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IN Herald for July 1, 1877, President Smith wrote, in an editorial on Utah affairs, the following, which explains his reasons for visiting Washington on a previous occasion:
When, in 1866, we made the reply to the committee, . . . it was quite actively circulated in Utah that we had gone to Washington to incite the Government to hostility to the church there; and that we then told lies to further this design. Nothing is farther from the truth. We had not the remotest idea of asking the Government to take a single hostile step toward the people in the valley. We went because a process commanding us to appear and testify was sent us. And when asked what questions were propounded to us we gave what we believed then, and still believe to be the truth. The conviction forced upon us then, that Government officials and congressmen were alike venal, vascillating [vacillating], and fearful in dealing with the question, "What shall be done with Utah?" is still with us in just the same force now as then. We, furthermore, believed then as we believe now, that to assume the ground that the Constitution, and laws that may have been, or that may be enacted under it, are powerless to prevent or punish what is so roundly denounced as a huge crime, is to admit its political correctness and will debar further prosecution of so-called offenders. For if the practice of such a tenet as a part, or the whole of the Mormon religion, is not now a crime, no subsequent
legislation, even though it be so solemnly enacted as by an amendment to the Constitution, can make it such.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 201.
Elder J. W. Briggs arrived in Fremont County, Iowa, from Utah, July 2.
Some remarkable manifestations were experienced in London, Canada, of which the following statement will give an idea:
Sister Cambridge, of this city, from her infancy up, has had fits severely, until she united with the church in 1875. She had them as often as twice a day at times, and occasionally but once in three months. Since her baptism she has not had any, or even the symptoms of any.
The little child of Bro. and Sr. Cambridge took poison, by accident, and was restored by prayers and the ordinances.
Bro. J. Harvey had his fingers cut off. He was working up-stairs in the shop of Messrs. Perrin and Keenleyside in this city. I was running the engine, and he was working at sawing box stuff. He cut off the two middle fingers on the right hand, also broke the bone of the little finger and sawed the flesh off his fore finger to the bone. He came down to me, holding his right hand with his left hand, and said, "I have cut my hand." I turned around and looked, and of course it startled me for the time and I said, "What will I do?" We paused for a minute, then he said, "Unite your faith." Immediately (seeing that the blood was flowing very freely) I laid my left hand on his head, and raised my right hand, and said, "O God, in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray thee to stop the blood." Immediately the blood stopped; and I then wound up the cut with cloths, and he went home, and at noon, about two hours afterwards, I put oil on it and prayed God to heal it in his own due time. That day passed, and for the next two days it pained him very much, and at night we administered for the Lord to stop the pain. It stopped immediately, and one week from the day it was cut he went up and sawed lumber, using the same hand and the same saw, and has been working ever since.
I was once called to the house of Bro. Parker to administer to a brother that was sick. While administering to him there was present the daughter of Bro. Parker (a sister in the church), who had been having fits, almost every week, more or less, and, while in this state, if she was sitting on a chair, she would fall and remain in an insensible condition for two or three hours. On this occasion she was in the act of falling off her chair, and her father sprang and caught her. I went over to her, and, whilst I was walking across the room, I prayed God to give me his Spirit; then I laid my hands on her, and was led by the Spirit of God to pray him to rebuke the evil spirit, and, in about five or six minutes, she looked around and began to smile, and I said,
"Sister, I feel that if you are faithful, you will never have that again." And from that day to this she has never had them again that I am aware of.
One Wednesday night after prayer-meeting Mrs. Sarah Lively and Mary Taylor offered themselves for baptism. It was late when we closed our meeting, and, by the time we got to the Thames (south branch), it must have been almost eleven or half past eleven o'clock at night. A number of the Saints with others went to witness the baptism, probably about twenty Saints and about ten others. Among the number of the outsiders was one who endeavored to persecute us to a great degree; and the night being dark, with very dark, heavy clouds, and also a little misty rain, it was so that we could scarcely see each others' forms. The way being rough, with little hills and valleys, the Saints occasionally fell into the water and got wet. This provoked the persecutor to make more fun than ever. By and by we reached the river, and, after we got through with our opening exercises, I stepped to the water with the hands of one of the candidates in mine. The moment my foot touched the water there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind; and with it came a very bright and brilliant light, more bright and glorious than my eyes had ever before seen. We were all filled with the Spirit, and the Saints immediately fell upon their knees and thanked God that he had shown unto the persecutors that we were acknowledged from on high. I gave a glance around as I was walking into the water, to see the light, and also the position of the people on the bank. The light came down from heaven, and it was in a circle, and it was about large enough to take in the thirty people, and also a part of the river, just that part where I baptized. I stood about one foot inside of this bright circle, and I cast a look outside of it, and it was just as dark one foot from the outer edge of it as it was ten rods or a mile away. When I came leading the sister to the bank, I noticed that all, both Saints and outsiders, were on their knees, with the exception of the one who persecuted us the most. After the two were baptized, one of the outsiders cried out, "O pray for me! This is enough to convince any one that the latter-day work is true." In time every one who was at the baptism came into the church.
At another time, while I was confirming a sister, the Spirit declared that from that time if she continued faithful, she would have the gift of visions. She immediately saw the Savior; and she was wrapt in the glory of the Spirit.
J. J. CORNISH.
LONDON, ONTARIO, JULY 12, 1877
We, the undersigned, hereby certify that we are the parties baptized as described above on December 27, 1875, and that the circumstances related in the foregoing letter are correct to the best of our knowledge, so far as they relate to that event
MRS. R. MAY.
MARY E. BUSHNELL.
We, the undersigned, hereby certify that we were present at the baptism
referred to in the foregoing letter, and. that the description as given is true to the best of our knowledge.
A. C. DEMPSEY.
M. A. SPARKS.
Since the above was in print we have received a very comprehensive statement from William Clow who is referred to in the above as "the one who persecuted us." See Appendix A.
There was a mission conference held at Waratah, Australia, July 22, 1877; Glaud Rodger, president; C. A. Davis, clerk. Six branches were reported at this conference with a total membership of ninety-six, including ten elders, four priests, two teachers, and one deacon.
On July 26, 1877, Robert T. Burton of Salt Lake City, Utah, was arrested by a United States marshal, charged with the murder of Joseph Morris and John Banks.
The Herald for August 15, 1877, contains the following interesting items:
President W. W. Blair arrived at home from Canada, July 24.
The latest news from Bro. Peter N. Brix, the missionary to Denmark, was dated at Aalborg, July 9. He is laboring to save souls, and he longs for the redemption of the Saints' inheritances, when God shall prepare the way.
Bro. Robert Woodcock writes from Manteno, Iowa, that three have lately been baptized there, and there is a greater desire in that country to hear than there was in the past.
On August 29, 1877, President Brigham Young died in Salt Lake City, Utah. In noticing his death the Herald for September 15 took occasion to make the following summary of his work:
President Brigham Young is dead. He who has so long directed the energies of the church in the Salt Lake Valley, has passed into the great beyond to which all of mortality is tending. We publish elsewhere an obituary notice taken from the daily journal of current events, and shall most probably add to this what may be said of him in the Deseret News their official paper, or so much as we shall have room for. We are anxious, of course, to be made acquainted with the policy which will be pursued by the church there, in the appointment of the successor of President Young.
That one will be found who will rule with the positive sway that he has done, we do not anticipate; but it must be seen that the church in Utah was never met by so grave an emergency as the one now before them.
It has been said that the church never prospered so rapidly as after
Brigham Young's attaining to the presidency. We should be quite willing to grant all that truth will bear us out in yielding to the genius of President Young; but before we can admit the statement as true, we wish one or two facts to be considered. Joseph Smith, the martyr, in an article written for publication, in 1844, just before his death, estimates the number of communicants belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Europe and America, at from one hundred fifty thousand to two hundred thousand. This aggregation of numbers had been accomplished in the short space of fourteen years, from the organization of the church, April, 1830, to June, 1844. During this period of propagandizing, the dogma of spiritual wifery, or polygamy, was not taught, and no increase in numbers was counted as from this source. In 1876 the church under the leadership of President Young, according to information furnished by one who had good opportunity to know, numbered in Utah, one hundred eleven thousand, and abroad, not gathered, fifteen thousand, making a total of one hundred twenty-five thousand, twenty-five thousand less than the number of the church communicants in 1844. This result accrues to the church in Utah, under the rule of President Young, after the stupendous efforts of the hosts of missionaries constantly sent abroad by that church, during a period of thirty-two years, or from June, 1844, to December, 1876, a period of time more than twice as long as the one intervening between the rise of the church and the death of the martyrs. And to help make the contrast, that portion of the time occurring between August, 1852, and December, 1876, twenty-four years, the increase in numbers had the benefit of the preaching and practice of the plural marriage, that must, of course, greatly augment the ratio of increase or the principle is shorn of one of its strongest arguments.
Now, any one who is curious enough to figure it out can tell exactly what the rate of progression has been. If the elders of the church-the first elders-without the aid and benefit of the teaching of the tenet referred to, did succeed in baptizing the number of one hundred fifty thousand (we take the smaller number), in fourteen years; what has been the ratio of increase where the elders under the lead of President Young, with the aid of the teaching and practice of that tenet, have succeeded in losing twenty-five thousand of the number of the communicants that the church had at the time the Twelve and President Young took charge, after diligent ministerial and missionary effort for twenty-four years; that is, from August, 1852, to December, 1876; or of thirty-two years, from June, 1844, to December, 1876, granting that from June, 1844, to August, 1852, polygamy was not a tenet of the church publicly taught; as the record shows that it was not.
Here are the different sums going to make up the problem, for whoever may attempt to solve it. We are not anxious to detract from the just fame of President Young; but the army of missionary laborers, who have been so industriously engaged in "building up the kingdom," both by the legitimate
preaching of the word, and by the "exercise of their privileges," have been parties to the efforts made and the means used by which this result, progressive or otherwise, has been attained; the glory of the achievement is of right partly theirs, if glory is to follow; and they must share a part of the censure and the loss; if there has been a loss and censure is to be visited upon any.
Again, now that President Young is dead, it is an admonition that men of similar age, who have been his coadjutors, must soon follow him; younger men, the children of those laboring fathers in the church, must take up the burden laid down by them in departing; and if they are men-men worthy of waging a successful battle as survivors and successors of the heroes dead and gone-it behooves them in taking up the burden left them to know why they carry it, what it is, and how they shall best acquit themselves in bearing it. As one of those to whom fell the heritage of Mormonism, an heritage left us by one of the "first elders of this church," we propose not to bear the burden thus left us, fitted and revisited by other hands since its bequest, without inquiry as to why the burden has been so revised.
To account for this disparity in numbers, this evident loss, and to make inquiry why it has occurred, is the first apparent duty of those upon whom the burden of carrying on the work of the last days will devolve; for at the same rate of progression, it will hardly do to say that the "stone cut out of the mountains" is gaining in its rolling. The boast put upon the walls at Union Fort, and we suppose at other places in Utah,
"Brigham rules, the kingdom grows,
The stone is rolling, mind your toes,"
becomes a taunt, because not true.
That this decrease in the aggregate number of the church left at the death of the martyrs, is not chargeable to the tenets taught by the elders of the Reorganization, is shown in the fact of the comparatively rapid increase of the latter body; which, when the writer became a communicant with it in 1860, had barely numbers enough to fill a small hall (possibly three hundred), and which now numbers nearly, if not quite twelve thousand, the result of sixteen years ministerial labor by elders of the church, some of whom stood with the martyrs; many others of whom, however, have been won from the world and differing faiths by the preaching of the word, openly denying polygamy as a tenet of the church, and all unaided by the natural increase of that system.
That these facts must, in the eyes of many, write mene, mene, upon the walls of the kingdom, if it still be called the kingdom, in which the seeds of decrease and death have been sown by some hand, good or evil, should not be wondered at. Nor, that now the scepter has fallen from the hand that ruled in that interest so long, there is an emergency in which there may occur division and distress, need there be any wonder.
That there are safety and rejoicing for the honest-hearted must be
true, or the hope held out to modern Israel is fallacious, and the fates must be propitious to all them that have so hoped, for despair and ruin must ensue. Whence this safety is to come is one of the questions to now be solved. That it is to be found in the continuation of that which has loaded the name of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and all professing a belief in the doctrines enunciated by them, with infamy and obloquy, is not, cannot be accepted; hence it must be looked for in that which gave the church its energy and its advancement, its life, animation, and its glory, the principles of gospel truth, as stated in the Book of Mormon, "and this is my gospel: whoso repenteth and is baptized shall be saved." Other and accessory salvations and exaltations, of more modern origin and sacredness must be abandoned, the past condoned and the future made glorious by obedience and a unity born with and accompanying only that gospel.
We do not rejoice that President Young is dead. We seem to foresee some of the things the Saints of God, those who are anticipating a glorious rest from all the terrors of strife and oppression, must do in order to be in a condition to enjoy what they are longing for, when it comes. There must be a rehabilitating in garments of righteousness that drop incense of peace. This can not be done while evil is not practically put away.
There must be many in the church in Utah who see, if they do not willfully close their eyes, that the principles taught by the elders of the Reorganized Church are the same as those taught by the first elders, and which gave them power with God. The fact is being constantly pressed upon their notice that the Reorganization is steadily gaining the vantage ground once so signally held by the "old church," as it is sometimes called; and they must needs perceive the reasons for it. What the result will be is not yet told.
Elder Thomas Dobson was in Utah at the time of President Young's death, and attended the funeral service. Of what he observed on the occasion he writes as follows:
I attended the funeral of President B. Young in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. The assemblage present was estimated by some to be twenty thousand, but there were probably fifteen thousand, yet a close observer could discover that it was more to have it to say that they were there, than from sincere sorrow. My wife and I were at Kaysville at the time of his death, and went on the special train to the city on Sunday morning. A stranger would have thought, from the manner of a majority on the train, that it was a pleasure party going to the city, while the faces of a few only had the expression of thoughtful and sober minds, as if in earnest sympathy.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 23. p. 299
In the Herald for September 1, 1877, President Joseph Smith commenced the publication of a description of his trip to Iowa and Missouri. This will be interesting as showing the condition of the church and the country at the time:
We started from the office in company with Bro. A. McCallum, for a visit into the "regions round about," if we could find that disputed land, and discover whether the occupation were practicable.
We arrived at Davis City, a village in Decatur County, Iowa, of a few hundred inhabitants, situated on the south bank of Grand River, nine miles southwest from Leon, the county-seat; being favored by finding Brn. O. B. Thomas and B. V. Springer, at Leon, who kindly carried us over. The road from Leon to Davis City is very rough, the surface of the land being broken into numberless hills, valleys, and ravines, by Grand River, and its tributaries, the creeks, and the drains which carry off from the uplands the snows of winter and the rains of summer. . . .
At Davis City we stayed from the Saturday afternoon till Sunday evening, privileged to hear Bro. James W. Gillen in the forenoon, and permitted to speak to the people in the afternoon. There is quite a fair branch of the church at this point, and plenty of room for more people. There is an excellent flouring mill, a hotel, stores, workshops, and good schoolhouse, plenty of water and wood to make a desirable village location to those who may choose such.
After the services, we left Davis City with Bro. Fowler, formerly of Amboy, Illinois, and started for Lamoni. A passing storm-cloud gave us a drenching on the way, driving us to shelter with Bro. Fowler, his being the first house on the prairie within reach. . . . In the morning, however, the skies were clear, and we went on, reaching the "colony," as the neighbors term it, in the early day of the 16th.
The country where the Order of Enoch has located the scene of their operations has been frequently described, but we found a changed land to that we visited and rode over some six years ago. Then, a wilderness of arable land, untouched by the plow, and dotted only here or there by a farm or a grove, greeted the eye; now, a cheerful scene of busy farm-life, a wide spread of growing corn and wheat and rye and oats and waving grass, was seen everywhere, broken now and then by an interval of untilled land, showing the places yet open to the settler, where the cattle roamed freely the occupants, literally, of all "thousand hills." It is rightly called a rolling country; very fair to look upon, and giving to the careful and industrious husbandman a just reward for his labor. . . .
We found the Saints by no means discouraged or cast down. Their faith, grand and glorious, was as a well-spring of power to them; and they were grappling with difficulty as strong men to wrestle, calm, watchful, wary, and ready. . . .
Bro. M. A. Meder, of California, whom we had come to meet, had not yet
arrived; so we procured a team, and began a tour of examination to see the country. We spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the 16th, 17th, and 18th, visiting near localities, and on the 19th we started from Bro. George Adams', one of the most westerly farms in the colony, en route for Independence, via Eagleville, Bethany, Pattonsburg, Maysville, and Stewartsville, Missouri. This route lies through Harrison, Daviess, and Dekalb Counties. In Harrison the land is for the most part rough, hilly, and wooded; being broken by Grand River and its tributaries, Big Creek and others. We passed some fine lands in the north portion of the county, but the larger part is broken. The small part of Daviess County that we passed was also much broken. In Dekalb we found a much better portion of country, though the northeastern part is of the same character as Harrison and Daviess. The southwestern part of the county is very good; the soil is rich, the timber apparently sufficient, and the water fairly good. . . .
All the way down from the Nishnabotna, Iowa, to Independence, Missouri, at least, the land is rolling, broken by the streams that put into the Missouri, and which, with the draws, ravines, and little summer streams, drains one of the handsomest and best countries the earth affords. . . .
At Stewartsville we became the guests of Bro. J. T. Kinneman, one of the sweet singers in Israel-one whom Solomon would have placed with Asaph and his band, had he lived in his day. We tarried here over Saturday and Sunday, preaching twice in the Crab Orchard Schoolhouse, to houses full of people, Saints and inquirers. On Monday, accompanied by Bro. T. W. Smith, we went by train to Independence, Missouri, arriving there late in the afternoon.
At Independence we found a few Saints in charge of Bro. George Pilgrim, the husband of a niece of Elder John E. Page, one of the early apostles of the latter-day work. We found a welcome at the house of Brn. J. W. Brackenbury and - Beagle, Saints lately from Kansas, the former an old schoolmate, when the Saints were happy in Nauvoo, the beautiful city. On the morning following our arrival Bro. Brackenbury . . . showed us a portion of the city and its vicinity. Of course, as our stay was short, we saw but little, and can only judge by what we saw. The city is handsomely situated, and sits not like Rome on seven hills, but on hundreds of hills, surrounded by hundreds more. A constant succession of vale, hill, farm, valley, villa, dell, grove, plain, meadow, spring, wood, reaches every way from this Jerusalem of modern Israel. Wood, water, and stone are everywhere to be had, and beauty of prospect lies in every direction. We slept one night in the city, walked over the Temple Lot, sang and prayed with earnest souls there, and left them anxious, waiting, and willing.
On returning to Stewartsville, we passed the night at Cameron, the guests of Bro. and Sr. Silas Russell, formerly living near Davenport, Iowa. Here we also met Brn. Sikes and Hill, and at a former visit on the way down, Bro. Wm. Bozarth, Sr. Bro. Bozarth was one of the early Saints, and when the rest were driven away, he remained for
causes known only to God; for though his faith was well known, he was not disturbed; he was found at his post when the church reached him, on its return.
We reached Bro. Kinneman's place early on the 25th, and found an appointment for the evening waiting for us in the brick church, in the village. This appointment we filled to be best of our ability, being thankful that we were permitted to "answer for ourselves."
On Thursday morning, after spending the night the guest of Bro. T. W. Smith and his wife, we once more started out for our wagon trip back to Lamoni. . . . We traveled directly north through Dekalb, Gentry, and Worth Counties, passing west of Maysville, between Fairport and King City, through Gentryville and Albany to Allendale. The north part of Dekalb County is quite fair, much the same in appearance as the southwest of Decatur, Iowa; but Gentry and Worth Counties, like Harrison, are rolling, broken and timbered, at least such was the appearance to us. Bro. T. W. Smith came with us from his home to Lamoni, and though the way was long, the hills steep and rugged, we managed to cheer the way by conversation about the country and its possibilities for the Saints, about doctrine and its effect; and with argument about things that we did not see alike. We spent Friday night with Bro. Joseph Hammer, of Allendale, and reached Lamoni on Saturday evening; found Bro. M. A. Meder at Bro. George Adams' and were glad to be at home again.
On Sunday, the 29th, we spoke in the Saints' meeting place, on the gathering; and in the evening Bro. T. W. Smith spoke to the people, ably, from the text, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith."
Our conclusions from the trip, so far, may be summed up thus: The better portions of the land passed over by us are those most frequently named, Dekalb County, in Missouri, and the southwest of Decatur, in Iowa. In both of these places there have gathered numbers of the Saints. They are both farming countries; wood and water are reasonably plenty in both. Stewartsville is a railway station of about twelve hundred inhabitants, some twenty miles from St. Joseph, the western terminus of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. The Saints are located from five to fifteen miles from the station; the lands are pretty well taken up, though further away there are still quite large tracts unsettled. Clinton County adjoins Dekalb on the south, and is a fair county of land. Prices for farms range from five to thirty dollars per acre; now and then improved farms being offered for twelve dollars and fifty cents. Bro. J. T. Kinneman paid nineteen hundred dollars for one hundred and fifteen acres, including some twenty of timber land. Bro. McKee, of California, paid twenty-three dollars per acre for his farm. These were both improved farms, though the improvements were not of the best. The water is usually good; some of the wells being soft water, though not all. Markets are usually good for all that is raised. The air
is quite pure, and the health of the people good. The crops this year are better than further north, the wet spring damaging them less; though much of the corn was planted two and three times, owing to the depredations of the field mouse, which destroyed the seed after planting. It is fifty miles overland from Independence.
Lamoni is about one hundred and thirty miles north and east of Independence, and is on the prairie west and south from Grand River. The land is good, so is the water; wood is easily obtained. The crops this year were injured by the wet spring, but at present writing the promise is quite fair, though not so good as further south, except the grass, which is much the same. The prairie lands are only a trifle more rolling than immediately about Stewartsville, and no more so than the north of Dekalb County, though not so flat as some parts of Clinton County. Fruit was best about Independence; so was the corn. Jackson County, about Independence, is the best watered and timbered, and contains the best site probably for city purposes. Decatur and Dekalb Counties offer the best farming lands and localities, as far as we went. Land ranges much the same in price, and is all the way from four to sixty-five dollars per acre, owing to the "lay of the land," its location, and its improvements; and in respect to prices for suitable farming land, neither locality has a preference. So far as we can judge from what we saw, there is more land still open for settlement in large bodies in Decatur and Ringgold, the next county west, Iowa, than in Dekalb and Buchanan, Missouri, and far more in Dekalb and Gentry than in Jackson. No land can be bought in either place near to railway communication at very cheap rates, as all eligible lands, including those belonging to the railroad companies, are marked, and prices set thereon according to their value. Many already holding farms are willing to sell, and various causes are assigned therefor. About Stewartsville, some who have settled on railroad lands have failed to make payments; some because of indolence and neglect, others by reason of a failure of the crops, the grasshoppers having gathered two harvests for them. These will sell: some cheaply, others not so; and he who buys must meet the railway claims. Taxes in Missouri, this year, were less than in Iowa, notwithstanding the heavy debt of the State, the assessment being less. Iowa is out of debt, and proposes to keep out, hence heavy assessments, which must decrease as her land fills up. Cattle look better in Northern Missouri and Southern Iowa, than in the counties further south, and the pasturage on the prairie is better than in the timber. Hogs are permitted free range in Missouri, but not in Iowa.
Quite a number of German Saints have settled in Dekalb County, near to Stewartsville; and they would be glad to receive others who may be desirous of getting with the church. They deem that they are in the "regions round about," and are proposing to help build up Zion. . . .
Lamoni, and the settlement in Decatur County, Iowa, is just north of the Missouri line, and was at the time the command to gather into the
land of Missouri within that territory, whatever may be said of it now. A number of Saints have settled in Missouri, in Harrison, Worth, Nodaway, and other counties, and others are coming in. They are well liked as citizens, and will, if they deal with their fellow men according to the commandments, be welcome to stay; and if they can not afford to do this the country is far too good for them. . . .
If any are scrupulous about settling outside of the State lines, there is plenty room within. If any wish to go to Independence, or in Jackson County, there is room; and as no blessing is to follow except upon the purchase of the right of possession, we hope none will be foolish enough to expect rest and peace on any other conditions. Let Saints first purchase their lands and homes, and then enjoy them.
We found Brn. Parker and Clow, with their families from Canada, at Independence; together with some of the Hedrickite, Brighamite, Whitmerite, Framptonite, Morrisite, and Strangite brethren, all with the Josephites indulging a hope that the full time for favoring Zion, the land of Zion, had fully come. . . .
We remained the week after the 29th, looking over the country, and waiting advises with respect to land, with Bro. Meder. Bro. McCallum left us on Wednesday, and on Sunday, August 4, we spoke at Pleasanton to an earnest assembly of Saints, Bro. E. Robinson presiding. We here partook of the sacrament with the Saints, and taking dinner with the family of Bro. James Anderson, formerly of St. Louis, we returned in the afternoon to Lamoni. . . . On the next week, after a day or two spent in negotiation, Bro. Meder succeeded in buying a tract of land, and the business of our stay was over. We remained, however, over the Sunday following, speaking in the morning at the Saints' chapel, and in the evening at Davis City, in Rasmussen's Hall. . . .
We feel desirous that every Saint shall properly decide for himself in choosing a site for a home in Zion or in the borders. One thing, however, we would like understood. The settlement of, or in the borders, is said to be commanded to be done as the "elders of the church shall direct." We have been asked for opinions and advice, touching the propriety of settling in this, that, and the other locality; we have in some instances given the advice asked for; but others are also advising, and a good deal of effort is being put forth to secure the settlement of Saints in various localities, wherever those parties have a real, or supposed interest. We have no objections to these Saints doing what they can, but all must take the responsibility they invite, and those paying heed to them must decide whether they are "wise men," appointed to the duty they are essaying to do, or whether they are "the elders of the church."
The semiannual conference for 1877 convened at Galland's Grove, Iowa, September 20, and continued over the 24th. President Joseph Smith was chosen to preside, and President W. W. Blair to assist him. Elder M. H. Froscutt
was chosen secretary, Elders E. T. Dobson and M. T. Short assistants.
The Board of Publication in their report presented a preamble and resolution on church History, which was adopted by the conference. 1 Subsequently a committee consisting of Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, and H. A. Stebbins were appointed to prepare a history for publication.
The music committee reported progress in their work, and asked for an appropriation to enable them to employ a qualified person for two or three months. The appropriation was denied, but the committee continued.
The board of removal reported that they had selected Decatur County, Iowa, as a location, but asked for more time to consummate their work. 2 Their report was adopted and time granted.
1Whereas, We believe that the History of Joseph Smith, as contained in the "Times and Seasons," and in other publications of the church, should be revised and published by the Reorganized Church in book form, therefore be it, Resolved, That we present this matter to the next General Conference for its consideration; also advising the appointment of a committee to prepare it for publication.
2GALLAND'S GROVE, IOWA, September 21,1877.
We, the board of removal, to whom the duty of removing the business center of the church, as by law, and by your honorable body assigned, do report as follows: The committee have, as donations and loans, about four thousand dollars at their command, with which they have decided to purchase a tract of land now open for sale, of some two hundred acres, lying in the vicinity of a tract lately purchased by Bro. Moses A. Meder, and by him deeded to the church, situated in the southwest portion of Decatur County, Iowa; and to hold said land subject to certain contingencies likely to occur, for subsequent and definite action of the committee in settlement.
Your committee have decided, for reasons and upon considerations, which will be fully given in their final report on removal of the business center, and made public to the church, that Decatur County, Iowa, is at present the most eligible portion of the country accessible to settlement, within the limit to which they, of necessity, feel restricted; but that for lack of means to make the removal complete, and for other reasons not now necessary or politic to state, no removal is advisable, though the committee are quite united upon the opinion that such removal should be made at as early a date as possible, as the condition of, and the feeling in the church demand it.
We, therefore, ask that further time be granted us, and that those who may have been hitherto opposed to the contemplated action of the committee, will take the pains to more fully inform themselves in relation to the country referred to, and the powers of the committee, together with the inadequate means at their command, with which to carry into effect the resolution adopted by you requiring action on the part of the committee.
JOSEPH SMITH }
W. W. BLAIR, } Of the Committee.
I. L. ROGERS, }
We, also, as members of the board, and parties to the above action, add our names as concurring in the report of those of the board who were present, indorsing [endorsing] and approving the same.
H. A. STEBBINS, }
JOHN SCOTT, } Of the Committee.
PLANO, Illinois, October 8,1877.
The Third Quorum of Elders asked for the ordination of George Kemp and W. T. Bozarth as counselors to President D. S. Mills. The request was granted and Elder Kemp was ordained. Elder Bozarth was not present. The Second Quorum of Elders reported that John Hatcher, Thomas Thomas, C. E. Butterworth, William Chambers, David Chambers, Jr., George Montague, E. C. Brown, and Joshua Armstrong had been received into the quorum.
The Seventy presented a request for the ordination of Elder Magnus Fyrando. The recommendation was approved and he was ordained.
Reports from the missionary force throughout the United States and the Canadas were read; also from Elder Glaud Rodger, Australia, Peter N. Brix, Denmark, and Thomas Taylor, England; all reporting more or less progress.
When the appointment of missions was taken up on the 24th, some peculiar things were developed, so we give the minutes in full:
A motion was presented that James Caffall be sustained in his former appointment, and that the states of Missouri and Kansas be added to his former field.
Elder Forscutt inquired as to the authority of an apostle in organized districts; and, after some deliberation by the brethren, it was, on his motion, referred to the chair. The president deferred his answer.
Bro. Forscutt then introduced a motion that the question of sustaining be deferred until the answer should be given, urging that neither he nor many others could vote until the question was decided, as there was now much conflict of opinion on this subject. Motion prevailed.
J. R. Lambert was sustained in his mission to Northern Iowa and Minnesota.
E. C. Briggs was presented, and a motion to release him from his present field, the Western States, was amended by adding, "and be requested to labor as circumstances may permit."
Wm. H. Kelley was sustained in former appointment.
Z. H. Gurley was sustained in appointment to Utah.
J. W. Briggs' case coming up, the President stated that he was released from the Utah Mission at last annual conference and no further appointment was made for him.
Josiah Ells was sustained in former appointment.
Alex. H. Smith was released from last appointment, and requested to labor as circumstances permit.
John H. Lake was sustained in appointment, with the exception of Canada, from which he was released.
T. W. Smith was released from last appointment, and assigned to travel in Central and Northern Illinois, in connection with local authorities.
Glaud Rodger was sustained in Australian mission, on the following motion, offered by Charles Derry:
"Resolved, That this conference receives with gladness the noble resolve of Bro. Glaud Rodger in remaining with the work in Australia, until some one else is sent to take charge, and that this conference request him to remain until a successor can be sent."
J. T. Davies was sustained in appointment to Kansas, Missouri and Indian Territory.
John H. Hansen, sustained in Southern Mission.
R. J. Anthony, requested to labor in Southern Nebraska and Northern Kansas.
F. C. Warnky, sustained in Colorado and present field.
J. T. Phillips, continued in present field of labor.
Curtis F. Stiles, to labor as opportunity offers.
Duncan Campbell, to labor when and where opportunity is given.
Joseph F. McDowell and B. V. Springer, sustained in last appointment.
Charles Derry, assigned to Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
C. N. Brown, sustained in Eastern Mission.
Peter N. Brix, sustained in Scandinavian Mission.
On motion the First Presidency were instructed to correspond with Bro Knud Johnson, of Nebraska City, and Ole Madison, of Marysville, Missouri, and, if practicable, appoint them, or either of them, to Denmark.
J. C. Clapp and D. S. Mills were sustained in the Pacific Slope Mission.
J. S. Patterson, in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
A. J. Cato, sustained in Missouri, and requested to extend his labors into Texas.
Heman C. Smith . . . was assigned to the Southeastern Mission.
C. G. Lanphear, to labor as circumstances permit.
J. C. Foss, continued under present appointment, with permission to extend his labors to Ohio.
J. X. Allen, in former field, under local authorities.
M. T. Short, in former field.
Columbus Scott and J. M. Waite, in former fields, Indiana and Wisconsin, under the direction of W. H. Kelley.
Joseph Lakeman, sustained in New Brunswick and Maine.
Francis Earle, in Northern Indiana and Michigan.
Elijah Banta, under last appointment.
G. S. Yarrington, in New England Mission.
J. W. Mather, in Central Illinois and Southern Iowa.
Robert Davis, in Michigan and Canada.
Thomas Taylor, in charge of British Mission.
Robert Evans, in Wales, under direction of T. Taylor.
Davis H. Bays, to take charge of Texas Mission.
Ralph Jenkins, assigned to Texas under direction of Elder Bays.
Magnus Fyrando, appointed to Utah.
John Landers, to labor where the Spirit may direct,
The question of authority, referred to the chair, was answered by President Joseph Smith, as follows:
"The question which was referred to the presiding officer, respecting the paramount authority in case of conflict between a member of the Quorum of Twelve and local presiding officers, in those districts where the Twelve may be traveling, is answered as follows:
"In cases where the question upon which difference arises is of a general nature, affecting the church only in a general way, or in general assemblies of the church, the highest authority should be accorded the right of decision. In cases where the matter is of local, district, or branch character, local authority must be respected. We believe that no right of interference in local organized branches, or districts, accrues to any general officer of the church by virtue of his calling; and that all matters affecting those organizations deemed to be wrong, must be righted by traveling authority through proper church councils, conferences, or united quorum action. Traveling officers, discovering wrongs in organized districts, should set these in order by calling the councils provided for in the law.
James Caffall was assigned to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.
Z. S. Martin and G. E. Deuel, to labor under direction of J. Caffall.
J. J. Cornish, to travel in Canada, subject to local authorities, when in their fields of jurisdiction. . . .
C. H. Derry and Eli Dobson, to labor under the direction of Joseph R. Lambert.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, pp. 311, 312.
There were also some peculiar developments in connection with the sustaining of officers resulting in a failure to sustain the President of the Twelve. The action was as follows, as found on pages 312, 313, Herald, volume 24:
Joseph Smith and his counselors were sustained.
On motion the Twelve were put separately.
Jason W. Briggs, as president of the Twelve, was declared not sustained. Division called. Rising vote showed twenty-eight to sustain, twenty-nine to not sustain. Josiah Ells, J. Caffall, J. H. Lake, E. C. Briggs, A. H. Smith, Z. H. Gurley, W. H. Kelley, and J. R. Lambert, were sustained by unanimous vote; T. W. Smith, by all but one negative vote.
The High Priests' Quorum, with Charles Derry, president; William Redfield and D. M. Gamet, counselors; and M. H. Forscutt, secretary.
The Seventy's Quorum, with C. G. Lanphear, president; and F. Reynolds, secretary.
The First Quorum of Elders, with Elijah Banta, president; and H. A. Stebbins and D. H. Bays, counselors.
The Second Quorum, with P. Cadwell, president; J. M. Harvey and D. F. Lambert, counselors; and Donald Maule, secretary.
The Third Quorum, with D. S. Mills, president; George Kemp and William T. Bozarth, counselors; and Charles Kemmish, secretary.
Israel L. Rogers, H. A. Stebbins, and David Dancer, as the Presiding Bishopric of the church.
Henry A. Stebbins, as Secretary and Recorder of the church.
John Scott, as Librarian of the church.
The Board of Publication, as at present organized, consisting of I. L. Rogers, David Dancer, H. A. Stebbins, John Scott, and William W. Blair.
The elders, priests, teachers, and deacons of the church, not yet organized into quorums. . . .
When conference refused by vote to sustain Bro. J. W. Briggs as president of the Twelve, Bro. J. Caffall asked a question, which was deferred until the voting was through. The following is the question, and President Smith's reply:
Question.-Is the manner of sustaining authorities this afternoon to be taken as a precedent; that is, are we to consider it right for the body, or any member thereof, to refuse to sustain duly appointed officers who may be presented, unless those officers have first been labored with for any real or supposed wrong?
Answer.-I refer you to the law, given in the Book of Covenants, 107: 46, for a reply, which reads: "A commandment I give unto you that you should fill all these offices, and approve of those names which I have mentioned, or else disapprove of them at my General Conference." The right to vote implies the right to either receive or reject; but, as we have sustained these officers with but one exception, I think that is susceptible of explanation, or should be so, and I think it can be done without acrimony, and with fairness, both to the individual and to the church at large.
Brn. Charles Derry and William W. Blair both spoke to the question, defending the action of conference.
The president suggested that a committee of three be chosen from those voting in the negative, to give to the conference the reasons for their refusal to sustain, when, on motion of J. C. Crabb and J. M. Harvey, the following resolution was passed, after being advocated by Brn. C. Derry, J. C. Crabb, J. M. Harvey, and W. W. Blair, and opposed by W. H. Kelley and J. R. Lambert:
Resolved, That a committee of three be chosen by the conference from among those who voted in the negative, to give conference the reasons of the majority for not sustaining the president of the Twelve, that such reasons be given before this conference shall close; and, further, that a committee of three shall be chosen by this conference, by whom the
brother shall be subsequently waited upon; said committee to report at the next General Conference of the church.
Charles Derry, J. M. Harvey, and Mark H. Forscutt were chosen as the first committee provided for in the above resolution, and the motion appointing them also instructed them to report this evening.
This committee subsequently reported as follows:
We, your committee, appointed to furnish the reasons why the majority refused to sustain the president of the Twelve, in to-day's session, after due deliberation, offer the following as expressing what we believe to have been those reasons:
First. The brother, whom the majority refused this day to sustain in his exalted calling, has denied the preëxistence of man; and, in doing this, has also denied the preëxistence of Christ, as a personal entity; and, thereby, not only denied the received faith of the Church of Christ, but also denied the testimony of the sacred books, which God has given for the instruction, and rule of faith, to govern his church.
Second. In publishing in The Messenger, concerning the prophecy of Ezekiel, 26th chapter, he has assailed the veracity of the Spirit's utterances, and referred to them as only equal, or inferior to, the prophecy of Mother Shipton.
Third. In his articles entitled, "The Past and the Present," he has assailed the prophecies and historical testimony of the Bible, with a ruthless hand, making, or seemingly seeking to make them, subjects of contempt and ridicule, instead of subjects of faith, and has thereby written rather as an enemy than as an advocate of the word of God.
Fourth. In his published articles on "The Gathering," he has denied the faith of the church, and the testimony of the word of God, respecting the building up and establishing the Zion of God on this continent.
Fifth. In his article on "Inspiration," he has denied, in effect, the reliability of the testimony of God's Spirit, and sought to make that testimony appear as of no greater value than the utterances through modern spiritualist mediums.
All of which is respectfully submitted by your committee.
[Signed] CHARLES DERRY.
J. M. HARVEY.
MARK H. FORSCUTT.
A motion was made by J. C. Crabb and T. W. Chatburn that the report be adopted and the committee discharged. Motion to amend was offered by striking out the word "adopted" and substituting the words, "referred to a committee." Discussion followed upon the amendment, in which a number took part. . . . Division being called, amendment was adopted by a vote of thirty-six against twenty-eight, for adoption. The original motion was then put upon its passage, and carried by a large majority.
Motion was then made and carried, that a committee of three be appointed to whom this report shall be referred, that this committee wait
upon the brother, and present him these reasons for not sustaining him, and give their report at the next annual conference.
Motion to appoint W. W. Blair as one of that committee was defeated, by substituting the name of Phineas Cadwell, who was appointed. Charles Derry and I. L. Rogers were nominated, but declined. George A. Blakeslee was nominated, but motion was defeated, by substituting the name of Jonas W. Chatburn, who was elected. Jas. M. Harvey was appointed also. . . .
The Order of Enoch met on the conference grounds September 22, 1877, and elected the following directors for the ensuing year: David Dancer, Elijah Banta, I. L. Rogers, D. M. Gamet, Phineas Cadwell, William Hopkins, and C. A. Beebe. David Dancer was elected president, I. L. Rogers vice president, and William Hopkins treasurer. The board of directors met again at Lamoni, October 13, when William Hopkins resigned as treasurer and Elijah Banta was chosen to succeed him. Their financial report showed receipts to the amount of $3,857.11 and expenditures to the amount of $5,038.44, leaving due David Dancer, who advanced the amount, $1,181.33.
October 13, 1877, a remarkable case of healing occurred in Harrison County, Iowa, to which we give place. The cases of healing were of frequent occurrence. We have not space to relate all, but give place to some of them simply as historical incidents, and as contributing incidentally to the proof that God approved of the work of the church. We do not make a specialty of them because we do not consider that the evidence of God's approval is based alone upon miracles and signs, but these are given as special blessings to the children of God, who have laid the foundation of their hopes on something deeper and more reliable than outward manifestations. This remarkable incident was related as follows:
On Saturday morning, October 13, 1877, while Bro. D. Chambers, Jr., who lives on Spring Creek, Harrison County, Iowa, was caring for one of his colts, he received a severe kick over his right eye and in his breast from both feet of the animal. The force of the kick raised him from the ground and sent him headlong outside of the stable, several feet from where the colt stood, where he lay in a helpless condition, with a fearful gash over his right eye and some of the breast bones broken. He made an effort to rise, but failed. His wife was soon by his side, and she called a
Mr. Draper who happened to be on the premises with his thresher. They succeeded in helping him to the house, but just before reaching there his sight grew dim and he felt as if death was upon him, and he felt an ardent desire to speak to his wife once more, after they got him in the house and seated on a chair, but he was only able to faintly articulate the words, "Good-bye, Mary." Mr. Draper suggested to Sr. Chambers to dispatch some one for medical aid with all possible speed, not that he considered it possible that anything could be done (thinking he was too far gone), which Sr. Chambers did not do, but sent for Bro. W. Chambers, living within half a mile, and in the meantime she applied oil and prayed for her, to all human appearance, dying husband, as best she could under the distressing and exciting circumstances.
On the arrival of Bro. W. Chambers a terrible sight met his gaze, his brother lying with a yawning gash over his eye rendering the skull bone visible, his head resting upon his chin and but little or no signs of consciousness. Wishing to get him into an adjoining room that peradventure they might lay him on a sofa, he suggested it to Mr. Draper. An attempt was made to raise him from the chair by placing their hands under his arms, but his cries forced them to desist, but raising the chair they conveyed him to another room, propping him up as best they could, and proceeded to anoint him with oil. By this time his breast was much swollen and turning black, yet though swollen, there was quite an unnatural hollow or sunken place therein, and the slightest touch of the shoulders, arms, head, face, or breast, would cause the most acute pain, while the least move of the head or arms would produce sounds like the grating of broken bones. His chin still resting upon his breast, and signs of blood accumulated in his throat, causing apprehension of his choking. Bro. W. Chambers called upon his father to assist in laying on hands. But little benefit was received by the sufferer, except a partial restoration to consciousness. They administered a second time with but little better result. The injured man then spoke, and asked them if they had not faith to rebuke the pain. Whereupon Bro. W. Chambers administered the third time, rebuking the pain and commanding him to arise, which he did and walked into the room from which he had been so recently carried as one almost dead, and sat down and eat a hearty breakfast.
Mr. Draper, who had assisted in carrying him to the house, while the brethren were praying, went out; but mark his surprise on returning, with three or four other non-members of the church, at seeing him whom they supposed was, or soon would be dead, seated at the table eating and drinking. They stood and gazed with astonishment, yet glad to see the change, as evidenced by the fact of each one of them shaking hands with him as if he was an intimate friend who had just returned from a long journey. This being done Bro. D. Chambers bore testimony of God's power by which he had been saved from death and made whole.
I shall not attempt to describe the joy of his wife, his brother and wife,
and father, all of whom were present, at seeing one so dear to them so marvelously saved from the jaws of death; all can imagine it.
The following being Sunday, he was in the house of prayer, telling the Saints of the Spring Creek Branch how wondrously the Lord had wrought with him, which moved others to prayer and praise, by which they enjoyed a time long to be remembered.
About two hours passed from the time of the terrible accident to his being seated at the table. The gash over his eyes was drawn together and some sticking-plaster applied, and it healed without the least matteration; and, at this date, the scar is only visible by close inspection. He experienced weakness but for a few days, after which he turned his attention to his labor, and has been as healthy and robust as ever.
WM. CHAMBERS, }
LOUISA M. CHAMBERS, }
MARY N. CHAMBERS, } Witnesses.
JOHN CHAMBERS, }
DAVID CHAMBERS, SR., }
JONATHAN McKEE, }
UNIONBURG, Iowa, December 11, 1877.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, p. 36.
The Herald for October 15 published the following items from Utah:
Jeter Clinton was held under ten thousand dollars bail to appear for trial on charge of participating in the massacre of the Morrisites; R. T. Burton for fifteen thousand dollars, and Jacob Hoffman for ten thousand dollars. . . .
Bro. Thomas Dobson has a challenge in the Freeman to the editor of the Ogden Junction, who, he says, proposes to discuss any points of difference now that he knows that the missionaries of the Reorganized Church are not there, such as he did not when those missionaries publicly challenged O. Pratt for a discussion on those points, or others who might be put to represent the Utah church on them.
The notorious Porter Rockwell was arrested at Salt Lake City, September 29, on a charge of murder in the first degree, name of one killed not given.
Four hundred and four divorces granted in the Salt Lake County probate court the past year, so says the Salt Lake Tribune, and it is charged that they were all illegally given.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 315.
Commencing on October 15, 1877, there was a discussion which lasted several days held near New Jefferson, Greene County, Iowa, between Elder Joseph R. Lambert and an Advent Christian minister by the name of P. F. Willoughby. Of this debate Elder Lambert wrote on October 27:
Feeling confident that we had the truth, and that God required me to defend it, when a better instrument was not to be had, I left the many excuses that I might have made, for others to use, and went to work. Bro. Eli T. Dobson promises to write you a report of the debate; therefore, it is only necessary for me to say that the truth triumphed gloriously, and the manifest weakness of those who essay the task of disproving the Book of Mormon, or any part of God's truth, was made apparent to many.
We affirmed both propositions, and the people voted that we sustained them.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 348.
About the same time a discussion was in progress at Glenwood, Iowa, between Elder William H. Kelley and Professor W. F. Jamieson, a spiritualist. Of this debate Elder E. L. Kelley wrote, October 22:
The discussion is progressing pleasantly, and but for the continued heavy rains would have been favorable in all respects. These have greatly diminished the audiences from the first. Two questions have thus far been disposed of, and if the opinion of the people is a true criterion, the bold advocate of spiritualism has failed so far. Indeed, the spiritualists themselves whom I have talked with admit that Jamieson completely failed on the first proposition-to wit: "The Bible and reason teach and indorse [endorse] modern spiritualism." Truly it was a failure on the part of the professor. . . .
The second question: "Is there any God," is a more difficult question to meet and the discussion of it here highly entertaining to the audience. The spiritualists are divided as to whom the victory belongs on this; but I have not heard of any one of the persons favoring neither side, but that claims that the positions taken by the affirmative were unmoved; not even in a single instance was this not the case. Brn. M. H. Forscutt, James Caffall, Henry Garner, S. S. Wilcox, Stephen Wilcox, Frank Redfield, and J. Leadingham were in attendance the first week.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 348.
The following from Elder Z. H. Gurley gives his reason for not prosecuting his mission to Utah:
Having noticed the depleted condition of the finances as shown by the Bishop's last report, and having been informed by him recently that he had "more promises than he could fill," (unless he drew upon his individual purse), I have concluded to make no effort to reach Utah this winter.-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 346.
The following item was published in the Herald for November 15, 1877:
The brethren to whom the semiannual conference directed the Presidency to write, respecting the Danish Mission, have replied to the letters
sent them. Bro. Knud Johnson is willing to go, if the church is prepared to send him and sustain the Mission. Bro. Ole Madison writes that his circumstances are such that he can not go, for which he is sorry, as otherwise he would like it.
The 20th of November, the Bishop wrote giving instruction to the church pertaining to the financial department of the work which was subsequently published. 3
The two following notices from the Sunday Herald, of Shreveport, Louisiana, for November 11, 1877, indicate that Elder J. W. Bryan was making an effort there, and show what tactics were resorted to to destroy the effect of his work:
Elder J. W. Bryan requests us to state that he will preach at the courthouse this evening at half past three o'clock. Subject: "Divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon."
Mr. Editor: There will be "open air" service this afternoon from the court-house door, beginning at four o'clock. This is at the
3In accordance with the commandment given in the revelation of April, 1873, I have appointed agents in all districts of the church, where it has been thought necessary, and according to the recommendations of the district conferences, where the Saints have chosen and sustained such brethren as they have thought best qualified, those competent in financial affairs and capable of attending to the duties of that calling; and, in the main, I trust that they have given satisfaction therein.
In 1873 there were published some instructions to agents, so far as their duties were then understood by me, which rules, as necessary for their guidance and information, and that of the Saints, the Bishopric now revise, republish, and present to the church.
First. Each agent should have a suitable book, wherein to enter all transactions of receipt and expenditure, with dates, names, amounts, etc., debiting himself with all receipts, and crediting himself with all sums paid out for the benefit of the work, as hereinafter provided. To audit this book, committees may be appointed by the district conferences, from time to time, or the Bishop of the church may audit them, or he may authorize it to be done.
Second. Agents should keep account of all donations and free-will offerings which are paid to them as such, and also of all money received by them as tithing from those who pay it as such, and who request it to be so credited.
Third. All money received in the form of donations and free-will offerings by the Bishop's agents, may be used by the agents, or by order of the district conferences, for the aid of the ministry, the poor, and other church purposes, as wisdom may direct, in the several districts where such funds are paid to the appointed agent: provided, that whenever the Bishop of the church, or the General Conference of the church through him, shall require it for the missionary and other general work of the church, that then the balance in the hands of the agents may be called in for such need or emergency; or it may be called for whenever an agent reports that such balance on hand is not likely to be needed in the district.
Fourth. All money received and credited as tithing, in contradistinction to that paid as free-will offerings and donations, should either be sent to the Bishop of the church direct, or it should be held subject to his order, or that of the General Conference through him, and only be paid out as they may direct. This is so ordered because the Bishopric believe that this course is in harmony with the law of God; and, therefore (as would be supposed),
earnest prayers not of "Saints" but of "sinners." The address will be adapted to the occasion. Some live questions will be raised and a startling history revealed. The ladies will find chairs on the porch, and in the hall. Let everybody come.
JOEL T. DAVES, Pastor Methodist Church.
The Herald for December 15, 1877, gives items of news from different points which indicate how the work was moving as the year closed:
it is evidently the plan best calculated to supply the wants and demands of the work, both general and local; and when carried out and the law of consecration and tithing is heeded, then there will be financial support for, and success in all departments of the cause of God. It is believed that this view concerning the control and use of tithing recognizes this fund in its proper place, and causes it to become a wise and necessary provision for supplying the missionary work of the church, and for other general purposes, such as are spoken of in the law. For, if all the means, both tithings and offerings, were subject to the order of the various districts where such tithings are paid, then there would be no certain provision for supplying such general demands as have been mentioned and as are commanded in the law of God-all might be swallowed up by the local legislation for local needs or demands, and the work at large be left to languish.
Fifth. In addition to their quarterly reports to the district conferences, agents are required to make regular annual reports to the Bishop of the church on the first of March each year, showing the receipts and expenditures, both of tithings and offerings, for the year, with the balances remaining on hand if any. They may also report the financial condition, prospects, and needs of their districts, from time to time, as may be thought necessary, together with such suggestions and recommendations from the district conferences as they may wish presented to the Bishop for his consideration.
Sixth. Upon the resignation of an agent, which should be presented in writing to the district conference, and, if accepted, be sent to the Bishop, his books should be audited and settled before the appointment of another. And, in case an agent is not sustained by a majority vote of the district conference, he should be notified of the fact before a new choice is made, so that he may present his resignation or a written assent to such change. Should he, upon such notification, refuse to resign, or to assent to the change, then the matter should be referred to the Bishop for his decision before another choice is made.
Seventh. For the benefit of the work it is thought that it would be well for each branch of the church to appoint a finance clerk (if they have not already done so), to receive offerings from the members to be paid out on the order of the branch for the expenses thereof, and, so far as may be possible, for the poor therein, thus preventing the necessity, in many cases, of applying to the Bishop or to his agent in the district. Said finance clerk may also receive money for the general treasury of the church, and forward it to the Bishop or his agent, to be credited by them. For the use of said finance clerks there are for sale, as advertised by the Board of Publication, Branch Finance Books, printed and ruled for entry of receipts and expenditures, with headings for those funds, which, if in common use, would result in good to the whole work, both local and general.
To the agents I would say, that my earnest prayer is that God will guide and direct you in all things, giving you the spirit of wisdom and understanding in your various duties, and that you may be efficient and competent servants of the Lord for the advancement of his work, so far as pertains to that committed to your trust. May you also strive to merit and receive the confidence of the Saints and the approbation of the Almighty. In the hope of the gospel, I remain,
Your fellow laborer In the Lord,
ISRAEL L. ROGERS, Bishop of the Church.
PLANO, Illinois, November 20, 1877.
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 24, p. 367.
Bro. J. H. Parr, of Brighten, California, says that eight have been baptized into their branch recently. He sends for books, as they all desire to be posted.
Bro. J. M. Parks writes from Santa Rosa, California, that he has been preaching in Potter Valley, and baptized two, and others are likely to obey.
Brn. M. H. Bond and Francis Earl were preaching at York Center, Indiana, early this month; Brn. Kelley and C. Scott at Coldwater, Michigan.
Bro. George Hayward writes of organizing a branch of nine members, at Wyandotte, Kansas, November 11. They have a room filled up comfortably for meetings, and prospects for more conversions and baptisms are good.
Bro. B. V. Springer, of Davis City, Iowa, writes that he is preaching in that place every Sabbath day, and the audiences are good-sized and attentive.
Bro. E. N. Beach of Colorado, has been on an exploring visit to Southern Colorado and New Mexico and saw the extensive ancient ruins thereabouts, and collected some specimens of pottery and other antiquities. . . .
Bro. J. W. Bryan wrote from Shreveport, Louisiana, November 27. . . . His work in Shreveport has caused an interest which he hopes will result in the obedience of some, after further study and investigation.
Bro. William Newton writes that they are having good, lively meetings at Wyandotte, Kansas. Brn. Hayward and Newton preach there.
Brn. G. T. Griffiths and W. T. Maitland have been traveling in Iowa, about Inland and Tipton, with partial success. Bro. E. Larkey was also in company with Bro. Griffiths a part of the time.
Bro. William Bradbury, Providence, Rhode Island, writes that Bro. E. O. Toombs had baptized one, an old-time Saint-they are welcome-and had solemnized one marriage.
Bro. W. F. Donaldson, of Logan, writes that the Saints were blessed at the organization of a branch at Buena Vista, Iowa, October 14, 1877.
Bro. J. B. Jarvis, of Scranton, Kansas, writes that the followers of William Bickerton are striving to build up at Great Bend, Kansas; but that they are divided into two parties. They believe that Joseph was a seer and prophet, but ignore the revelations in the Book of Covenants. . . .
Uncle William Smith, of Elkader, Iowa, was at Colchester, Illinois, visiting his sisters, Catharine and Lucy, on the 4th instant; he is intending to visit Plano soon. We shall bid one of the heroes of the early days welcome.
Bro. Daniel Evans writes from Sullivan, Missouri, December 7, 1877: "The work is on the increase here. One year ago last July, our branch numbered eight members, and now there are twenty-three, all new converts but one; and they all seem to enjoy the same spirit of the gospel."
December 21, 1877, President Joseph Smith left Plano for a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, to return via Nauvoo, Illinois.
To close this chapter and the record of the year 1877, we quote a letter from some isolated ones in far-off Switzerland to Elder J. L. Bear:
With great longing we looked for your letter, which was delayed so long we soon would have believed that we were forsaken of the whole world and forgotten; yet thy good father-heart beats in the far distant land for us, thy children, who are here alone; yet we will not say alone, but nevertheless without a shepherd; still our hope is in God and his Son, that he may stand by us in all our weaknesses. Yes, we are often weak; yet in the greatest weakness we feel that the Spirit of God comes again to our assistance, to pour fresh balsam upon our wounds, and raise us up again anew. . . .
May God give unto us the joy to see thee once more in our midst, to instruct and build us up. Often we long with sorrowful hearts for a meeting; we have better chance now than before, because I am alone with my children and have nobody to fear. I live in Kratz, on the main road, but we hope that God may give unto us that grace, that we may yet be able to live with the people of God in happiness.
We rejoice that Bro. Van Buren reached America in safety. He promised to write if possible, something from the church, as soon as he reached his destination; but we have received nothing yet. He also gave us many good instructions, and told us of things which shall come to pass in the future, and of the great events that shall happen in America before the people of God will be gathered; and that the Jews shall live again in their own land before Christ shall come. . . .
MARIA SCHMID, AND
-The Saints' Herald, vol. 25, pp. 44, 45.
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