but casual mention.


James Emmit is mentioned as having gone off with a company soon after the death of Joseph Smith, but we have no authentic record of his movements, and think it unsafe to follow rumor.


Gladden Bishop we have no authentic account of, so we can safely give him but a casual mention as the leader of one of the many movements of the time.

Others of whom we have no reliable information we must pass without special notice.


In 1847 there arose another organization, effected through the efforts of Elder William E. McLellin, with which David Whitmer and others were identified. This organization had for its president, David Whitmer, but was an entirely different organization, and built on a different foundation from the movement which Elder Whitmer was supposed to have originated in the last years of his life, and of which we may speak in its time. This first organization was formed at Kirtland, Ohio, by William E. McLellin and others.

We will give the account as published in their organ, the Ensign of Liberty, edited by William E. McLellin.

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"The church here at present numbers forty two, and they are all at peace and fellowship among themselves. 'At a conference of the church held here on the 23d of January, 1847, after many remarks by those present, it was motioned by W. E. McLellin and seconded by Martin Harris, that this church take upon them the name of the Church of Christ, and wear it henceforth-shorn of all appendages or alterations. The motion was put by Elder L. Rich, the chairman, and carried with much feeling and spirit in the affirmative, without a dissenting voice.'

"On the 10th of February following, several individuals assembled in our office in the evening and we freely talked over our (then) present standing before the Lord. We were settled in our minds that the time had come for the church to come forth the second time out of 'obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of all the earth with which God is well pleased; speaking unto the church collectively and not individually, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance:' but we felt troubled in our minds about our baptisms and confirmations.

"The church had in the years 1833 and 1834 changed its character from that of a peaceable company to that of a warrior band. The leading men had risen up and taken the spirit of vengeance into their own hands, as was evidenced by their going to war and shedding human blood, even upon the land of Zion, where God had said, 'You are forbidden to shed blood.' They had violated that great maxim of the Savior, 'Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.' A few of the leading men by council action had taken for the church the false name of Latter Day Saints. Joseph had been commanded of the Lord, and had ordained David to be his successor. That boastful church of Latter Day Saints had been 'driven from city to city, and from land to land.' Their Prophet and Patriarch had fallen into the cold embrace of death, at the hands of a ruthless mob. And finally that people

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had become divided and subdivided into parties and clans, each claiming the true priesthood, the true power and authority to legally administer the ordinances of the house of God.

"But in Kirtland where the character of the church was first changed, where the false name was first given, where the spirit of war was first imbibed by the church, we had risen up, holding no fellowship with any split or division of the parties growing out of or from among those who once held the true priesthood, derived from heaven, by which the Church of Christ was first established; and we by our voluntary act had taken upon us the true name, and were endeavoring to obtain the true Spirit of Christ. We had all been members of the church of Latter Day Saints, or of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had all been baptized into some party or other of that work. And during the above mentioned evening the subject of our baptisms was freely talked over. We then argued that our mere vote to call ourselves the Church of Christ did not constitute us such unless we held the true priesthood or ministry of Christ, by which to administer the true ordinances of the house of God, so as to obtain and be actuated by the true spirit of love and peace. Inasmuch as we had been baptized into any other church, we were out of the Church of Christ, we were out of the Church of God; and as there is but one door by which we could enter the true church, and that is baptism and confirmation, consequently we asked ourselves this question, 'Are we in the house or out of doors?' And as honest individuals we were bound to answer, We are not now legal members of the body of Christ, however honest we may have acted in our past experience, because we could not be members of two churches at the same [time] . . .

"The church here had officially acknowledged the Presidency of David Whitmer and had sent to him a letter, mailed the 15th of December, not as some vain persons have supposed to acquaint him with his station and duties, but the object was to advise him of the fact that we had acknowledged him in his standing, and that we by our faith and

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prayers were determined to uphold him in his high and holy calling, provided he had still maintained his integrity before God.

"We had publicly and privately condemned and rejected many of the doctrines and practices of the Church of Latter Day Saints. And we had determined to practice virtue and holiness before the Lord continually, provided we could only know what he required of us. We had the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Commandments, so far as they had been published in Zion in 1833; but with all the light we could draw from them, we did not know in our present situation what to do. We lacked wisdom. We did not wish to act upon a mere opinion of our own, of any other man or set of men. We wanted to know the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently we humbled ourselves before him in mighty prayer, each one present calling upon God vocally, the one after the other; all being agreed to inquire of the Lord, as touching our priesthood, our baptisms, and the establishing and building up of the Church of Christ.

"We thank and magnify the name of the Lord God who revealed himself to all holy men since the world began who called upon him in faith, as we did; for he heard our united solemn prayer of faith, and the pattern was given to us, by which we could go forward and act and thus build up the church unto the Lord, but not unto man. Yes, we fearlessly declare that the Lord then and there gave us intelligence 'to discern the true principles of his kingdom, that we might again build up his church as from the beginning. To build it up according to his law.' And through his seer, the Lord has since said when addressing me, "Therefore he shall continue to do all things according to the pattern that I have shown to him.' As to our priesthood, the Lord said: 'I the Lord yet acknowledge the authority and ministry of all those of my church who are now willing to forsake all unrighteousness and cleave unto me; notwithstanding all their imperfections, inasmuch as they repent I will be gracious unto them.'

"As to our baptisms the Lord said, 'It is my will inasmuch

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as you have taken upon you my name that you should now be freed from all your dead works, from all evil spirits, and from all unrighteousness, by being born into my church by obedience to the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, that I may build up unto myself a holy people, zealous of good works.'

"On Saturday, 13th of February, Martin Harris, William E. McLellin, Leonard Rich, and Aaron Smith, were immersed, confirmed, and reordained to the same authority which we had held in the church before Latter Day Saintism was known. Since that day we have in the face and eyes of all opposition gone forward to obey and keep the sacred word of God to us. We have increased in numbers but slowly, yet not even one has turned away as yet who has been confirmed into the church among us.

"When we first started here last winter we set out with a determination to persevere unto the end, and the further we have gone the more firmly we have felt rooted and grounded in the truth, the more we have felt established that the course we are now pursuing will carry out the original design of God in first raising up this church. Every week has brought us some light upon the great work to be accomplished in this age by the called, chosen, and faithful ministers of heaven. We have had the very delightful privilege during the fall of visiting the Lord's seer; and he too with his friends have been born anew into the true Church of Christ, as we were in the beginning, and then they have been reordained each to his station; and now in order for the work to prosper we want to see more faithful laborers in the field, which is white already to harvest. O that God would raise up more faithful laborers, for the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few!

"We can say to our friends and brethren abroad, that the church in Kirtland is governed upon a different principle, influenced, enlightened, and led by a different spirit from that possessed by any party, branch, or faction of Latter Day Saintism which is now or ever was built up among men. And if they cannot believe our testimony, we invite them to come and see. There is permanency, light, truth, and great

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rejoicing here in the enjoyment of our privileges. We feel that we know that the work which the Lord himself has so marvelously commenced among us will go firmly forward until it will finally triumph and we and it be owned of Jesus when he comes. ED." -The Ensign of Liberty vol. 1, pp. 54-57.

Elder McLellin had visited Missouri and succeeded in interesting Elder David Whitmer and others in the movement, and ordained them high priests and David Whitmer President of the Church. We give here the account as written by William E. McLellin and published in The Ensign of Liberty for August, 1849:-


"When I published the third number of this paper, I did not then deem it wisdom to publish the particulars of the conference held in Far West, on the seventh and eighth days of September, with some of the original 'witnesses' of the Book of Mormon. But as circumstances have transpired since, and as matters now stand, we believe it to be our duty to present to our readers a history of that important conference. But let us premise a little here. It will be remembered that in December, 1846, I wrote a long letter to President David Whitmer. And in March and April following, I published the first and second numbers of this paper, and immediately sent them to him and his friends. When I parted with O. Cowdery the last of July, in Wisconsin, he immediately wrote to David and acquainted him with the fact that I was on my way to make him a visit. This letter he had received some days before I arrived; hence the whole matter of the stand we had taken in Kirtland was well known and well understood by those men, many weeks and months before I visited them. I have made the above remarks because I have been charged with waking up the prophet in his duty, and because some have thought that those men acted without mature deliberation.

"On the 4th of September, about sunset, I arrived in Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, at the residence of David Whitmer. We spent until midnight hour in familiar converse

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relative to his gifts and callings from God, and concerning the great work of the last days. Not a jar appeared in our sentiments or feelings, and we retired. On the 5th he had an engagement, but in the evening he, his brother Jacob, and myself, retired to a lonely place, and there under the cover of the night and of the forest David gave me a succinct history of the dealings of the Lord with him back until the year 1839, when I had last seen him. At the close of this interesting interview we bowed together in the stillness of a late hour at night, in the shady grove, and each vocally called upon God, the one after the other, while his Holy Spirit distilled upon our hearts as the morning dew.

"On the 6th David and Jacob Whitmer and Hiram Page accompanied me to Far West, to visit their brother, John Whitmer. On the 7th, in the morning, we bowed in family prayer, David being mouth. But in the midst of his prayer his own weakness and the greatness of the work of the Lord pressed in full view before him; he shrank and cried aloud for mercy. His head as it were was a fountain of tears and his eyes streams of water; his whole frame trembled and shook under the power of God, and his natural strength began to give way, and he cried out, 'Brethren, lay hands upon me that I may have strength to do my duty.' We arose and ministered to him, and if ever deep and powerful feeling filled my whole heart, that was the time. He received strength and concluded his prayer.

"After breakfasting, we retired to a pleasant inner room and dedicated ourselves to God, in a council capacity, and then held a free and lengthy consultation about the first rise and progress of the work from the year 1827 up to 1834 and onward to the present time. We conversed freely, and particularly about the reorganization of the same church by us in Kirtland, in February, 1847. I was particular to relate to them all the great and important principles made known to us, and upon which we had acted. The following revelation which we had received on the 10th of February preceding, which was the cause of the reorganization, was read and approved:-

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"'Verily I the Lord say unto those who are now present, who have bowed before me and unitedly asked in the name of Jesus to know my will, I am not angry with you, but the angels rejoice over you when they behold your faith in me and your willingness to receive light and truth at my hand. . . .

"'Let my servant William, who has separated himself unto me to obey the voice of my Spirit though all manner of evil be spoken against him therefor, repent and turn away henceforth from all blindness of mind and harshness of spirit and fear of evildoers, and let him trust in me continually for deliverance, and I the Lord will hold him in mine own hands and fulfill all my promises to him.

"'And now inasmuch as you desire to know my will and how you shall go forward to please me, as you have taken upon you the name of Christ, mine anointed, then it will be pleasing unto me that you should also take upon you mine ordinances of baptism and confirmation, and then reordination-or rather, a confirmation of the holy authority of the priesthood which you had received in my church. Yea, let my servant William baptize and confirm and then reordain my servant Martin. And thus shall he confirm his authority upon him by the laying on of hands and saying, Brother Martin, I lay my hands upon you in the name of Jesus Christ, and I reordain you, and confirm upon you the office of high priest in the Church of Christ, after the holy order of the Son of God. And I pray God in the name of Jesus, his Son, to give unto you in your calling, all the gifts and blessings and powers thereof, and keep you faithful unto the end; amen. And then let my servant Martin administer unto my servant William in the same manner, according to the same pattern. And then let my servant Leonard likewise receive the same ministration.

"'Yea, let my servants William and Martin and Leonard do as the Spirit of truth now directs them, and in which they feel a clearness, and I the Lord will open the way before you as seemeth to me good, and no power shall stay my hand, but I will accomplish my work and that speedily; for gainsayers shall be confounded, but my people who

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know my voice and follow me shall rejoice and continue to rejoice; and the glory shall be ascribed unto me instead of unto man.

"'And now concerning the authority of my servant David, I would say unto you that no man being directed by my Spirit will ever condemn what my Spirit now teaches you. Go forward, then, that my designs in the work of the last days may prosper in your hands. And now I say unto you to always trust in me, and you shall never be confounded, worlds without end; amen.'

"Every part and principle of the above was scanned, and, as I supposed, well understood by all those present. We then agreed to call upon the Lord to know his mind and will concerning those who were there present; and we agreed or covenanted to implicitly obey what the Lord might reveal to us. I took my seat at a table prepared to write; David took his seat near to me, and he requested the others to gather near around him. Then after a few moments of solemn secret prayer, the following was delivered solely through and by David Whitmer, as the revelator, and written by me as scribe; viz.:-

"'Verily, verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servants David, and John, and William, and Jacob, and Hiram; it is for my name's sake saith the Lord God of hosts that your sins are now forgiven and that you shall have my word concerning you. Therefore marvel ye not that I the Lord your God have dealt with you on this wise concerning you on this land. Behold, I have looked upon you from the beginning and have seen that in your hearts dwelt truth and righteousness. And now I reveal unto you, my friends, through my beloved Son, your Savior. And for the cause of my church it must needs have been that ye were cast out from among those who had polluted themselves and the holy authority of their priesthood, that I the Lord could preserve my holy priesthood on earth, even on this land on which I the Lord have said Zion should dwell. . . .

"'Therefore I say unto you, my son David, fear not, for I am your Lord and your God; and I have held you in my own hands. You shall continue your inheritance on this my

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holy land; and it is for a wise purpose in me, which purpose shall be revealed hereafter.

"'It is even for the testimony that all those who are present have borne and remain honest therein, that the covenants that I the Lord have given you should be kept sacred on this land, and were it not so, you could not now receive wisdom at my hand;' for I the Lord had decreed that my people, who had taken upon them my holy name, should not pollute the land by the holy authority of their priesthood. Now I say unto you that my church may again arise, she must acknowledge before me that they all have turned away from me and built up themselves. Even in the pride of their own hearts have they done wickedness in my name, even all manner of abominations, even such that the people of the world never was guilty of.

"'Therefore I the Lord have dealt so marvelously with my servant William. Therefore I have poured out my Spirit upon him from time to time, that the "man of sin" might be revealed through him. . . And after this mission thou shalt return towards thy home and preach wherever my Spirit commands thee. For I have a work for thee to do in the land where thy family resides. For there shalt thy work commence.

"'Thou shalt build up my church even in the land of Kirtland, and set forth all things pertaining to my kingdom.' . . .

"One thing in the foregoing revelation came in direct contact with one of my previous opinions. I had supposed that Kirtland would become the residence of David, the Lord's prophet. But while I was marveling in my mind how the work could go on and he remain in Missouri, and also freely speaking to John Whitmer some of my thoughts and feelings on the subject, Brother David came and seated himself near me again, and said, 'Brother William, the Lord has something more for us, and you may write again.' And the word of the Lord came as follows:-

"'Behold, I the Lord say unto you my friends, inasmuch as you have covenanted to be my friends and to keep all my commandments, I will reveal unto you this mystery which

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you have sought for; that inasmuch as it was expedient in me to preserve my church or a remnant thereof, agreeable to the covenants which I have made with all the holy saints from the beginning of the world; therefore as I had built up my kingdom according to my holy order, and placed you upon this land, and consecrated you to the holy order of my priesthood, therefore my servant David if thou shouldst leave this land, and those of thy brethren who have remained with thee, then you shall forfeit your right and make the word of God of none effect. For I have said unto you in days past and gone, that but few should remain to receive their inheritances. Therefore a commandment I give unto you my servant David, and also my servants John, and Hiram, and Jacob, that you must remain until I command you, and then you shall only be permitted to visit the faithful in my kingdom. For now ye do hold the right of this, the consecrated land of Zion, that in the fullness of time your brethren may claim by right of the covenant which ye have kept, inheritances in the land of Zion. Now I say unto you all, that from time to time ye shall see and know by my Spirit all things pertaining to these words which I have now given you. Now I say no more unto you concerning this matter; even so; amen.'

"With the above I was perfectly satisfied. Cause and effect were both set forth, and we felt to acquiesce. But then I saw what a great responsibility would rest on me, especially when I should return to Kirtland. I then saw and in some measure realized that we should see each other but seldom. Near a thousand miles would separate us and our fields of labor, for a season at least. And I said in my heart, O Lord, if thou hast a word of intelligence more for me, reveal it, O reveal it now to me! I expressed my anxiety to my brethren present, and the enquiry [inquiry] being made, the Lord through his servant David made known, while I wrote the following:-[Here follows a revelation to McLellin.]

"But here David said a vision opened before him, and the spirit which was upon him bade him stop and talk to me concerning it. He said that in the bright light before him he saw a small chest or box of very curious and fine workmanship

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which seemed to be locked, but he was told that it contained precious things, and that if I remained faithful to God, I should obtain the chest and its contents. I marveled at this relation, from the fact that on the twenty-ninth day of April, 1844, while in vision, I saw the same or a similar chest, and received a similar promise from the spirit which talked with me. I was told that it contained 'the treasures of wisdom, and knowledge from God.'

"At this point we counseled particularly relative to the authority by which the church was reorganized in Kirtland, and the reasons why the Lord required us to be rebaptized, confirmed, ordained. They said the principles and reasons which had actuated us were correct, and that they were ready. They felt it, they said, to be their duty to do as we had done. But it was late in the afternoon, and was raining, therefore we deemed it wisdom to wait until morning. Here objectors could not reasonably find fault and say that these men were over-persuaded, or that they acted in haste in this important matter. But morning came, and a beautiful bright day it was too. We repaired to the water about a mile distant, and there on the bank of a beautiful stream we dedicated ourselves to God in the united solemn prayer of faith. I then led those four men into the water and ministered to them in the name of the Lord Jesus. But as we returned again to our council room, Brother David and I turned aside, and called upon the Lord, and received direct instruction how we should further proceed. And we all partook of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. I then confirmed those who were now born into the Church of Christ, anew. And then (as directed) I ordained H. Page to the office of high priest, in the holy priesthood which is after the order of the Son of God. And we two ordained Jacob Whitmer to the same office. Then we all laid hands on John Whitmer and reordained him to the priesthood, and to be counselor to David in the First Presidency of the Church. And then with the most solemn feelings which I ever experienced we stepped forward and all laid hands upon David and reordained him to all the gifts and callings to which he had been appointed through Joseph Smith, in the

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General Assembly of the inhabitants of Zion, in July, 1834. . . .

W. E. McCLELLIN, Secretary."

We have not been able to learn that this organization ever accomplished anything more. It soon lost its identity, and none of its former adherents remained true to it. David Whitmer himself afterward renounced principles taught in the above communications which were received through him.

Sometime in 1849, Messrs. Alfred Bonny, I. N. Aldrich, and M. C. Ishem, of Kirtland, Ohio, addressed a letter of inquiry to Elder David Whitmer, which was answered by Elder Hiram Page, from Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, June 24, 1849, and published in the Olive Branch for August, 1849. From this letter it appears that they were not long in discovering their error. The following is an extract:-

"We have been frequently solicited by the brethren to know what they must do. To all inquiring brethren we say, we are not your masters to usurp authority over you, but we are your servants in Christ; and as we cannot justify wrong in ourselves or in others, we feel to acknowledge our errors, and say to all others, 'Go and do likewise.'

"It is well known by many that since we were driven from Far West by the Mormons (at which time we were obliged to go into an adjoining country where we could get the protection of the civil law) we have been lying dormant, while fifty odd persons have been appointed to rule and govern the church by Joseph Smith, and there were divisions and sub-divisions, until the true order of the Church of Christ was entirely neglected. In 1847 Brother William [William E. McLellin] commenced vindicating our characters as honest men. In that he did well. In September. 1848, he made us a visit and professed to have been moved upon by the same Spirit of God that led him to do us justice by vindicating our characters, moved upon him to come here and have us organize ourselves in a church capacity; but it must come through him, which would give a sanction to all that he had done, which would give a more speedy rise to the cause than anything else could; and by our holding him up, he could build up the church according to its true order, which would be a source of consolation to us. But we had

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not as yet come to an understanding, but consented to the organization after three days successive entreaties. Now we acknowledge that the organization was not in accordance with the order of the gospel church."-Olive Branch, vol. 2, pp. 27, 28.

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