Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Vol. IV. No. 21.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. September 15, 1843. [Whole No. 81.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
It was in December that elder Sidney Rigdon, a sketch of whose history I have before mentioned, came to enquire [inquire] of the Lord, and with him came that man, (of whom I will hereafter speak more fully,) named Edward Partridge: he was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord's great men, known by his steadfastness, and patient endurance to the end,-Shortly after the arrival of these two brethren, thus spake the Lord:-
A Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jun'r., and Sidney Rigdon, December 1830.
Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same to-day as yesterday and forever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crusified [crucified] for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a great work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John-to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah, which should come, and thou knew it not. Thou didst baptise [baptize] by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; but now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptise [baptize] by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.
And it shall come to pass, that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles; for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people: for I am God, and mine arm is not shortened, and I will show miracles, signs and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name. And whoso shall ask it in my name, in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick, they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk: and the time speedily cometh, that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men: but without faith, shall not any thing be shown forth, except desolations upon Babylon-the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And there are none that doeth good, except those who are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth to this generation:
Wherefore, I have called upon the weak things of the world-those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit: and their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler, and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me: and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf; and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand: and they shall learn the parable of the fig-tree: for even now already summer is nigh, and I have sent forth the fulness [fullness] of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph: and in weakness have I blessed him, and I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.
Wherefore watch over him, that his faith fail not; and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things: and a commandment I give unto thee, that thou shalt write for him: and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect: for they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming, for they shall be purified, even as I am pure. And now I say unto you, tarry with him, and he shall journey with you;-forsake him not, and surely these things shall be fulfilled. And inasmuch as ye do not write, behold it shall be given unto him to prophesy: and thou shalt preach my gospel, and call upon the holy prophets to prove his words, as they shall be given him.
Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound, and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good: and satan shall tremble; and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills, and flourish; and Israel shall be saved in mine own due time. And by the keys which I have given, shall they be led, and no more be confounded
at all. Lift up your heads and be glad: your redemption draweth nigh. Fear not, little flock-the kingdom is yours, until I come.-Behold I come quickly; even so. Amen.
And the voice of the Lord to Edward Partridge, was:-
Revelation to Edward Partridge, given December, 1830.
Thus saith the Lord God, the mighty One of Israel, behold I say unto you, my servant Edward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel was with the voice of a trumpet; and I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom: and you shall declare it with a loud voice, saying, Hosanna, blessed be the name of the most high God.
And now this calling and commandment give I unto you concerning all men, that as many as shall come before my servants Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, jr., embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations, crying repentance, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.
And this commandment shall be given unto the elders of my church, that every man which will embrace it with singleness of heart, may be ordained and sent forth, even as I have spoken. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God: wherefore gird up your loins, and I will suddenly come to my temple; even so. Amen.
(To be Continued.)
[For the Times and Seasons.]
BAPTISM-THE MODE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION-ITS EFFICACY-DR. MOSHIEM--STATE OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD-THE APOSTACY, [APOSTASY] &c., &c. BROTHER TAYLOR:-
We have now clearly shown there is but one true mode of baptism, and we have shown pretty clearly that that is by immersion. But more of this hereafter. Then, if the apostles tell of but one way of baptising [baptizing], the sectarian world are thrown into a very singular dilemma! We would advise them to look into the matter, and if they cannot compromise with the apostles, by entering into some friendly treaty, they must, of necessity build their churches upon sandy foundations, which when the 'floods come,' and the 'storms beat' against them will be in danger of being washed away. Our Savior has marked out the way, and made it so plain, 'that a man though a fool need not err therein,' yet disorganization characterises [characterizes] the whole christian world; creeds clash with creeds-systems with system-confusion, tumult and contention invade the whole ecclesiastical ranks-from one of christendom to the other. Verily, 'man hath sought out many inventions;' but the apostles knew but one legitimate way. It is important that man should ascertain what that way is, for Christ says, St. John, X: 1;-'Verily, verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door, into the sheep fold, but climbeth up some other way is a thief and a robber.' But we must hasten.
John, III: 23; 'And John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came and were baptized.' Wherever we read of John s baptizing the people, he is generally in some place where there is much water. A half gill is an abundance for some of the enlightened clergy in the nineteenth century. Verily there is nothing under the sun that the march of science and humbug-those great twin-brothers of the age-have not modified and changed from their pristine beauty! Acts, VIII: 36, 37, 38; 'And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?-And Philip said, if thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.' Went both 'down into the water!' If you could have lived a little longer upon earth, a more easy and genteel way would have been worked out for you, through the great inventions of man. Enlightened and refined society are not so vulgar as to go down into the water to be baptized. How ridiculously absurd it would be to lead one of the elite of the popular world, muffled in silks and satins, down into the dark waters of the great Mississippi, for the non-essential purpose of being baptized. It is thought much more appropriate, and our learned divines (nice men) lay it down as a correct mode, to be baptized upon dry land, by receiving a drop or two of holy water upon the forehead, conveyed there upon the very tip of the priest's attenuated finger. But, perhaps the magnanimity of men have adopted this system because of its greater refinement, and therefore we ought not to say that it is not scriptural! We beg pardon, gentlemen. Romans, VI: 3, 4, 5, 6; 'Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?-Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death; that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be distroyed [destroyed], that henceforth we should not serve him.' It appears from the context, that the ordinance of baptism was instituted as a type, or figure, to represent the burial and resurrection of our Savior. Immersion is certainly a correct figure, and represents his burial and resurrection exactly. It is a better symbol of it, at all events, than the symbol of sprinkling.-For we ask all common sense, how a man can be 'baptized into Jesus Christ,' 'baptized into his death,' be 'buried with him by baptism into death,' in a single drop or even a bucket of water. It is an impossibility. In order to represent this matter as the apostles intended, according to the language and fair construction of the context, the officer who administers, together with the candidate, must go 'down both into the water,' as did Philip and the eunuch and the body of the candidate must be immersed, or buried in the water. The body must be covered or overwhelmed by the liquid wave. To illustrate; if you place a corpse upon the brink of a grave, above the surface of the earth, and throw a shovel of dirt upon the coffin, will it bury him? Again, if you place a candidate for baptism upon the margin of a stream, above the surface of the water, and sprinkle a gill of water in his face, will he be 'buried with him,' in the 'likeness of his death?' The answer must be emphatically in the negative. And then the act of raising the body of the candidate from the bowels of the limpid tide, is an exact and sublime representation, or 'likeness of his resurrection.' O, wisdom!-how has your understanding become darkened, that you cannot understand the simple things of the kingdom of God! 'Blind leaders of the blind!' Instead of walking up before the great mirror of heavenly intelligence, (the Bible) and letting the full blaze of truth, of light, and gospel beauty, reflect upon your souls, you grope your way through a vast domain of darkness and error, and your understanding becomes lost in the sable labyrinths of your own folly and ignorance. In the language of the scripture, you 'look through a glass darkly.' Again, the apostle says, Col., II: 12; 'Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.' This passage renders it so plain that comment is not necessary. 1st Col., X: 1, 2; Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea.' We conclude there would not have been much necessity for sprinkling, in the case cited here. As a matter of course they were not sprinkled, for the apostle says they were all baptized in the sea. When men learn the force and meaning of the English language, they will learn that they cannot be IN the sea without being beneath the surface of it. How can a man be in a house without being within its walls and beneath its roof? But some will contend that a person can be in the sea without being entirely buried from sight by its water. We conclude that when the apostle talks of a man, he means the whole body of a man, and not a particular limb or member of the body. It takes all the members of the body to form the man, therefore, if you cover the hand or foot in water, the man is still above the surface, consequently, he has not been in the water at all. So, if you baptize the forehead, or hand of an individual, his forehead or hand alone has been 'buried in baptism,' and all other members of the body remain unburied; consequently the individual has not been baptized, because the burial was not complete. The similitude of the death and resurrection of the Savior is imperfect. As the whole body of Christ was buried in the tomb of and resurrected therefrom, so must the whole body of the candidate be buried in the waters of baptism and raised therefrom. Otherwise there is an imperfect representation. These arguments, we anticipate will be conceded to by all. Why? Because they are just such common sense arguments as reason will suggest to the mind of every reasonable man. Heb., X: 22; 'Let us draw near with a true heart, in assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.' The apostle mentions sprinkling here, but his meaning is clearly defined. It only extends to the sprinkling of the heart, and when he comes to speak of the way the body is to be regenerated, he washes it with 'pure water.' AS to sprinkling the heart with water, every person of sense, who understands the formation of the human system, knows this would be an impossibility; consequently we infer that the apostle alluded to the heart's being sprinkled in some other way. How it is, we do not pretend to say. No doubt the apostle understood himself, and whenever he expresses himself in a manner at all ambiguous, we are disposed to leave the spiritualizing machine of the sectarian world, to root out the mystery. At all events there is no authority here for sprinkling the body for the body is to be washed with pure water.
After this array of incontestible [incontestable] proofs, we
believe the reader cannot be in any doubt of the way in which the ordinance of baptism was administered in the primitive church. We will therefore leave the subject of its proper administration, and pass on to the examination of other points.
'You have shown that baptism by immersion is correct,' says one, 'but I am not entirely convinced that it is really essential.' Very well, sir. We will see what the Bible says about it. Acts, II: 37, 38; 'Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' Peter tells his interrogators to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Well, then, if it is necessary for sins to be remitted, it is of paramount importance that you should be baptized. But one will say, 'Peter's instructions was confined to the people present on the day of Pentecost; therefore they are not binding upon us.' You are under a mistake. After Peter had told them what to do, he says in the following verse, 'For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.'-Then this promise extends to the latest period of time, to 'all that are afar off;' and as all mankind are called to repentance, of course it is necessary that every son and daughter of Adam should be baptized. One may wish to know what this promise is that extended to all that are afar off. We answer, it is the promise of redemption by repentance and baptism, for the remission of sins. Again, John, I: 11, 12, 13; 'He came unto his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' Being born of God, is to show forth the death and resurrection of God, by immersion, as we have before shown. 'But as many as received him, (that is by baptism) to them gave he power to become the sons of God.' If this great blessing was conferred upon those who were baptized, and withheld from those who were not, then we contend that it is a very essential ordinance, and is necessary to be attended to. But the following passage puts the question beyond the reach of controversy. We look upon it as positive. John III: 3, 4, 5; 'Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'-Why? Because the Savior has made that the only entrance into the kingdom.
The Savior s doctrine upon this point may seem rather hard to some, but we cannot help that. How often have we heard people say that if a man walks according to the best light he has, they believed he would be saved. We believe so to. But the light which they have is the Bible. Then all men have the same light. The Bible lays down but one rule for mankind to walk by-points out but one road to heaven-teaches but one set of principles-contains but one code of laws-but one kind of ordinances-and these are laid down so plain, and are made so clear to the understanding of every rational man, that 'he that runneth may read' and understand. God is no respector of persons. He has but one way of dealing with man, in all ages of the world. He requires the same things of people in the nineteenth century that he did of these of the first. When he organized his church, he made laws for the government of it, and we have no Bible testimony that they have ever been repealed. Now every person knows that any particular law is held good and continues in full force and effect until it is repealed, and it cannot be repealed by an improper tribunal. Before a repeal can be legal, that repeal must be made by such a court as the constitution recognizes as having jurisdiction in the case.-We cheerfully acknowledge that the laws and regulations that are now implanted in the different churches are not the same as governed the apostolic church. But this is the work of man, not God. The prophet Isaiah clearly foresaw this when he said, (Isaiah, XXIV: 5;) 'The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.' But one will say that this passage alludes to something that had already transpired, when the prophet spoke it, because it is written in the past tense. We conclude that this certainly cannot be the case, from the reading of the verse that immediately follows it. 'Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.' This shows that the prophet alludes to something that was to transpire long after his day, for in consequence of this changing the ordinance, &c, the inhabitants were burned, and few men left. This we
know, has never yet taken place. But the changing of the ordinance, we have shown, has already been accomplished. But more of this hereafter. Therefore we may look for the time yet to come when this burning is to be consummated. Hence we argue the disappearance of the priesthood. Paul says: Heb., VII: 12; 'For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.'-A good rule will work both ways.' Hence we say that a change of law will accomplish a change of priesthood. This is a fair conclusion to come to. But in order to show more clearly that the ordinance of baptism has been changed and corrupted, we will make a few extracts from Dr. Moshiem's Church History. This point we have clearly proven already by the Bible, (which is the best evidence,) but as men place such great confidence in the statements of commentators and historians, we feel disposed to gratify them. Dr. Moshiem is an unquestionable authority. On page 27, first paragraph, it reads as follows: 'The rites instituted by Christ himself, were only two in number and these were intended to continue to the end of the church here below, without any variation. These rites were baptism and the holy supper, which are not to be considered as mere ceremonies, nor yet as symbolic representations only, but also as ordinances with a sanctifying influence upon the heart, and the affections of true christians.' This goes to strengthen our argument, that baptism is essential to salvation, and that the ordinance must not be treated as a non-essential. It also goes to establish our assertion, that God has but one way of dealing with men, and that the ordinances which he instituted were to continue in the church through all ages wherever a true church should exist. We disagree, however, with the learned author in his statement that Christ placed in his church no ordinances but those mentioned. He certainly created the ordinance of laying on of hands, anointing with oil, &c. St Luke, XII: 11, 12, 13; 'And behold there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her: Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid he hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.' Again: St. Mark, VIII: 22, 23, 24, 25; 'And he came to Bethsadia, and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw aught [ought]. And he looked up and said, I see men as trees walking. After that, he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored and saw every man clearly.' See St. Mark, VI: 5; 'And he [Jesus] could there do no mighty works, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. St. Mark, IV: 40; 'Now, when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick, with diverse diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.' St. Mark, V; 'And besought him greatly, saying, my little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands upon her, and she shall live.' St. Mark, XVI: 18; 'They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.' St. Mark, X: 16; 'And he took them up in his arms and blessed them.' The following proves the ordinance of anointing with oil. St. Mark VI: 13; 'And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.'-Let him that readeth understand. When the Savior appeared unto the Eleven, after his resurrection from the tomb, he gave the following instructions. St. Mark, XVI: 15, 16, 17, 18; And he said unto them, 'go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.' This quotation shows the necessity of baptism, and that the ordinance of laying on of hands should continue in his church. These were the last instructions that were given the apostles by the Savior, previous to his asscention [ascension] into heaven, and taking his seat at the right hand of the Father, as will be seen from the verse that follows in the Bible. Then, upon what authority do men say that these things are done away?-Surely not upon the authority of the Bible.-We find further instructions in first Peter, V: 14; 'Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.' These evidences we deem conclusive; and however much a wicked and corrupt generation may laugh and sneer at the idea of these ordinances, gifts and blessings being continued in the church, we care not. It is the doctrine of the Bible, and that will bear down all the artful subterfuges, scoffs and baseless dogmas of the nineteenth century.
(To be Continued.)
(For the Times and Seasons.)
PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.
A notice appeared, not long since, in the public prints, that PHINEAS CAMP, a Revolutionary Patriot, was dead, aged ninety-nine years and six months. The writer of this exit says: "Temperance in eating and drinking, and avoiding medicine &c., left him in the enjoyment of his faculties, in full energy, during a long life." He took no medicine until after he was eighty years old. From this fact alone, it is possible that if he had taken no medicine at all, he might have lived to be as old as Moses, one hundred and twenty years.
Another case: Elder Cole of this city, says his grand-father, Jacob Cole, now living in Lebanon, New York, is about one hundred and fourteen years of age; and he has never taken any medicine whatever, and he is in the full possession of his mental powers, as far as can be expected at so great an age. Such cases of longevity speak volumes against the common practice of medicine; and brings many to the conclusion, that medicine destroys as many lives, prematurely, as war.
The disciples of Jesus Christ, says Mark in the 6th chapter and 13th verse of his gospel, "anointed many that were sick, with oil, and healed them." And James says: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick." What heavenly advice; and how consoling to any one that ever thought God knew best what is best for our infirmities!
What greater sign of death, and less of faith, can be supposed, than to see a physician's horse hitched before a sick one's door? Although the Savior did not apply the caption of this article, to the doctors or physicians, yet it is evident from his using it as a proverb, and his disciples anointing with oil in all cases of sickness, that the church, and the good shepherd, then, had no faith in doctors, nor lawyers, or hypocrites!
If, in any age, when the church of God had power and authority on the earth, a command had been received that the doctors had power over diseases, and they shall heal the sick, then the trade might have flourished under a sacred sanction; and all the world could have branded Jeremiah as a false prophet, for saying, "Thus saith the Lord: CURSED BE THE MAN THAT TRUSTETH IN MAN, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." O saints, saints! the just shall live by faith! No doubt but cases may occur, where medical operations may be requisite; but generally speaking, "herbs and mild food," with good nursing, would be better for the patients person and pocket, than all the nostrums of materia medica.
There is a good deal of sound common sense in the above remarks. We believe that if we only had faith, "all things are possible to them that believe" and we would not plead our want of faith. As christians, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves: as believers in the Bible, and as Latter Day Saint, our faith ought to be firm and unshaken. But if we have not faith to be healed, as many of us have not, then we think our course is clearly defined in the following words:
"And again it shall come to pass, that he that has faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed: he who has faith to see, shall see: he who has faith to hear, shall hear: the lame who have faith to leap, shall leap: and those who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons; and inasmuch as they break not my laws, THOU SHALT BEAR THEIR INFIRMITIES."-And again: "And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy." "And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for, and lay their hands upon them in my name, and if they die, they shall die unto me, and if they live, they shall live unto me."-Doctrine and Covenants, Section XIII.
From these testimonies, it is very evident that the Lord expected that all men would not have faith to be healed; that if they had not faith to be healed, we must not condemn them; but "bear with their infirmities," inasmuch as they break not his laws. Again: if persons have not faith to be healed, but believe, they are to be "nourished with all tenderness, with herbs, and mild food."
The next question which necessarily arises, is, who is to administer those herbs? The book of Doctrine and Covenants says, they are not to be administered by the hands of an enemy. Who, then, is to administer? Are all heads of families? We should presume that all are not competent. We presume that nine-tenths of the human family, neither understand the physiology of the human system, the nature and effects of disease, nor the medicinal properties of herbs; and under such circumstances would not be competent to administer at all. Herbs are to be used, and mild food; but those herbs are to be used by skillful hands, if we are to judge by the following: "And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly; and is not good for man; but is an herb for bruises
and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill." We would ask here, does God take care of cattle? Is it necessary that they should be administered unto with judgment and skill? and we would again ask, is not the health of man of more value than many cattle? or are we to be more reckless of human life, than we are commanded to be of the beasts of the field? The answer to these questions, is obvious to every reflecting mind.
We should judge, then, from the above, that a person who is acquainted with the physiology of the human system, and the nature and medicinal properties of herbs, is more competent to judge of those things, and to administer with judgment and skill, than the one who is ignorant, both of the organization of the human system, of the medicinal properties of herbs, and of the nature and effects of disease.
It is also evident that, if there is any danger, or wrong, in the administration of herbs, it is from their being in the hands of unskillful men, and particularly in the hands of an enemy.
On reviewing the whole subject, we cannot but regret that, as saints, we have not all faith, either to be healed, or to cast ourselves into the hands of God, and "whether we live, live unto God, or whether we die, die unto the Lord."-But inasmuch as all have not faith, those that are strong ought not to condemn the weak, inasmuch as they make a judicious means of those things which the Lord, in his mercy, has been pleased to provide, and appoint for the infirmities and diseases of human nature.
We are aware that this community have been a good deal imposed upon by quacks; that nostrums of all kinds have been administered by injudicious hands, producing the most deleterious effects; and that many have slept in the dust, who, if they had been let alone, would still have been in the land of the living; but that is no reason why those who have not faith should not be aided by herbs, administered with care and skill by judicious hands. If the heads of families are themselves acquainted with the nature of diseases, the medicinal properties of herbs, and the mode of compounding, preparing and applying them, so much the better. If they are not, the advice and counsel of those better informed, we think could not be injurious.
We have made these remarks, not so much with a view to instruct, or give counsel in those matters which we consider to be of a delicate nature, as to lay before our brethren and sisters the testimony of the word of the Lord on the subject, that they may read and judge for themselves.-ED.
SINGULAR EFFECT OF THE COMET.-
GERMAN TRAVELER IN ASIA.-The Augsburg Gazette of July 31, contains the following letter from Tiffis, of June 4th:
The Comet, which has been so often spoken of in the journals, was seen at Erivan on the 24th of February. Thus it was discovered in a provincial town in Russia sooner than in the southern countries of Europe, while in the capitol of our colossal empire the astronomers have not seen it, thought they were provided with an excellent refractor. The appearance of this celestial body has had a singular influence on the separatists in the German colonies of Georgia. These colonists, who quitted twenty-seven years since, their country, Wurtemburg, to go to Jerusalem, believing that the end of the world was approaching, allowed themselves to be prevailed upon by reasonable representations to remain in Georgia-joined to other German emigrants, who did not share their religious enthusiasm, they peopled the new settlements of Alexandereorf, New Tiffis, Marienfeld, Elizbethal, Katherinmenfeld and Helenendorf.-They lived in these villages, and gave themselves up peaceably to their labors.-Their wealth increased every day, and they seemed to have forgotten entirely their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, though they still remained separate from the Church.
For the last year or two, their ancient religious desires was revived. Young and old men all felt themselves seized with a pious ardor to see the Holy Sepulchre [Sepulcher]. The prophecies of a distinguished family of Katherinenfield supported their zeal and enthusiasm, and finally, when the comet appeared, they regarded it as a guide sent from heaven, and sold all their estates and refunded to the Crown the advances they received from it. The rich paid for the poor, the residue of their property was given to any individuals who presented themselves, and thus form three to four hundred persons, among whom were old men, women and children, set out without money, and on foot, to Jerusalem, in the firm persuasion that God would help them through all the dangers which threatened them, in such a long journey in the minds of barbarous countries.
Well disposed people sought to divert them from this disastrous resolution. In their religious enthusiasm the separatists disdained all advice. The governor general of the TransCaucasin [Transcaucasian] provinces, M. de Meidhart, a man of generous mind, who joins to a vigorous justice the most distinguished affability, used efforts to make the colonists understand the folly of this rash expedition. Having found them immovable in their resolution, he endeavored to
facilitate their passage across Kurcistan by his interest with the Paciras of Bajazid and Elzeroum. As the religious fanaticism of these colonists reacted on other colonists, and as the number of proselytes continued to increase, their departure was considered an advantage to the settlements, as families to the peasants who arrived from Germany wanted good land to cultivate. The places left vacant by the pilgrims were soon filled up by the new arrivals. Boston Advertiser.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1843.
MYSTERY OF GODLINESS.
(Continued from page 314.)
If we turn attention to ceremonial law-the divers washings, anointings, sprinklings, sacrifices, feasts and ordinances, that were performed under the Mosaic economy, we find as much difficulty in accounting for it, philosophically; or in other words, according to the limited philosophy of men. If we could comprehend that philosophy which controls the elements, regulates the universe, that organized and sustains the spheres-if we could commune with angels, unravel the secrets of eternity, and comprehend the intelligence that dwells in the bosom of God, the mystery would be solved, the difficulty would pass away, and our skepticism, and ignorance, would be buried in everlasting oblivion.
We here might refer to the atonement of Jesus Christ-his appearing in human nature-his death and resurrection, ascension and glorification, as being necessary for the salvation of the human family-who can comprehend it? Paul exclaims, "great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on by the world, received up to glory." In fact, the whole plan of salvation, from the first to last, is of that nature which demands our faith in the word, works, and revelations of God-and without which it would, to us, be entirely incomprehensible.
We have been lead to make these remarks on account of the many queries that we frequently hear expressed, both by the world and by the church, concerning the things of God, particularly when anything is advanced with which we are not familiar, which is contrary to our prepossessed opinions, or our long established usages. We try to reconcile everything to our reason; and if we should fail this, we think if we only had a precedent for it in the scriptures, we should have some faith in it.
Concerning the first of these, we are positively told that, "no man knows the things of God, but by the spirit of God." Now, if we do not, or cannot, by our own understanding, comprehend the things of God, and if the productions of our most enlarged capacities; our refined ideas, and the greatest stretch of human wisdom is called folly by God: and if the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of men, how consummate is that folly which would reject the counsel of God, because we cannot comprehend it? And relative to their being no precedent, if any circumstances should transpire, for which there is no precedent, would that alter the course of God? or do away with a correct principle? Verily no. What precedent had Noah for building an Ark? or what scripture testimony? Where was it written in the scriptures that Sodom and Gomorrah should be destroyed? and that Lot and his friends were to leave it? or where could Moses find it written in the scriptures that he was to lead the children of Israel form Egypt to Palestine? If these men had waited until they had some scriptural proof, they never would have accomplished the work which they did. It was by faith that men waxed valiant in fight, escaped the edged of the sword, put to flight the armies of the aliens, received their dead to life, were translated, overcome the world, resisted the fiery flames, and obtained a celestial inheritance; and not by blind unbelief, or the false reasoning of men.
Under these circumstances, what consummate folly it is for men, who profess to believe in the Bible, to reject everything which they cannot comprehend. We had like to have said that this reasoning might become an Infidel-but could not in anywise comport with the professed faith of a Christian. But even here we should fail. The Infidel philosopher could not make his more ignorant brother understand many philosophical truisms that he would be capable of demonstrating. Would this unlearned man be justified in rejecting everything he could not comprehend? Certainly not.
Let us carry the thing further, and we shall find that the most wise comprehend but little. Who can tell us how a blade of grass, or an ear of corn grows? or yet less, how a grain of sand i sformed [is formed]? Who can inform us how this world is organized? point out the chambers of light and heat; or tell us how the body and spirit of man is united? Yet, however inexplicable to us, those things do exist; and if we
could comprehend them, are governed by certain powers, are under the direction of given laws, and are organized, limited, governed, constrained and directed according to the strictest principles of true philosophy.
We are told frequently by unbelievers, that they do not understand certain principles, and consequently cannot receive them. The scriptures, however, which those persons profess to believe, say that "no man knoweth the things of God, but by the spirit of God." If, therefore, they have not obeyed the gospel, and obtained the spirit of God through obedience, they are not, and cannot be competent judges, according to their own acknowledged rule.-With more plausibility will many of our brethren come forward and say, we cannot understand, and yet we have obeyed the form of doctrine delivered unto us-we have been baptised [baptized], have had hands laid on us, have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and perhaps have had the gift of tongues, the gift of healing, and many other gifts, and yet there are many things which we do not understand. How are we to reconcile this? Paul says, "to one is given the gift of faith; to another the gift of tongues; to another the gift of prophesy; to another the gift of wisdom," &c., and then further asks, "do all prophesy? do all speak in tongues? do all interpret?" If they do not, then of course, one cannot understand another's gift. And why? Because it is not his gift, and he cannot understand it. The body is not one member, but many, and all these members make the one body. The hand is not the head, nor the foot the ear-each member performs its proper office in the body. The foot cannot hear, nor the hand see, yet are they members of the body, and perform their proper functions-and if this is the situation of the natural body, so it is in regard to the spiritual. All do not prophesy; all do not speak in, or interpret tongues; all do not possess the gift of wisdom and knowledge; all are not acquainted with the mysteries of the kingdom-and consequently cannot comprehend them.-But we fear that there is a greater difficulty than this in the way, and one that is of our own making. We are plainly told that "every good and perfect gift proceeds from the father of lights, in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." The question very naturally arises, how are we to get in possession of these gifts, graces and blessings?
Peter in his second epistle, after speaking of the precious faith which the church had obtained, to whom he wrote, 'through the righteousness of God, and our Savior Jesus Christ,' gives us some very useful instruction on this point, in the following words:
2d Peter, I; 4-9 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.-For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
From this it would seem that however pure our faith may have been, and however glorious our privileges, yet if we ourselves do not add to our faith virtue, temperance, knowledge, patience, brotherly kindness, charity and godliness, we shall yet be ignorant; we shall yet be 'blind and cannot see afar off,' and we shall in all probability forget that we were once purged from our sins. If, therefore, we were to show more anxiety after virtue, patience, brotherly kindness, charity and those cardinal virtues mentioned by the apostle, we should exhibit a more christian-like conduct, be of more benefit to society, and be a greater blessing to the Church of Jesus Christ, to our families and to the world, than by puzzling ourselves with obstruce questions; things which are beyond our reach, and striving to unravel mysteries that we cannot comprehend. If we know things, it must be through the channel ordained of God, and not prematurely, or by a prying, captious or quarrelsome disposition.-And if we should be ever so pure, virtuous and sincere in our intention, it takes time and experience to put us in possession of a knowledge of the things of God. There must be a progression, 'first the blade then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear,' children, young men, and fathers. John says, 'I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you, for his names' sake. I write unto you young men, because ye are strong and have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.'
Here then are the various gradations, and we cannot expect a child to act like, nor possess the knowledge of a man; and if we see a man acting like a child, we say he ought to 'put away childish things.'
But independent of all these things, godliness is said to be a mystery, a great mystery; there are lengths and breadths, and heights, and principalities, and powers, visions and revelations, the ministering of angels, and of the spirits of just men made perfect; and gifts and ordinances,
and blessings, and things concerning ourselves in eternity, which we cannot conceive of, unless revealed to us. We have made very little proficiency in some of these things, compared with what the Hebrew church had. Paul says, Heb. XII: 22, 24; "But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."-"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Those saints by faith, diligence, and perseverance, had come into the presence of angels, the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to God the judge of all. They had witnessed his glory, seen his power, associated with his angels, beheld the spirits of just men made perfect, and had the heavens opened to their view. These were men of like passions with us, encompassed about with infirmities and weakness, but by faith, virtue, perseverance, had attained those blessings, and have left us a pattern that we should treat in their steps.
We repeat it again, it would be more wise for us to seek God in his own appointed way, than to puzzle ourselves about questions that we cannot understand. How do we know, but that men, in this day, may be similarly situated with Paul, in his day? He said that he was 'caught up into the third heavens, and saw things which were not lawful for man to utter.' But it may be said they were heavenly pure, glorious, and why not lawful? We must leave Paul to answer that question, and content ourselves with knowing that he has said it;-and if God was to reveal himself in these days to persons, as he did to Paul, there might be something too great, incomprehensible and mysterious for man in general to understand, and for society to be acquainted with; it might be as unlawful to utter now, as in Paul's day; and might, by coming in contact with their prejudices, prepossessions and habits, prove a stumbling-block, even to the Latter Day Saints. But if we act wisely, prudently and judiciously, and walk in the steps of Paul, we may obtain the same intelligence, in the same way, and then instead of stumbling at others, or being ourselves a stumbling-block, 'our path will be that of the just which shineth brighter and brighter, unto the perfect day;' and after warring a good warfare, by patient continuance in well doing, we 'shall be crowned with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life.'
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
Know all men by these presents, before whom this may come, that elder GEORGE J. ADAMS, is fully authorized and required from this time forth to travel from place to place, to raise money by donations, contributions, or collections, both from the Saints, and all honorable men of the earth, to assist in building the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo: and he is empowered to give a receipt for the same; and our prayer is, that the God of Israel will open the hearts of the people, that they may give liberally to assist in rolling forth the purposes of God in the last days: and all those who give, shall receive the blessings of god, and be rewarded in this world, and the world to come.
We subscribe ourselves your brethren in the bonds of the gospel
Presidents of the
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints
Nauvoo, October 14th, 1843.
It will be seen that the date of the Conference minutes, and that of the paper, disagree. We thought that our readers would be wishful to have them in this number, and have, therefore, published them. As our hands are now all well, we hope, in a few weeks, to have all the numbers complete.
MINUTES OF A SPECIAL CONFERENCE.
Of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in the City of Nauvoo, commencing on the 6th of October, 1843.
Friday, October 6th, 10 o'clock A. M.
The weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the conference was postponed until the next day at 10 o'clock, A. M.
Saturday, 10 'clock A. M.
Conference assembled and proceeded to business.
President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills chosen clerk.
Opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by elder Almon Babbitt.
The president stated the items of business to be brought before the Conference, to be,
1st. The case and standing of elder Sidney Rigdon, counsellor [counselor] to the First Presidency.
2d. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.
Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the saints.
President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the Conference had to make. He sated his dissatisfaction with elder Sidney Rigdon as a counsellor [counselor], not having received any material benefit from his labors or counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the Post Office; a supposed correspondence in connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the
Missourians, of a treacherous character: also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.
President Joseph Smith related to the Conference the detention of documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smiths' visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those, and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counsellor [counselor], he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.
Elder Almon Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last Conference.
President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.
Elder Sidney Rigdon plead, concerning the documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to him-that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it-did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith-that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith-that he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.
The weather becoming inclement, Conference adjourned until Sunday 10 o'clock A. M.
Sunday, 8th inst., 10 o'clock, A. M.
Conference assembled agreeably to the adjournment and opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder William W. Phelps.
Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defence [defense]. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of Quincy, after his escape from Missouri-the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed-and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith concerning their former friendship, associations and sufferings, and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.
Elder Almon Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esq. Johnson, in which he exonerated elder Sidney Rigdon from the charge or suspicion of having had treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin.
President Joseph Smith arose and satisfactorily explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin, which wholly removed suspicion from elder Sidney Rigdon, and from every other person. He expressed entire willingness to have elder Sidney Rigdon retain his station, provided he would magnify his office, and walk and conduct himself in all honesty, righteousness, and integrity; but signified his lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.
President Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and expressive remarks on the attribute of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls, and conquers-and the propriety and importance of the saint's exercising the same attribute towards their fellows; and especially towards their aged companion and fellow servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.
Elder Almon Babbitt and pres't. Wm. Law followed with remarks in defence [defense] of elder Sidney Rigdon.
On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted that elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as Counsellor [Counselor] to the First Presidency.
Singing by the choir-prayer by pres't. Wm. Law.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Sunday Three o'clock P. M.
Conference assembled, but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday 10 o'clock A. M.
Monday 10 o'clock, A. M.
Conference assembled, and resumed business.
Singing by the choir prayer by elder A. Cutler.
The business pertaining to the Temple was then announced by the President as next in order
Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the Temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions; also of iron, steel, powder and clothing-giving as his opinion that the walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.
Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the Temple-earnestly exhorting the saints, here and abroad, to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the Committee, that the work may advance with rapidity.
President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work-the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion-that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the Temple, or elsewhere.
On motion by elder William Law, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted, That we, as conference, and individuals, will use all the means, exertions, and influence in our power, to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the Temple.
President Joseph Smith presented and read to the Conference, a communication from Col. Francis M. Higbee, whose conduct had been called into question, in connection with elder Sidney Rigdon, and expressed himself satisfied that Col. Frances M. Higbee was free, even of reproach or suspicion, in that matter.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Monday, 2 o'clock, P. M.
Conference reassembled, and listened with profound attention, to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of James Adams, Esq., late of this city, and an honorable, worthy, useful, and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He spoke of the importance of our understanding the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life, and of death; and the designs and purposes of God, in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence-that it is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter-the ignorance of the world in reference to their true condition, and relation. Reading the experience of others, or the revelations given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things, can only be obtained by experience in these things, through the ordinance of God set forth for that purpose. He remarked that the disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection, would be indescribably dreadful. That the organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings was agreeably to the most perfect order and harmony-that their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to by themselves-subscribed to upon the earth-hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth. He assured the saints that truth in reference to these matters, can, and may be known, through the revelations of God in the way of his ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew church "came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant" but what they learned, has not been, and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just, &c.? It was the established order of the kingdom of God-the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the saints-hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just, and angels. Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire, or glory. Angels have advanced further-their light and glory being tabernacled, and hence appear in bodily shape.
Concerning brother James Adams, he remarked, that it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was, wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil, cannot be reconciled. Judge Adams had been a most intimate friend. He had anointed him to the Patriarchial [Patriarchal] power-to receive the keys of knowledge, and power, by revelation to himself. He had had revelations concerning his departure, and had gone to a more important work-of opening up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work-hence they are blessed in departing hence. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far form us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings and motions, and are often pained therewith.
President Smith concluded with exhortations to the church to renew their exertions to
forward the work of the Temple, and in walking before the Lord in soberness and righteousness.
Such is a faint outline of the discourse of President Joseph Smith, which was delivered with his usual feeling and pathos; and was listened to with the most profound and eager attention by the multitude, who hung upon his instructions, anxious to learn and pursue the path of eternal life.
After singing by the choir, and prayer by the President, Conference adjourned sine die, with the benediction of the President.
JOSEPH SMITH, President.
GUSTAVUS HILLS, Clerk.
MINUTES OF THE LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE, HELD IN ENGLAND.
SUNDAY, June, 4th.
This conference was held in the New Corn Exchange, Manchester, on Whit-Sunday, June 4th, 1843, and by adjournment, the two following days, in the large room connected with Hayward's Hotel, Bridge Street.
From the unsettled state of the weather, we were led to expect that our numbers would not be very great, but, to our astonishment, never before had we seen so many Saints assembled together.
The meeting being called to order, Elder Thomas Ward was unanimously chosen to preside; brother William Walker being then appointed to act as the clerk of the conference.
The meeting was then opened by singing "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c. President Ward engaged in prayer. After the second hymn, the president addressed the conference at considerable length on the multitude before him, and the object that brought them together. He enlarged on the high purposes of God in the salvation of the human family, stating what the church of Jesus Christ understood by salvation, which was this, that intelligence, or the light of truth being connected with elementary matter, which constituted our existence, had become, through the fall as Gods, knowing good and evil; that in this condition, and retaining this knowledge, we, by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the ordinances of his kingdom, had become sons and daughters of the highest, and by a faithful endurance unto the end, we should attain to the fulness [fullness] of God, fitting us to enter into his presence to become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He exhorted the Saints to cherish a spirit of love and charity, and suffering injury, even from their brethren, to be ready to forgive, and to maintain a continued purpose of heart, and whatever may arise, still to serve the Lord; by which means they would soon find the evils that affected them would disappear, and by the light of the spirit of God, they would see clearly their true position, and the clouds of darkness arising on their path, would soon be dissipated by the illuminating radiance of the light of heaven.
Elders Clark and Fielding followed, and gave some excellent teachings, in which the saints did greatly rejoice.
The number of officers present was then called for: high priests six; elders, 58; priests, 64; teachers, 40; deacons, 10. The representation of the churches being next called for, the following statements were made:
Manchester Conference-Represented by elder Charles Miller, containing 1481 members, including 38 elders, 75 priests, 54 teachers, and 17 deacons, and comprising 30 branches.
Liverpool Conference-Represented by elder Ward, containing 558 members, 31 elders, 30 priests, 14 teachers, and 10 deacons, comprising four branches.
Preston Conference-Represented by elder William Snalem, containg [containing] 655 members, 1 high priest, 18 elders, 18 priests, 18 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 15 branches.
London Conference-Represented by elder William Major, the West End containing 58 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers; the East End, Clerkenwell 156 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 2 teachers, 2 deacons. Newbery, 22 members, 1 elder, 2 priest. Woolwich, 30 members, 1 elder.
The meeting being opened by singing the 144th hymn, elder Clark engaged in prayer.-After the second hymn, a blessing was asked upon the bread by elder Banks.
President Ward then rose and gave some suitable instructions to the officers and members respecting the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. He wished them to have a clear view of its nature and design. The ordinance of baptism was a sign between the sincere believer and God, a sign of power by which we legally claimed remission of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the ordination of heaven. So also the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was a sign between God and us, to which we attended for a distinct and certain purpose, which was, that we might have the continued influence of the spirit of God to be with us. Hence the teachings in the revelations given to direct us in the administration of this ordinance, viz:, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of they Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments, which he has given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them: Amen. So likewise in blessing the wine, the idea is given us that we attend to this ordinance as a sign by which we witness these things before God, and keep his commandments, in order that we may always have his spirit to be with us. Here,
then, we see the necessity of coming with clean hands to this ordinance, that we may eat and drink worthily, and not unto condemnation.-And again, we see the necessity of the exhortation, 'Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is;' and, my dear brethren, as time rolls on, and the events that shall characterize the last days thicken around us, we shall feel the necessity of a continual influence of the spirit of the Lord God to enable us to endure all the things that shall come to pass; therefore let us comprehend the true nature of the ordinance, and seek, as Jesus exhorted, to 'do this until he come.'
The representation of the branches was then resumed.
Macclesfield Conference-Represented by elder James Galley, consisting of 250 members, 11 elders, 28 priests, 15 teachers, 9 deacons, comprising 6 branches.
Birmingham Conference-Represented by elder Cooper Royle, consisting of 509 members, 32 elders, 32 priests, 18 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 16 branches.
Staffordshire Conference-Consisting of 377 members, 38 elders, 59 priests, 14 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 12 branches.
Edinburgh Conference-Represented by elder Henry M'Ewan, consisting of 302 members, 10 elders, 10 priests, 8 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising four branches.
Garway Conference-Represented by elder Charles Taysom, consisting of 176 members, 4 elders, 5 priests, 7 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 5 branches.
Glasgow Conference-Represented by priest Peter M'Cue, consisting of 721 members, 24 elders, 32 priests, 28 teachers, 16 deacons, comprising 14 branches.
Froome's Hill Conference-Consisting of 784 members, 1 high priest, 21 elders 47 priests, 21 teachers, 9 deacons, comprising about 36 branches.
The meeting being called to order by elder Clark, was opened by singing 'Earth is the place where Christ will reign.' Elder Major engaged in prayer, when the representation of the various branches was resumed.
Carlisle Conference-Represented by elder John Barker, consisting of 154 members, 8 elders, 19 priests, 8 teachers and 3 deacons, comprising 4 branches.
Sheffield Conference-Represented by elder James Carrigan, consisting of 128 members, 4 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers, and 3 deacons.
Bradford Conference-Represented by elder Robert Parker, consisting of 240 members, 8 elders, 15 priests, 11 teachers, and 6 deacons, comprising 7 branches.
Bedford Conference-Represented by elder Thomas Margetts, consisting of 242 members, 14 elders, 20 priests, 8 teachers, and 4 deacons, comprising 10 branches.
Ireland Conference-Consisting of Hillsborough, 55 members, 3 elders, 2 priests, 2 teachers and one deacon.
Lincolnshire-Louth, 14 members, 1 elder, 2 priests, 1 teacher.
Worcestershire-Represented by elder Smith, Earl's Common, 61 members, 3 elders, 4 priests and one teacher. Penvin, 19 members, 1 elder, 2 priests and one teacher. Broomsgrove, 36 members, 1 elder, 3 priests.
MONDAY, June 5.
The adjourned meeting, held at Hayward Hotel, Bridge Street, being opened with singing, prayer was offered up by elder Charles Miller.
President Ward then called upon all those whose circumstances would allow them to devote themselves entirely to the work of the ministry, to manifest their willingness to volunteer in the service of God by standing up, when the following names were taken, viz: Osmond Shaw, Thomas Shaw, elder Speakman, elder George Eyres, and Samuel Downes.
Elder Clark then rose and gave a general invitation to all who had a sincere desire to enter into the priesthood in order to glorify God, to come forth to be ordained. He said it was in accordance with the mind and will of the Father, that they who had a sincere desire to servo [serve] God, should be called unto the priesthood, that they might go forth and proclaim the pure principles of eternal truth, even the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The following then stood up as candidates, viz: John Williams, Joseph Smith and Thomas Jackson.
The subjoined nominations were then presented to the meeting, and were carried unanimously:-That R. Cowen be ordained elder; T. Pratt, elder; J. Flint, priest; S. Downes, elder; J. Williams, elder; J. Smith, priest J. Nightingale, priest; Peter M'Cue, elder; J. Lee, priest; Thomas Jackson, priest; Samuel Wells, priest; Joseph Walker, elder; Charles Turner, priest; Christopher Riding, priest; Levi Rigg, elder; George Robinson, priest; Geo. Hewitt, teacher; Thomas Jennings, teacher.-The above were then ordained to their respective offices under the hands of elder Ward, Clark Fielding, Miller, Major, Crook and Albiston.
The following appointments were then made: Elder Birradale was appointed to take the presidency
of the Cheltenham branch; elder Rudd to preside over the Nottingham circuit; elder Pritchard to labor in Derbyshire; and it was ordered that the conferences of Birmingham and Macclesfield give every assistance to elder Pritchard in their respective neighborhoods.-Elder Speakman was appointed to labor in conjunction with elder Parker in the Bradford conference; Osmond Shaw to labor at Addingham in Yorkshire; elder George Eyres in Lincolnshire and Hull, in connexion [connection] with elder Henry Cuerden; elder Samuel Downes was appointed to labor in Derbyshire in connexion [connection] with elder Hibbert. Other appointments not decided up on, being more immediately in connexion [connection] with the Manchester conference, were left in the hands of elder Charles Miller.
We must confess that the teachings from president Ward, elders Clark and Fielding were rich indeed; they certainly appeared in excellent spirits at the prospect before them; the spirit of love and union was manifested in every countenance, while joy and gladness filled every heart at the varied testimonies borne by the servants of God.
Thus passed the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in England; revealing the progress of this great work of the Lord in the last days, which has come forth in the exact time predicted by the prophets, and which must roll onward until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ; Even so: Amen.
WILLIAM WALKER, Clerk.
MINUTES OF A CONFERENCE HELD IN BUFFALO, N. Y.
Conference convened according to previous appointment, on September 1, 1843. The conference was called to order by Elder William Newland. J. P. Green was called to the chair, and William H. Folsom was chosen secretary of said conference. Brother Green then arose and retured [returned] his sincere thanks to the conference, for the confidence reposed in him, and was aware of the responsibility attending his situation as a presiding officer of the conference, and also of every member comprising the same. He stated that Kings and Potentates were accustomed to call councils to regulate the affairs of state, as all governments have been in the habit of meeting in councils from time immemorial. Therefore according to the usages of nations, we have a perfect right to meet in council, and God requires it at our hands, and while we contemplate the importance of such councils to regulate the affairs of nations, we are led to the conclusion that the business devolving upon us, as loyal subjects of the King of Heaven, is of infinitely greater moment than the kings of the earth, and urged with great zeal the importance of this conference, calling upon God to direct us in wisdom. He then called upon the Lord in prayer.
Measures were then entered into to examine the characters and progress of all members of said conference.
The following high priests were present, and received by the conference, viz: Elders John P. Green, Noah Packard, Alexander Williams, Phineas Young and Joel McQuithey.
The following elders were then examined, and unanimously received, viz: William Coray, Henry B. Jacobs, Michael Jacobs, Henry Jacobs, Edwin S. Little, George Thompson, Enoch Rees, Judson L. Stoddard, Julius J. Guimand, Calvin R. Clark, William H. Folsom and Bragford W. Elliott.
It was moved that the conference adjourn until to-morrow morning, 9 o'clock.
Conference convened agreeable to adjournment, and was called to order by singing and prayer.
Report of Branches-Alexander branch, represented by A. Sheffield, clerk of the branch, consists of 36 members, 12 elders, one deacon, and three by letter since last conference, all in good standing.
Alabama branch, represented by L. Whiteing, 11 members.
Ackron branch, represented by J. P. Green, 26 members, 10 elders.
Atica branch, represented by Joel McQuithey, 13 members, 3 elders.
Brant branch, represented by Henry B. Jacobs, 15 members, one elder, one teacher.
Buffalo branch, represented by William H. Fulsom [Folsom], 5 members, four elders, one teacher.
Bennington branch, represented by Joel McQuithey, 19 members, one high priest, one elder.
Batavia branch, represented by George Thompson, 18 members, eight elders.
East Bloomfield branch, represented by William Coray, consists of eight scattering members.
Cambria Branch, represented by Walter Hard, 22 members, six elders.
Hartland branch, represented by Henry Jacobs, 37 members, nine elders.
Charlotte and Salem branches, not represented.
Newfain branch, represented by Walter Hurd, nine members, one elder.
Centreville branch, represented by Charles Thompson, 11 members, one elder.
Weathersfield branch, represented by Geo Thompson,
eight members, two elders.
Eight members on Grand Island, represented by Counrod Staley.
Eleven scattering members, represented by Henry Jacobs.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Called to order at two o'clock.
It was moved that Joseph Shamp, Ralph Young and Josiah Tyler, cease from their labors in the ministry, until they go to Nauvoo and receive instructions. Brother Shamp for teaching false doctrine, and circulating false statements concerning conference.
Brother Young for making false statements concerning conference and time of holding the same.
Brother Tyler for immoral and unchristian like conduct.
It was moved that brothers George Thompson and Lynus Whiteing go and labor with Philip Winegar.
It was moved that Lyman Stoddard, and Judson L. Stoddard go to Ligrange branch and labor.
It was moved that Michael Jacobs, Edwin S. Little, Julius J. Guinand enter into labors together, in Cataraugus county, and in the surrounding country.
It was moved that Bradford W. Elliott, and Ralph G. Coats go to Canada, Niagara District and Niagara county, N. Y.
It was moved that brother Counrod Staley, Samuel Liscom, and George Hartman, be ordained elders.
It was moved that this conference adjourn to Alexandria, until the first Saturday in December next.
It was moved that the minutes of this conference be published in the Times and Seasons.
JOHN P. GREEN, Chairman.
WILLIAM FOLSOM, Sec'ry.
For the Times and Seasons.
Come listen to a prophet's voice, The Savior to his people said,
And hear the word of God; "Let ALL my words obey,
And in the ways of truth rejoice, And signs shall follow you on earth,
And sing for joy aloud. Down to the latest day."
We've found the way the prophets went, The sick, on whom the oil is pour'd,
Who lived in days before; And hands in meekness laid,
Another prophet now is sent Are, by the power of God, restor'd
This knowledge to restore. Thro faith, as Jesus said.
The gloom of sullen darkness, spread No more in slavish fear we mourn;
Through earth's extended space, No yoke of bondage wear;
Is banished by our living head, No more beneath delusion groan;
And God has shown his face. Nor superstitious fear.
Through erring schemes in days that past Of every dispensation past;
The world has gone astray, Of every promise made;
Yet saints of God have found at last The fist be last, the last be first-
The straight and narrow way. The living and the dead.
Tis not in man they put their trust, Saviors shall to Mount Zion come-
Or on his arm rely; Their thousands bring to rest
Full well assured, all are accursed Throughout the great Millennium-
Whom Jesus Christ deny. They Eternally be bles't.
The Times and Seasons, is edited by JOHN TAYLOR. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR AND WILFORD WOODRUFF.
TERMS.-TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter