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A mission conference was held at Manchester, England, June 1 to 3, of which Elder Thomas Taylor wrote:
You will be pleased to learn that the work in this mission is moving along very satisfactorily. We held our mission conference, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday last, June 1, 2 and 3, at Manchester, had an excellent time; good attendance, and oneness of feeling to the one great end, the interest and progress of the work of God.
July 6 there was a church dedicated at Independence, Missouri. President Joseph Smith was present, assisting the local authorities. This was not the large stone church standing near the Temple Lot, but a brick building in the east part of the city.
The committee appointed at the annual conference to compare
different editions of the Book of Mormon with the manuscript in the hands of David Whitmer, met at the house of Mr. Whitmer in Richmond, Missouri, on July 8, and commenced the examination. Elder Whitmer had insisted that President Joseph Smith should be present, and hence he took part in the examination. This work had been under contemplation for ten years, and the favorable opportunity presenting itself, it was improved. This work of the committee received editorial notice in the Saints' Herald for August 23, 1884, which we insert for the sake of the valuable historical incidents related:
It is often said that history repeats itself. In secular affairs this has occurred many times. And now and then there has been an instance of similar import in church affairs. Away back in the early days of the church, in the "upper chamber of Father Whitmer's house," a certain work connected with the work of the last days and the Book of Mormon, was being done by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and others; which work was of a preparatory nature, the results of which should be felt while the church continued to exist. What that work was history has recorded, and the Saints received it. From a solemn conclave held in that "upper room," there went forth an edict which was to affect the church wonderfully. They were commanded to go to the Ohio, and there a law should be given them that was to be applicable to them in their then "condition and in the New Jerusalem." That law is the revelation of 1831 specifically establishing the one wife rule in the church. Subsequent to the giving of that law the statement was made that the church was under condemnation, and would remain so until the people remembered the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which had been given the church, to do according to that "which was written." Into what a state of forgetfulness concerning the Book of Mormon and the former commandments, especially the one of 1831, the church had fallen and would fall, the history of the apostasy under Brigham Young fully shows.
On the 8th of July, 1884, a group of men were assembled by appointment and agreement, in an upper room of Father Whitmer's,1 house, in Richmond, Missouri, within the borders of the land of Zion, the persons of which group and the object for which they had met made it remarkable, and almost a repetition in history. The central figure in this group was David Whitmer, now the only surviving witness of the three, who were made special witnesses to the visit of the angel with the plates to show them to those chosen for that purpose. Almost fourscore years old, hair white as wool, eyes bright and faculties still good,
1Son of Father Whitmer referred to above.
the patriarch sat among them, a link in destiny's chain formed by the hand of God.
Next in historic importance in this group was Joseph Smith, oldest son of Joseph Smith, the Martyr, the man by whom the Book of Mormon was translated and given to the world. He was there at the request and selection of Father Whitmer, directed by the Spirit; associated with him, also by selection of Elder Whitmer, was P. Alma Page, son of Hiram Page, one of the eight witnesses, a firm believer in the book to which his father bore testimony.
Alexander H. Smith, third son of Joseph Smith; William H. Kelley, son of one of the elders who labored and toiled in the field in the days of Joseph and Hyrum, and Thomas W. Smith, one who had received the work under the Reorganized Church, were present as duly appointed representatives of the Latter Day Saints, members of the church in its primitive organization and its reorganized form-to fulfill the behest of the people of God, who have "remembered the Book of Mormon," with the purpose of "doing according to what is written therein."
The object of the assembling of these men in this "upper room" was to examine together, the written word of the Book of Mormon and the printed page of that work. And though it may appear that accident may have chosen the men who composed this group of six, it must be evident to those who believe in the watchfulness of the Spirit over the affairs of the Lord's Christ upon the earth, that the choice of these men for this duty was not that of accident but design, the design of Providence. The committee represented the strength and youth of the Reorganization, as found in the sons of the first elders of the church, and the new element won to the faith through the preaching of the word. They also represented that portion of the church found in the remnant left from the apostasy, who refused to strike hands with usurpation and false doctrines, and stood for the truth as it was at the first.
In the other portion of the group were represented the first and subsequent phases of the work, Elder Whitmer representing a class who believe firmly in the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Christ; but who, for reason, known to themselves and God, stand without affiliation with either the apostasy or the Reorganized Church, yet wishing good will and success to every worker for the truth. Of the same class is Philandi A. Page, son of Hiram Page, one of the eight before named. It was fitting that Joseph Smith, oldest son and representative heir of the one who translated the Book of Mormon should be associated with this committee of examination, for in him all classes represented in the group have placed their confidence, as one striving to "turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children," that all may finally be found of Christ in one.
To complete the remarkable character of this assembling in that "upper room in Father Whitmer's house," there met with them, from time to time, during the eight days in which they were engaged in their work,
John C. Whitmer, son of Jacob Whitmer, also one of the eight witnesses; David J. Whitmer, son of David Whitmer, Sr., and George Schweich, grandson of David Whitmer, forming a family all firm believers in the Book of Mormon and all anxious that the work should be fairly and well done, and that it should redound to the glory of God and the good of the cause. The sittings were opened by prayer; he who offered the supplication on each occasion asking for each and all engaged in the work divine guidance and support. At the close, divine blessing was asked upon the complete work of the committee.
The suggestive character of the men engaged in the examination ordered by the General Conference last spring, and the importance attaching to such examination as a fact, with the results likely to follow may be understood if thought is had upon the following facts. The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830, at Palmyra, New York, by E. B. Grandin, printer, for Joseph Smith. It was copyrighted in the United States district for Northern New York. Since then an edition was published at Kirtland by P. P. Pratt and E. S. Goodin, known as the Kirtland edition. Another at Cincinnati, Ohio, under the supervision of Ebenezer Robinson; known as the Cincinnati edition; another at Nauvoo, Illinois, called the Nauvoo edition; all during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, first president of the church, and presumably all with his knowledge. In addition to those above named, there was issued what are known as the first, second, third, fourth and fifth European editions, published at Liverpool, England, under Brigham Young's administration; but supervised by Orson Pratt for the earlier, and Franklin D. Richards for the later editions, if we are correctly informed. There is also a later issue of the work, with references, edited by Orson Pratt, and published at Liverpool, England, by John Henry Smith, in 1883. Another edition still was printed in New York, for Russell Huntley and Zadoc Brooks, in the interest of what is known as the Brooks faction of the church, and issued about 1856. There are editions in the German, Danish, French, and we believe Italian languages; and maybe others.
It has been stated by some who are believers in the Book of Mormon that there are differences between these editions; especially that in the Danish tongue there have been changes quite unjustifiable, and which antagonize the English rendition. Changes in phraseology, if not in sentiment, have long been known between the Palmyra and subsequent editions. The Reorganization in pursuance of its once work of reorganizing and restoring, set about the comparison accomplished by the committee, and have had the hearty sanction of Elder David Whitmer, and the active countenance and assistance of his entire family.
There is reason to believe that there was a manuscript copy of the Book of Mormon placed in the southeast corner-stone of the Nauvoo House, at Nauvoo. Bro. E. Robinson thinks that he witnessed the deposit of such copy in that stone. Two years since Major Lewis C. Bidamon, who married Emma Smith in 1847, and is in possession of the Nauvoo House, took
up the corner-stone referred to, in repairing and remodeling the dwelling into which he made a part of the premises. He found that the contents of the stone had been imperfectly preserved, water having penetrated the cavity. The manuscripts were water-soaked and spoiled, a small section only being decipherable, the rest was mostly reduced to pulp, and on those portions not so reduced, the writing was faded out and illegible. A copy of the Doctrine and Covenants was with the manuscript, and the whole mass when dry crumbled to pieces at a touch. He forwarded such part as could be handled to us at Lamoni, where after a little exposure and handling it became entirely worthless even as a relic. If this copy thus accounted for was one of the two which it is alleged were made at the beginning, either the original or the copy, the one which Elder David Whitmer has is the only one in writing in existence; and must be the basis from which any errors, if any have been made, must be corrected.
The final report of the committee was published in the Herald for August 23, 1884, setting forth that the committee had carefully compared the manuscript in the hands of David Whitmer with the Palmyra and Plano editions of the Book of Mormon, noting all discrepancies. Many unimportant changes were found but none that changed the meaning of the language. Conclusive evidence was found that the manuscript was the one used by the printers of the Palmyra edition. The handwritings of Oliver Cowdery, Christian Whitmer, and Emma Smith were positively identified by parties familiar with these handwritings. The committee earnestly recommended that future editions of the Book of Mormon be made to conform to the Palmyra edition corrected by them to fully agree with the manuscript.
This recommendation has not been carried into effect.
The following certificate accompanied the report, but has not been hitherto published:
RICHMOND, Ray County, Missouri, July 17, 1884.
To whom it may come: This may certify that we were present from time to time at the residence of David Whitmer, Sr., during the examination and comparison of the Palmyra and subsequent editions of the Book of Mormon, with the manuscript of that book now in the hands of said David Whitmer, and that examination was conducted openly, and as we believe fairly; by W. H. Kelley, A. H. Smith, and T. W. Smith for the Reorganized Church; and Joseph Smith and Philandi A. Page for David Whitmer;
that said examination began Tuesday, July 8th and was concluded July 17th, 1884.
Wm. H. KELLY, Chairman of Committee. D. J. WHITMER
ALEX H. SMITH. GEO. SCHWEICH
THOS. W. SMITH, Secretary of Committee. JOHN SHORT
JOHN C. WHITMER.
P. A. PAGE.
July 14 there was a discussion at Prices Corners, Ontario, between Elder J. H. How, of the Seventh-day Advents, and Elder James A. McIntosh.
In the Herald for July 19, 1884, appeared the prospectus of a paper to be published in England in the interests of church work. This periodical appeared first under date of August, 1884, under the title of The Vindicator of Truth, and setting forth that it was "the official organ of the English Mission of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and is published by order of mission conference." The name of the editor does not appear, but we notice among the contributors the names of Joseph Dewsnup, G. S. Hyde, John Austin, Joseph Naylor, M. T. James, C. H. Caton, J. Ramsey, G. S. Greenwood, J. C. Foss, Simon Spargo, William Kendrick, Thomas Taylor, Elizabeth Spargo, and T. E. Jenkins. It was published monthly, closing in July, 1885. It was printed in the city of Birmingham.
On August 1 Elder J. R. Lambert, in harmony with a provision made by the General Conference, appointed J. M. Terry to labor in Kansas, and H. A. Stebbins to labor in Decatur District, Iowa, as general .missionaries.
In Herald for August 2, the editor gave an account of a visit and conversation with General Doniphan. It contains some valuable historic references. It is as follows:
General A. W. Doniphan, whom we met at his hotel, the Hudgins House, told us that he knew Oliver Cowdery well, and knew him till his death; he spoke in good terms of him as a man and as a citizen.
We called upon the General the evening before we left Richmond, and had an hour's very interesting chat, in which the General related several incidents which occurred during the days that the Saints were citizens of
Clay, Caldwell, Ray, and Daviess Counties. He conducted the defense of O. P. Rockwell at the time of his arrest for the attempt to assassinate Governor L. W. Boggs, and of which charge Rockwell was acquitted. There was no evidence connecting Rockwell with the offense, and the General believed him to have been innocent. This was assuring, for so much has been said by those who have assailed the Saints about Rockwell as the agent of Joseph Smith in the outrageous attempt to assassinate the governor of the state of Missouri, that the statement of a man intimately acquainted with the affair at the time of its occurrence, tends to remove the fear that guilt might attach to them against whom it has been charged.
The General was also present and attending to the examination of Sidney Rigdon at Liberty, Missouri, when on a writ of habeas corpus he was before Judge King. Elder Rigdon had few if any friends there, about one hundred were gathered, the most of them "Mormon eaters," as they were called, and terribly excited against those under arrest and in custody. After the counsel had argued the legal conditions of the case, Elder Rigdon desired General Doniphan to inquire of the Judge if he might speak in his own behalf. The Judge said "certainly." Elder Rigdon rose and began; and, says the General, "Such a burst of eloquence it was never my fortune to listen to. At its close there was not a dry eye in that room, all were moved to tears." At its close the Judge said: "The prisoner is discharged the custody of the court, Mr. Rigdon is free to go his way."
The effect of Elder Rigdon's words was such that one of the leading men of the crowd picked up his hat, and turning to the bystanders, said, "We came here determined to do injury to this man. He is innocent of crime, as has been made to appear. And now, gentlemen, out with your money and help the man to return to his destitute family." He circulated the hat and the money was showered into it till he placed a hundred dollars in Elder Rigdon's hands, with the remark, "Now old gentleman, make the quickest possible time to your family, who need you and your help."
It must have been a remarkable scene, for as General Doniphan related it, the remembrance of it lit up his aged face with a glow of animation pleasant to witness.
In answer to the question whether the anti-slavery sentiment which prevailed among the Saints was in any wise at the bottom of the opposition and persecution to which they were subjected, he stated that there could be little doubt that in Jackson County and probably some others, the real reason of the hostility to the church was pro-slavery dislike to the anti-slavery sentiment of the Mormons. Religious bigots opposed to the doctrines of the Saints made the position of the Saints on the slavery question the pretext of their hate.
In answer to the question, Were the leading men among the Saints such bad men as it was urged that they were, the General stated that they
were not. He was intimately acquainted with many, had some of them for neighbors, and a "nicer lot of men I never knew; kind, neighborly, and upright."
August 3, 1884, Elder Glaud Rodger, senior president of Seventies, died at Elko, Nevada. Elder Rodger was born at Airdrie, Scotland, in 1820. He was baptized into the church August 11, 1842. He served as deacon and priest, then as elder he traveled and preached extensively in Scotland and England. From Scotland he went to Utah, but was not satisfied with conditions obtaining there, and hence went on to California, where he united with the Reorganization, and at once became an acceptable minister, doing considerable ministerial work in California. In 1873 he accompanied Elder C. W. Wandell to Australia. They sailed from San Francisco on November 3, and as related elsewhere, were driven into Tahiti, where they began the work of the Reorganization in the Islands. In Australia he remained about five years, accomplishing an excellent work and leaving a most estimable reputation. During his sojourn there he buried his traveling companion, Elder Wandell, and for much of the time labored alone. Returning to America he labored in the missionary field in California, Nevada, and elsewhere. He was ordained president of the Seventy in 1880, and in that capacity commanded the unqualified confidence of his quorum.
He was a faithful laborer, a sound teacher, a wise counselor, an exemplary preacher, and an excellent man. He was buried at Elko, Nevada, by those who had ministered to his wants during his last sickness, viz., Bro. Emanuel Penrod and family and Bro. W. R. Stauts and wife. His widow still lives, residing at Lamoni, Iowa. Three of his children still live: Glaud, who resides in California; Joseph B., now a resident of Batavia, Illinois; and Dollie, now Mrs. Austin Olsen, of Lamoni, Iowa.
Commencing August 5 there was another debate held near Oenaville, Bell County, Texas, between Elder C. M. Wilmeth, of the Christian Church, and Elder Heman C. Smith.
August 12 a discussion commenced at Webb City, Missouri, between the Reverend J. Hacker, of the Baptist Church, and Elder F. C. Warnky.
A tragedy occurred in Lewis County, Tennessee, where a mob murdered William S. Berry and J. H. Gibbs, of Utah; also Martin Condor and J. R. Hudson, of Tennessee. This was deprecated by the Reorganization in general.
The committee appointed to arrange for a Danish periodical announced through the Herald for September 6 that they had decided to issue the periodical at once. The first number of this paper appeared under date of October, 1884, entitled Sandhedens Banner, Elder Peter Anderson, editor. It was intended to circulate as a tract as well as a periodical, for the benefit of the Scandinavian people who could not read the English literature of the church.
September 15 Mr. Mecham Curtis, who had long been associated with the church (see volume 2, page 323) wrote from Bandera, Texas, to President Joseph Smith concerning some early historical events. 1
In the issue of Zion's Hope for September 27, 1884, the first series of Sunday-school lesson leaves was commenced. They were prepared by William C. Cadwell, of the committee appointed at the last annual conference.
October 1 Elder T. W. Smith and wife sailed from San Francisco, California, for Tahiti, on board the Tropic Bird.
A reunion was held October 4 to 12 on grounds belonging to Elder Henry Garner, in Harrison County, Iowa; Joseph Smith, president, J. C. Jensen, secretary. The names of the following ministers appear in the account
1I carried a petition from Black River, Wisconsin, from Lyman Wight to a council held in Nauvoo, Illinois, in February, 1844, asking permission to locate a mission among the Indians, which the council granted, your father in the chair. At the same time Lucian Woodworth was directed to go to Texas to apply for the privilege of settling a colony in that State, which he did. He called upon Sam. Houston, then president of the republic of Texas. Houston's reply was he could not do anything till Congress met; but your father was killed the June following, before the work was completed.
In the same council there was a call for volunteers to go to California to examine the Pacific coast. Salt Lake was not mentioned.
of the meeting: Joseph Smith, W. W. Blair, E. C. Briggs, James Caffall, Charles Derry, J. C. Crabb, Phineas Cadwell, H. A. Stebbins, E. C. Brand, Rudolph Etzenhouser, J. F. Mintun, Levi Gamet, Elijah Banta, B. V. Springer, J. S. Roth, G. S. Hyde, J. F. McDowell, J. W. Chatburn, Henry Garner, W. W. Whiting, Robert McKenzie, John Rounds, W. A. Carroll, John Hawley, John Pett, Henry Kemp, William Rumel, and others. Of the reunion the editor of the Herald wrote:
The moral tone of the meeting was most excellent; peace and her votaries were friends, and all vied in good humor to observe the proprieties of the meeting. The committees on ground, singing and police all did their work well, and left nothing that they could do, or get done, undone to make the occasion a success.
There were three or four cases of sickness in the camp, three of which were sick when brought there. Of these two died, one a child two years old, the other Sr. Dorothy Fry, aged eighty-four years and two months; who came, as she said, preferring to die among the Saints, if so be the good Lord be pleased to take her.
There were one hundred and twenty-four tents in the camp, at noon on Saturday the 11th, and at noon on Sunday there were in addition five hundred and fifty-seven teams, representing an aggregate of over three thousand people, who were more than ordinarily quiet and orderly. Brn. Jarius Putney and James Emerson, of the police force, reported that they found no one captious, or inclined to show disrespect to the rules of the camp when spoken to.
An eight day discussion, beginning October 16, was hold at Edenville, Iowa, between Reverend J. H. Scull of the Methodist Church, and Elder I. N. White.
In the trial of Rudger Clawson in the Third District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah, which began October 15, 1884, Judge C. S. Zane presiding, both John Taylor and George Q. Cannon testified that they did not know whether records of marriages celebrated in the Endowment House were kept or not. Each testified that they had celebrated marriages there but kept no minutes, and did not know if any were kept. President Taylor, however, evidently felt quite indignant over the efforts being made by the Government to suppress polygamy, for on the 5th of October he delivered a discourse in the tabernacle, at Salt Lake City, in which he referred to the so-called revelation
on plural marriage; and the Salt Lake Herald of the 7th represents him as using the following vigorous language: "We are told that we must change and make the revelation pliable to suit the demands of the day. I'll see them damned first, and then I won't. [Voices, 'Amen.'] We have authority to show that those who do not accept this doctrine will be damned."
Elder T. W. Smith and wife arrived at Tahiti on November 6. He wrote that he had called on the American Consul, Mr. Atwater, and was by him introduced to the Director, next officer to the Governor. The Director informed him that he was at liberty to preach when and where he pleased, on condition that he observed the law. Metuaore wrote of their coming as follows:
I am happy to inform you that Bro. Thomas W. Smith and wife arrived here safely and in good health on the Tropic Bird, and it has been very gratifying to us all to receive him here with open arms, the only drawback is that he can not speak our language and we can not speak English, so that of a necessity our intercourse is, at present, limited; but it will not take him long to learn our language, as it is very simple and contains only fifteen letters. He and his wife are stopping with us all at our village; they are not quite accustomed to our kind of food yet, but will like it very much when they do. On the 16th of this month (next Sabbath) we are going to have a meeting of all when Bro. Smith will expound to us all his views.
Joseph Gilbert, of Omaha, Nebraska, recently returned from a visit to England, reported conditions there as follows:
The mission in England is good and bids fair to continue so. Branches are good, take one with the other; London might be better. Manchester District is on the increase, if I may be a judge. Sheffield, I believe is doing honest, simple gospel work; also Leeds. I may add the English Mission has done good work. Bro. Thomas Taylor still holds his own, expresses himself that he would like to have the burden lighter; all generally speak well of him. There are men there that can represent the work; the young men are not behind by any means. I have listened to some fine discourses from some of the young elders.
November 9 the church house at Union Branch, Jefferson County, Indiana, was dedicated. Elders M. H. Forscutt and J. W. Waldsmith were present assisting the local authorities.
November 9 two members of the church, Mr. and Mrs. Standering, were murdered near Hutchinson, Colorado, by unknown parties. It was supposed that the purpose was robbery.
Early in November a circular letter was sent out announcing that a decision had been reached to publish a periodical on the Pacific Coast. The circular was signed by H. P. Brown, T. J. Andrews, George S. Lincoln, A. Haws, and others. On December 15 those interested in the move met at the office of H. P. Brown, Oakland, California, and organized a Board of Publication consisting of T. J. Andrews, president; G. S. Lincoln, treasurer; Richard Ferris, secretary; Albert Haws; and H. P. Brown, editor.
Elder George Q. Cannon delivered a discourse at Ephraim, Utah, November 16, by which it would appear that he expected the posterity of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, would accomplish a work in the church. The Deseret News of November 25, reports him as saying:
There may be faithful men who will have unfaithful sons, who may not be as faithful as they might be; but faithful posterity will come, just as I believe it will be the case with the Prophet Joseph's seed. To-day he has not a soul descended from him personally in this church. There is not a man bearing the holy priesthood to stand before our God in the church that Joseph was the means in the hands of God of founding-not a man to-day of his own blood,-that is, by descent-to stand before the Lord and represent him among these Latter Day Saints. But will this always be the case? No. Just as sure as God lives, just as sure as God has made promises, so sure will some one of Joseph Smith's posterity rise up and be numbered with this church and bear the everlasting priesthood and who will honor and magnify that priesthood among the Latter Day Saints."
There was an effort made to revive the work of Joseph Morris. There was a paper published in San Francisco, California, by Elder James Dove, called the Olive Branch, in which it was announced that George S. Dove was the successor of Joseph Morris. The Olive Branch also published a portion of the revelations of Joseph Morris. Subsequently (1886), George S. Dove & Company published the revelations of Joseph Morris in book form, entitled, "Spirit Prevails." The Olive Branch for
November 15, 1884, announced that it would discontinue for the present on account of "force of circumstances occasioned by limited means."
On the 7th of December Lars Peterson and James Brighouse organized at Independence, Missouri, what they called the "Order of Enoch," or "The Church or Kingdom of Christ;" Lars Peterson and James Brighouse, presidents; E. Peterson, bishop. They issued a circular which set forth that: "Laciviousness [Lasciviousness] or lustful desires have so defiled and corrupted all mankind, to such a state of degradation, that they are unfit to procreate." They therefore required that men to be pure must "cease the procreation of mortality as Noah did; that body of sin might be destroyed (Romans 6); and prepare to bring forth a righteous offspring through the thousand years," etc. It was claimed at the time of the organization that there were twelve in the order, seven males and five females. They were quite aggressive for a time, but the order is now extinct, and was not of sufficient importance to demand further attention.
Early in December there was a discussion held at Stewartsville, Missouri, between Elder Clark Braden of the Christian Church, and Elder J. W. Gillen.
There was also a series of discussions held about this time in Kansas, in which the same bodies were represented. One between Elder Treble (Disciple) and Elder Edward E. Wheeler, one between Elder Treble and Elder E. A. Davies, and one between Elder Lucas (Disciple) and Elder Evan A. Davies.
Commencing December 9 the same bodies were also represented in discussion at Banders, Texas, by Elder C. M. Wilmeth (Christian) and Elder Heman C. Smith.
About the same time the Baptists in the person of a Reverend McLean made an attack on the faith at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, where Elder F. M. Sheehy stood in defense.
December 28,1884, Bishop David M. Gamet died at his home in Little Sioux, Iowa. He was born in the state of New York, in 1811. He united with the church in 1835, and labored for years in the traveling ministry. After the death of the Prophet he followed the party under Brigham Young as far as Western Iowa, and discovering things he believed to be radically wrong he refused to go farther. He remained in Western Iowa, locating at Little Sioux, Harrison County. In 1861 he united with the Reorganization under the ministry of Elder S. W. Condit, and again entered the ministry. He was subsequently ordained a bishop at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in October, 1866, under the hands of Joseph Smith and Charles Derry, and for a time acted as bishop for that region. Afterwards he acted as Bishop's agent. He presided for some time over the Little Sioux Branch, and also acted as counselor to the president of the High Priests' Quorum. He was highly esteemed and respected wherever he was known for honesty, integrity, and virtue.
On December 20, 1884, Elder J. F. Burton, his wife, and daughter Addie, arrived at Sydney, Australia, after a pleasant voyage from San Francisco of twenty-eight days. Elder Burton had been assigned to the Australasian Mission by the committee to whom the matter was referred at the annual conference of 1884.
This year was an eventful one in the line of church literature. It saw the inauguration of the Sunday-school lesson system, now a great feature of church work. Two church periodicals, The Vindicator of Truth and Sandhedens Banner, had been launched upon the literary sea; while preparations were completed to start the Expositor.
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