Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
IN introducing the year 1868 we can do no better than to reproduce an article written at the time and with the situation before him, and published editorially in Herald for January 1, 1868. It is as follows:-
"We begin this year 1868 under most remarkably favorable circumstances for us as a people. The developments in the world among the children of men point to a very unsettled, and to them, a very unsatisfactory state of things. But to the eyes of the faithful, this fearful anticipatory state reveals the near coming of Him who is to unravel and disentangle the knots of difficulty, tied by the hands of evil and wrong for so many successive centuries. The Lord is fulfilling his promise most elaborately; for he is now pleading with men, with the voice of tempest and pestilence; famine and sword; earthquakes and the raging of the sea; disaster by the land and sea, till there is neither surety nor safety of life or property, either at home or abroad. Fearful times have indeed come, when it would seem that every man's hand is against the life of his brother man, to destroy him from off the face of the earth.
"And the saints are not altogether exempt; for 'afflictions' like those that are in the world have power over them. We may as a people congratulate ourselves upon the goodness of the Lord, manifested to us in the year that is past, in the signs following the believer, to an extent beyond that which many had hoped for; and if any have come short, to whom does blame attach if not to themselves?
"Another cause for congratulation is the unprecedented call for the elders of the church to declare the word of faith
in various parts of this land, as well as abroad. And although so much has not been done as might have been done, still a great deal of preaching has been heard, to the allaying of much prejudice and the salvation of many.
"Bro. E. C. Briggs and Bro. Eli Clothier are laboring in Michigan.
"Brethren W. W. Blair, T. W. Smith, C. G. Lanphear, and Stephen Stone in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have done a good work.
"Brothers Z. S. Martin and John Taylor from De Soto, Nebraska, are in Indiana and Ohio, where there is an excellent field of labor.
"Bro. William E. Kelley is in Minnesota, in prosecution of his long appointed mission there, and would welcome an elder with gladness to his help.
"Brethren Calvin A. and Isaac Beebe, T. E. Waddel and Benjamin Ballowe are south in Dixie, sounding the trumpet.
"Bro. J. W. Gillen is yet in Utah laboring as we suppose in union with Bro. Thomas Job and others.
"Brothers M. H. Forscutt, Robert M. Elvin, T. J. Smith, and others, are in Missouri, in connection with Bro. Hazzledine and others of the St. Louis district.
"Bros. A. H. Smith and William Anderson have returned home from California, leaving the work there in the hands of Elders Thomas Dungan, E. C. Brand, T. J. Andrews, and others.
"Bro. Gurley, in company with Bros. Joseph and Henry Robinson, is off on a tour to Grand Manan and the islands off the coast of Maine.
"The officers of the different districts are striving to do good in their various fields of labor, both east and west.
"Branches have been organized within the past year at Boston and at Dennispost, Massachusetts, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and at Guilford, Missouri. Some hundreds have been baptized into the faith and some few have departed from it.
"Another great and good cause for congratulation with the saints is the having in possession the 'Holy Scriptures,' which is the crowning mercy of God unto us. It is one
of the strong testimonies in favor of the divinity of the latter-day work-one of the strongest which has ever been given to us of God; for this we should be exceedingly thankful. And with this we begin the new year."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, pp. 9, 10.
Elder C. W. Lange wrote from Streetsville, Canada, January 21, announcing that he and Alexander McCord arrived in Canada, January 10, and were struggling against sectarian prejudice.
February 2, Elder Z. H. Gurley, Sen., wrote from Little Deer Isle, Maine, as follows:-
"I am going on to the main land to preach within a few days. It is almost impossible to get about among these islands. I have held a series of meetings near Green's Landing. Spoke to full houses most of the time. I left a few days sooner than I wished, that I might get aboard a vessel going to Bear Isle. I left the meeting with Bro. Ames. He was formerly a Methodist preacher.
"Through the help of God we have been able to restore the churches to their former standing. The isles of the sea will yet send some mighty men. I am like a little boy by the side of some of them. All are men of honor, of noble principles, strong in faith, fervent in spirit, and are determined to serve God."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 58.
In Herald for February 15, 1868, the editor stated that a communication from Frederick Ursenbach announced the presence of several old Latter Day Saints in Switzerland who would welcome an elder.
In Herald for March 1 a request was published for the Quorum of Twelve to meet at Plano as early as April 1, and for the High Council to be in attendance at the Annual Conference.
On March 3 Elder Samuel Longbottom wrote from Birmingham, England, announcing that he and Elder Frederick Hansen arrived in Liverpool on December 18, 1867. They visited the Brighamite office, of which visit Elder Longbottom states:-
"After we landed in Liverpool, we went to the Brighamite office, and we showed them the New Translation of the Bible. I asked them to allow me the privilege to preach in their chapel from it, but their answer was, No! Franklin D. Richards was the only man in the office that I was acquainted with, so I had a long conversation with him, together with the rest, but they put the Book of Mormon and Book of Covenants aside, and cling to polygamy."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 109.
At this visit Elder Longbottom sold Elder F. D. Richards an Inspired Translation of the Bible.
About the same time Elder T. E. Jenkins wrote that he was regaining his health, and the Lord was blessing the work in Wales.
Early in March Elder C. A. Beebe wrote of the work in Florida, as follows:-
"Bro. Isaac Beebe and myself have been preaching in Florida this winter, and with some success. We have baptized four since we came here, and there are many more believing. I think there will be a good work done in this part of the vineyard. We have many calls for preaching; the people received us very kindly, and there is room for more elders in this part of the country.
"The saints desire that some good man should be sent here from the Spring Conference to preside over this district."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, pp. 108, 109.
The Annual Conference convened at Plano, Illinois, April 6, and continued four days; Joseph Smith and William Marks presidents, and M. H. Forscutt and J. B. Henderson clerks.
In addition to the regular routine of reports of districts, missions, and missionaries, there was not much business done, but it becomes our duty to chronicle a few items of general interest. The Bishop's court, composed of Presiding Bishop I. L. Rogers, William Aldrich, and Josiah Ells, reported a case heard before said court entitled, "The Quorum of the Twelve versus John Shippy, an officer and member of the church." Elder Shippy was charged with "misconduct, involving gross violations
of the moral law, and the discipline of the church." The court sustained the charges and recommended "that the said John Shippy be disfellowshiped from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as entirely unworthy of fellowship therein." This case was disposed of by the adoption of the following resolution:-
"Resolved that we indorse the action of the Bishop's court in the case of John Shippy, and that he be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 127.
During the discussion of the Shippy case the question of the right of sisters to vote was raised, and after considerable discussion was disposed of by the adoption of the following:-
"Resolved that all private members, male and female, have a right to vote on all questions that the elders may deem of sufficient importance to bring before the church."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, pp. 126, 127.
The transaction of the following business closed the conference:-
"Released from Missions.-Eli Clothier, from Michigan. Thomas J. Smith and John Jamieson, from Missouri. Calvin A. Beebe, Isaac Beebe, and Wilson Sellers, from the Southern States. Alexander McCord and Charles W. Lange, from Canada. James Caffall, from Iowa and Nebraska. Alexander H. Smith and William Anderson, from California. John W. Lewis, from England. Charles Hall, from St. Louis conference. Stephen J. Stone and C. G. Lanphear, from the Eastern mission. George Shaw, from Nova Scotia. Archibald M. Wilsey, from Iowa. James W. Gillen, from the Utah mission, with permission to return by way of California, laboring there as many months this year, under the direction of the president of that mission, as he may choose.
"Sustained in Missions.-Samuel Longbottom and Frederick Hansen in the British mission. William E. Kelley in Minnesota, with the privilege to extend into Iowa. Thomas Waddel in the States of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and
Georgia. Mark H. Forscutt, under the special direction of President Joseph Smith. Zachariah Martin in Ohio. Benjamin Ballowe in Tennessee and Kentucky. Thomas Jenkins as president of the Welsh mission. Thomas W. Smith in the Eastern mission. Joseph Robinson and Henry Robinson in Maine and Nova Scotia district.
"The question of releasing, appointing, and sustaining district presidents came up, when a resolution was presented, and after being discussed and amended, was substituted by the following:-
"Resolved that organized districts have the right to elect their own officers, their presidents included.
"Resolved that the legal official acts of elders, though in transgression, are valid till they are officially silenced by proper authority. . . .
"The report and result of the labors of the committee appointed to draft forms for representation and other church purposes were presented from the Herald Office, whither they had been forwarded by Bro. M. H. Forscutt, in behalf of the committee, were accepted, and the committee discharged. . . .
"The credentials of Daniel Covert and Moses James (Lamanites) were called for, and presented to the Twelve. After a thorough examination of the facts within their reach, it was
"Resolved that this conference extend the hand of fellowship to Moses James and Daniel Covert. . . .
"Resolved that unbaptized persons, whether children or adults, are not entitled to partake of the sacrament of bread and wine. . . .
"Resolved that this conference deprecates the use of intoxicating drinks, (as beverages,) and the use of tobacco, and recommends to all officers of the church, total abstinence. . . .
"The following was presented by the Quorum of the Twelve:-
"Whereas, John Shippy has been arraigned and convicted of transgression by the Bishop's court, upon evidence that to us appears full and conclusive, as to guilt, therefore be it
"Resolved that he is hereby expelled from membership in the Quorum of the Twelve.' . . .
"Resolved that this conference would encourage the carrying out the provisions made for preaching the gospel to the negro race in the revelation of May 4, 1865.
"That Thomas Dungan be sustained as president of the California mission until suspended by the appointment of the district conference.
"That the presidents of districts who have been appointed by other than their own districts, be released, in accordance with a resolution passed by this conference, allowing the members of districts to choose their own presidents; the releases to take effect at the ensuing quarterly conferences of the respective districts, at which time each district can elect its own president. . . .
"The following-named brethren having been recommended, they were ordained to the offices, annexed: Joseph Snively, elder; Moses Houghton, teacher; James Houghton, elder; by J. W. Briggs, Josiah Ells, and E. C. Briggs.
"Sustaining of Authorities.-The following authorities were unanimously sustained: Joseph Smith, President, and William Marks, his Counselor; the Quorum of the Twelve; the High Council; the High Priests' quorum; the Seventies' quorum; the Elders' quorum; Israel L. Rogers and his Counselors, as the Presidency of the Bishopric; the Priests' quorum; the Teachers' quorum; the Deacons' quorum."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, pp. 139-141.
The Quorum of Twelve made the following appointments during and after the close of the conference:-
"Resolved: That eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and eastern Virginia, constitute a mission, called the Eastern Pennsylvania mission, and that Elder N. H. Ditterline have the presidency thereof; that Elder Samuel Reeves labor under the presidency of Elder N. H. Ditterline in the Eastern Pennsylvania mission; that Elder Silas H. Briggs labor in connection with Elder William H. Kelley; that Elder G. E. Deuel labor in Polk, Dallas, Jasper, Story, Hardin, and Marshall counties, Iowa; that Elders Daniel Covert and
Moses James (Lamanites) labor in Canada at and in the vicinity of their home; that Elder John H. Lake be continued in his mission, and that Elder Joseph Snively labor with him; that Elder R. M. Elvin labor in southern Nebraska; that Elder Charles W. Lange labor in Wisconsin, and especially in Crawford and Richland counties; that Elders H. A. Stebbins and David H. Smith labor in Michigan and northern Indiana; that Elder S. J. Stone labor in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York; that Elder C. G. Lanphear labor in Illinois, and wherever the Spirit or wisdom may dictate; that Elder Thomas Revell labor in Missouri and Illinois, as his circumstances will permit; that Elder Glaud Rodger labor in California, as his circumstances will permit; that Abednego Johns labor in Nevada, as his circumstances will permit; that Elder Samuel Powers labor in the United States, Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; that Elders Jason W. Briggs and Josiah Ells be sustained in their appointed mission to Europe; that Elders W. W. Blair and A. H. Smith take charge of, and labor in, the Utah and California missions; that Elders Z. H. Gurley and R. Newkirk labor in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota; that Elder Charles Derry extend his labors into Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri; that Elder E. C. Briggs labor in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Canada; that Elder William Anderson be requested to labor in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana, under the direction of the First Presidency, as his circumstances will permit; that the members of this quorum, in their several missions, are authorized to call upon such elders as they may choose, to aid them in their several fields of labor."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 125.
The Annual Conference for the Pacific slope mission was held at San Francisco, April 6-9, and much important business of a local character was done. Elder Thomas Dungan was president, and M. B. Oliver and E. C. Brand clerks.
On April 22 Elder T. H. Waddel wrote from Milton, Florida, as follows:-
"I have organized one branch with ten members, about twenty miles from Milton, and have also baptized one of
the preachers four miles from Milton, on Black Water, and ordained him to the priesthood, and I hope that his flock will follow him. I expect to baptize some seven more next Sunday. Bro. G. R. Scogin will meet me this evening. Isaac Beebe is preaching in the neighborhood of the Lone Star branch."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 156.
April 27, Elder J. W. Lewis reported the work in England in good condition, and that it would be left in safe hands. He was about ready to embark for America.
On May 3, Elder J. W. Gillen reported seventeen baptized in Salt Lake City, April 18.
On May 9, Elder T. H. Waddel wrote from Milton, Florida, of wonderful progress. He states:-
"While Satan is working, the Lord has blessed the many testimonies that I have borne in his name, and since the first of March last, I have baptized forty, and one of them has been preaching for the last twenty-eight years. The first ten years of his ministry was in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for the last eighteen years he has been connected with the Baptist Church. His name is M. B. Ellis, well known in Western Florida." The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 188.
On May 15, President Smith stated the situation as follows:-
"In California there is much to encourage. Brethren there are zealous of good works, and are extending their labors into Oregon. By the minutes of their April conference, Bros. Joseph C. Clapp and George P. Slayton were appointed to go up into Oregon. May God bless them in their labors.
"Bro. E. C. Brand and others, as shown in the extract of conference minutes, are at work in Nevada, doing what they can for the work.
"Bros. Gillen, Job, and others are still at work in Utah.
"The brethren in Alabama and Tennessee are also laboring with apparent good success.
"Bro. William H. Kelley, in Minnesota, writes that he is preaching with evidence of success.
"Bro. Thomas W. Smith, writing from South Brooksville, Maine, seems to think from the circumstances surrounding him there, that the cause is gaining ground.
"We might continue naming the different localities where the elders are at work, and in them all there are evidences of good being done."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 153.
On May 20 Elder Daniel Covert, one of the Indian missionaries appointed at the General Conference, wrote as follows:-
"I have little time to write to you tonight, to tell you how we are getting along. We are all well. Our Indian friends received us good. We had a good meeting last Sunday at four o'clock. I think we shall baptize some next Sunday. Our house is too small where we have our meetings. We have hard times to live here. We have to work very hard every day, so cannot preach much. The Indians want me to preach every day, they so glad to hear our preaching, but it is very hard on us, but we shall preach whenever we can. Our Indian friends are so poor they cannot help us to anything."-The Saints' Herald, vol. 13, p. 186.
Elder J. W. Gillen wrote, May 21, giving an account of thirty-seven baptized by him in Salt Lake City, including the seventeen before reported.
Elder J. C. Clapp wrote, on May 26, from Lebanon, Oregon, announcing that he and Elder G. P. Slayton had arrived in that mission from California.
On May 27 Elder W. W. Blair wrote from Philadelphia, indicating that he had started on his mission to California, accompanied by Elder Elijah Banta. He says: "We will sail in the Santiago de Cuba and Oregonian, and will start at noon, June 5.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter