Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter<!>
Vol. V. No. 9.] CITY OF NAUVOO. ILL. MAY, 1 1844. [Whole No. 93.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH
The book of Commandments and Revelations was to be dedicated by prayer to the service of Almighty God, by me; and after I had done this, I inquired of the Lord concerning these things, and received the following:
Revelation given November, 1831.
Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, for my servant Oliver Cowdery's sake, it is not wisdom in me that he should be entrusted with the commandments and the moneys which he shall carry unto the land of Zion, except one go with him who will be true and faithful:-wherefore I the Lord willeth that my servant John Whitmer, should go with my servant Oliver Cowdery. And also that he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know, concerning my church, and also that he receive council and assistance from my servant Oliver Cowdery, and others.
And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth, should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion; for the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things; nevertheless, let my servant John Whitmer travel many times from place to place, and from church to church that he may the more easily obtain knowledge: preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations, that shall grow up on the land of Zion, to possess it from generation to generation, forever and ever: Amen.
My time was occupied closely in receiving the commandments and sitting in conference, for nearly two weeks; for we held from the first to the twelfth of November, four special conferences. In the last, which was held at Brother Johnson's, in Hiram, after deliberate consideration, in consequence of the book of Revelations, now to be printed, being the foundation of the church in these last days and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior, are again entrusted to man; and the riches of eternity within the compass of those who are willing to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, therefore the conference prized the revelations to be worth to the church the riches to the whole earth, speaking temporally. The great benefits to the world, which result from the Book of Mormon and the revelations, which the Lord has seen fit, in his infinite wisdom to grant unto us for our salvation, and for the salvation of all that will believe, were duly appreciated; and in answer to an inquiry, I received the following
Revelation given November, 1831.
Behold and hearken, O ye inhabitants of Zion, and all ye people of my church, who are far off, and hear the word of the Lord which I give unto my servant Joseph Smith, jr.; and also unto my servant Martin Harris; and also unto my servant Oliver Cowdery; and also unto my servant John Whitmer;l and also unto my servant Sidney Rigdon; and also unto my servant Wm. W. Phelps by the way of commandment unto them: for I give unto them a commandment: wherefore hearken and hear, for for thus saith the Lord unto them I the Lord have appointed them, and ordained them to be stewards over the revelations and commandments which I have given unto them; and which I shall hereafter give unto them and an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment: wherefore I have appointed unto them, and this is their business in the church of God, to manage them and the concerns thereof, yea, the benefits thereof.
Wherefore a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not give these things unto the church, neither unto the world, nevertheless, inasmuch as they receive more than is needful for their necessities, and their wants, it shall be given into my storehouse, and the benefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion, and unto their generation, inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom.
Behold this is what the Lord requires of every man in his stewardship; even as I the Lord have appointed, or shall hereafter appoint unto any man. And behold none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God: Yea, neither the bishop, neither the agent, who keepeth the Lord's storehouse;-neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over temporal things: He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship, to administer in temporal things; yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit: nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, the abundance of the manifestations of the spirit shall be withheld.
Now this commandment I give unto my servants for their benefit while they remain, for a manifestation of my blessings upon their heads, and for a reward of their diligence; and for their security for food and for raiment, for an inheritance; for houses and for lands, in whatsoever circumstances I the Lord shall place them, and whithersoever I the Lord shall send them: for they have been faithful over many things, and have done well inasmuch as they have not sinned. Behold I the Lord am merciful and will bless them, and they shall enter into the joy of these things; even so: Amen.
After Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer had departed for Jackson county, Missouri, I resumed the translation of the scriptures, and continued to labor in this branch of my calling with elder Sidney Rigdon, as my scribe, until I received the following
Revelation given November, 1831.
Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, Joseph Smith, jr., and Sidney Rigdon, that the time has verily come, that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures, according to that portion of spirit and power which shall be given unto you, even as I will.
Verily I say unto you, proclaim unto the world in the regions round about, and in the church also, for the space of a season, even until it shall be made known unto you. Verily this is a mission for a season, which I give unto you, wherefore, labor ye in my vineyard. Call upon the inhabitants of the earth, and bear record, and prepare the way for the commandments and revelations which are to come. Now, behold this is wisdom; whoso readeth let him understand and receive also; for unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power: wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you, both in public and in private; and inasmuch as you are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reason against the Lord. Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and if any man lift his voice against you, he shall be confounded in mine own due time: wherefore, keep these commandments, they are true and faithful; even so; Amen.
Knowing now the mind of the Lord, that the time had come that the gospel should be proclaimed in the power and demonstration to the world, from the scriptures, reasoning with men as in days of old; I took a journey to Kirtland, in company with elder Sidney Rigdon, on the 3rd day of December, to fulfil [fulfill] the above revelation. On the 4th, several of the elders and members, assembled together to learn their duty, and for edification, and after some time had been spent in conversing about our spiritual and temporal welfare, I received the following
Revelation given December, 1831.
Hearken and listen to the voice of the Lord, O ye who have assembled yourselves together, who are the High priests of my church, to whom the kingdom and power has been given. For verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient in me, for a bishop to be appointed unto you, or of you unto the church in this part of the Lord's vineyard: and verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and eternity. For he who is faithful and wise in time, is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for them of my Father. Verily I say unto you, the elders of my church in this part of my vineyard, render an account of their stewardship, unto the bishop which shall be appointed of me, in this part of my vineyard.-These things shall be had on record to be handed over unto the bishop in Zion; and the duty of the bishop shall be made known by the commandments which have been given, and the voice of the conference
And now, verily I say unto you, my servant Newel K. Whitney is the man who shall be appointed, and ordained unto this power: this is the will of the Lord your God, your redeemer; even so: Amen.
The word of the Lord, in addition to the law which has been given, making known the duty of the Bishop, which has been ordained unto the church in this part of the vineyard; which is verily this: to keep the Lord's storehouse; to receive the funds of the church in this part of the vineyard; to take an account of the elders as before has been commanded, and to administer to their wants, who shall pay for that which they receive, inasmuch as they have wherewith to pay; that this also may be consecrated to the good of the church, to the poor and needy: and he who hath not wherewith to pay, an account shall be taken and handed over to the bishop of Zion, who shall pay the debt out of that which the Lord shall put into his hands: and the labors of the faithful who labor in spiritual things, in administering the gospel and the things of the kingdom, unto the church, and unto the world, shall answer the debt unto the bishop in Zion: thus it cometh out of my church, for according to the law every man that cometh up out of Zion, must lay all things before the bishop in Zion
And now, verily I say unto you, that as every elder in this part of the vineyard, must give an account of his stewardship unto the bishop in this part of the vineyard, a certificate from the judge or bishop in this part of the vineyard, un-[unto] the bishop in Zion, rendereth every man acceptable, and answereth all things, for an inheritance, and to be received as a wise steward, and as a faithful laborer; otherwise he shall not be accepted of the bishop in Zion. And now, verily I say unto you, let every elder who shall give an account unto the bishop of the church in this part of the vineyard, be recommended by the church or churches, in which he labors, that he may render himself and his accounts approved in all things. And again, let my servants who are appointed as stewards over the literary concerns of my church, have claim for assistance upon the bishop or bishops, in all things, that the revelations may be published, and go forth unto the ends of the earth, that they may also obtain funds which benefit the church, in all things; that they may also render themselves approved in all things and be accounted as wise stewards. And now, behold this shall be an ensample for all the extensive branches of my church, in whatsoever land they shall be established. And now I make an end of my sayings: Amen.
A few words in addition to the laws of the kingdom, respecting the members of the church; they that are appointed by the Holy Spirit to go up to Zion; and they who are privileged to go up unto Zion. Let them carry up unto the bishop a certificate from three elders of the church, or a certificate from the bishop, otherwise he who shall go unto the land of Zion, shall not be accounted as a wise steward. This is also an ensample: Amen.
The following memorial was addresssed [addressed] to the Senate and House of Representatives, of the State of Massachusetts, and was kindly received by that honorable body and ordered to be printed-
COMMONWEALTH of MASSACHUSETTS.
To the honorable the Govenor [Governor], Senate and House of Representatives of Massachusetts, in legislative capacity assembled:
Your memorialist, a native of the State of Massachusetts, county of Hampshire, and township of Plainfield, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and was born on the 7th day of May, A. D. 1796. begs leave most respectfully to represent your honorable body, that, after breathing the free, elastic air of the land of his nativity, and braving the winter blasts of the Green Mountains for twenty-one years, during which time the principles of religious liberty began to bud, and the rights of man became deeply rooted in the bosom of your memorialist, he then went forth to the then thinly settled and wilderness part of Ohio, where he remained for about twenty-one years, enduring the hardships of turning the wilderness into fruitful fields, the products of which often help to compose the luxuries of your tables, cheering the hearts of some of the noble sons of '76, as well as those who are my contemporaries in life. From thence he went to the State of Missouri, where he became an exile, with about twelve or fifteen thousand of his brethren. Not from the birth of our national existence to the year 1832, can the annals of the United States of America be found, to blast the character of her noble sons, by telling the blood-chilling tale of assembled mobs, to deprive her citizens of their civil or religious liberties, without their meeting a due demerit and punishment for all their crimes. But, alas! how changed the scene! In consequence of which, your memorialist has to relate to you the sad tale that, in 1831, a number of respectable families residing in the vicinity of Parkman, my then place of residence, went into the state of Missouri, and in connexion [connection] with others from various parts of our country, who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who purchased lands of the general government, in the county of Jackson in said State, and there became lawful residents and and voters in that then free and independent portion of our country; but, in consequence of an unprecedented mob rising against the Saints, who, after highhanded threats, proceeded to destroy our property by demolishing our store and printing press, taking roofs from houses, whipping, tarring and feathering some of our men, shooting others, abusing women and children, driving about one hundred of them off on to the bleak prairies, many of whom were barefooted and could be followed by the blood that gushed from their lacerated feet, where they traveled through barbed grass, or upon the sharp stubble of a burnt prairie, for five days without food, when they succeeded in getting across the Missouri river into clay county, where they were for a short time, permitted to stay in peace;-when, in 1836, threats of violence again begaa [began] to be made, public meetings to be held, resolutions were passed, and our affairs again assumed a gloomy and a fearful attitude, and vengeance and destruction was threatened; and, as the authorities of Jackson county would not protect us in the enjoyment of our inalienable]rights, so it was in this; and, after much violence we were again driven, suffering the loss of property
and enduring the privation of again removing and settling in the new counties of Caldwell and Davis, where there was but few inhabitants, who were either willing to either sell out or live in the enjoyment of equal rights with us. Hoping at least, that we should be permitted to enjoy the rights of American citizens in the last mentioned counties, and still having confidence in our national government, the church, through the assistance of some of their eastern brethren, who lent them funds, again purchased lands, to a considerable amount, of the United States. Although Jackson county was the place of our choice, where also, through the labor of our own hands and the blessing of God, we had caused the earth to yield an abundance to supply our families with the necessary comforts of life whilst there, yet, while in exile from under the iron hand of oppresion, [oppression] we again commenced building houses mills and other machinery, for our mutual benefit, quietly tilling our lands to supply our returning wants. The stranger, by passing through the place of our exile, might have laudably boasted of our industry, from the sound of the axe [ax] in the woodland, the busy teams on the prairies, the clattering of the hammer and the plane, and hum of wheels. These ought to have been sufficient evidence to the world, that we were lawfully and laudably endeavoring to make our new homes comfortable, if not delightsome. In the midst of this scene and bustle, our social hours were not unfrequently [infrequently] turned into mourning, from a recollection of past sufferings and lost friends through the Jackson and Clay county mobs. The trickling tears on the cheek of the disconsolate widow, and the bursting sobs from a bereaved orphan bewailing the loss of a husband or a father-are scenes that are better felt than described, and are ever calculated to throw a gloom over all our social circles.
O where! where! is the boon of heaven so nobly won by her fathers? Fled, alas! fled!-But we hope not forever. Laudable industry and the blessing of heaven soon caused our farms to present a cheering aspect, which awakened a covetous spirit of envy in the hearts of our enemies, and the cry went forth, If the Mormons (as they called us) were let alone, Caldwell, in five years' time , would be the most wealthy and populous county in the state. Our enemies, (who depended mostly on the labor of their slaves for their prosperity,) at beholding themselves outdone by the diligence of the hard laboring sons of the Green Mountains, immediately took measures to posess [possess] themselves of our lands and effects; and a regular system of mobocracy was entered into, to rid the state of their rivals in prosperity. They formed a formidable band of marauders, under the command of a man by the name of Bogard and others, whose numbers increased until, at length, through falsehood and duplicity, they got the authorities of the state to interfere, when a number of officers were sent, with a large military force, to exterminate us and confiscate our property;-and all this by the authority of their more willing mobocrat governor, Lilburn W. Boggs. Plunder, rapine and murder immediately ensued, which would have disgraced a savage war in their wildest state. Men were shot down without provocation; women were insulted and ravished until they died in the hands of their destroyers; children had their brains blowed [blown] out while pleading for their lives; men moving into the country with their families, were shot down; their teams, wagons and loading, were taken by the plunderers as a booty, and their wives with their little ones, ordered out of the state forthwith, or suffer death, as had their husbands, leaving them with no means of conveyance but their feet, and no means of subsistance [subsistence]but begging. Soldiers of the revolution were slain in the most brutal manner, while pleading for their lives in the name of American citizens; many were thrown into prison, and , after enduring a mock trial that would have disgraced an inquisition, were confined in irons, and remained in prison until they made their escape. In these mock trials, no man was allowed to testify in favor of the Saints: and the trials undoubtedly were designed to make the distant public believe that there was an excuse for all this outrage and violence.
To give your honorable body a correct idea of the origin of those scenes of cruelty and wo, we will here transcribe the preamble to a set of resolutions passed by those plunderers at their first meeting, held in Jackson county, for the purpose of taking measures for the expulsion of our people from the county. It is as follows:
"We, the undersigned, citizens of Jackson county, believing that an important crisis is at hand as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious society of people that have and are still settling in our county, styling themselves Mormons; and intending as we do, to rid our society, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must, and believing as we do, that the arm of civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least a sufficient one, against the evils which are now inflicted on us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient, and of the highest importance, to form ourselves into a company, for the better and easier accomplishment of our purposes, which we deem it almost superfulous [superfluous] to say, is justified as well by the law of nature as by the law of self defence [defense]."
Your honorable body will see by the above, that the reasons assigned for the formation of this first company of marauders, was the want of power in the civil law to enable them to carry out the diabolical plottings of their wicked hearts. Hear their own words. "And believing as we do, that the arm of civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted on us."
What were the evils complained of? Let their own words give the strange answer; the existence of a religious society among them; a society too, against which, not even the first crime, which the law could recognise [recognize] as such, could be proved; themselves being the judges, while yet their hearts were filled with envy and malice.
If individuals, or even our society as a body, had transgressed the laws, the law was open, and they could have punished the offenders according to law, as easy as to have fell to butchering indiscriminately, men, women, and children. Here let your memorialist ask your honorable body, to ever remember, that it was not the law our enemies sought to magnify and enforce; for no law had been broken, but they proceeded in open violation of, not only the law of the land, but that of nature too.
Hear again the contents of their unlawful preamble. Intending as we do, to rid ourselves of the Mormons, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must; or this is the import of their fiendish preamble, by the strength of which our people were attacked indiscriminately, their houses rifled, their farms desolated and crops destroyed; men were tied up and whipped until some died in their hands, others to prevent their bowels from gushing out, tied handkerchiefs round their bodies, others were shot down, their wives and children driven from their habitations! houses would be set on fire and consumed, leaving hundreds of women and children nearly naked, in the dead of winter to wander barefooted in the dark hours of the night upon the open fields and prairies, without any bed but the earth, or covering but the heavens. And why all this abuse? I answer, from the very fact that we had broken no law by which they could get the slightest pretext to rid themselves of us peaceably by law. Therefore they betook themselves to spreading falsehoods and slander, by which they roused others to assist them to accomplish their murderous designs.
Similar outrages were again inflicted upon us in Clay county as was in Jackson county, and the people were again driven and went into Caldwell and Davis counties where lands were again purchased by us of General Government. After remaining about two years in Caldwell and Davis counties, and having by dint of labor raised large crops of grain and other produce, which were nearly ready for harvest we were followed by the same relentless spirit, and by the hands of the same persecutors, who were among the first to form a company of marauders in Jackson county. The same unhallowed principles were put in operation as was first started in Jackson county: and for the purpose of creating a shadow of a pretext to justify themselves in the eyes of the public, they even went so far as to set fire to their own buildings, and then reported that the Mormons had done it; by which means we were driven into exile in a strange land, though one (to its honor be it remembered,) where we found a friendly home. During the progress of those scenes of cruelty, our entreaties and petitions were continually made to the authorities of Missouri, for protection and redress. In the name of American citizens, we appealed to their patriotism, their justice, their humanity and to their sacred honor; but they were deaf to our cries and heeded not our petitions. All attempts at protection or redress were unheeded and fruitless. And furthermore your memorialists has to tell your honorable body that since we have resided in the state of Illinois, the same foul means has been resorted to by the State of Missouri, as was practiced in Jackson and Caldwell counties. In order to prevent their base and unjust proceedings coming to light before an injured public, they are wrongfully accusing our citizens, and kidnapping others and dragging them into Missouri, and there, after whipping and insulting them, have cast them into prison and left them to get out as they could. All this without even the form of a trial. Three several warrants have been sent by the governor of Missouri, to the governor of Illinois, demanding the body of Joseph Smith, all of which has been set aside by the legal authorities of Illinois. These warrants were based upon the pretext (though false.) that Joseph Smith was accessary [accessory] to the shooting of L. W. Boggs. Would it not be well for Missouri to strike at the root of the matter, and first deal out justice to some of the murderers of the saints. Here I have to tell your honorable body that the before mentioned Bogard, a Methodist preacher, who was one of the leading men of the mob, has since murdered one of their own clan, and to escape the hand of justice has fled to Texas. Therefore it would not be unreasonable to suppose that governor Boggs was shot by one of the same class of fiendish villains, who yet remain in their midst.
The United States are now reaping the benefits of the money paid into her treasury by us, for those lands which we have been so unjustly driven from; and those lands are still held from us by the state of Missouri; from whose hands we have received no remuneration and from whom we can obtain no redress. These are the wrongs of which your memorialist complains; wrongs which are in open violation to the laws of the whole civilized world. The United States are bound by the constitution to give to each state a republican form of government, and to suppress insurrection and rebel- [rebellion.] Are not these outrages here portrayed before you, insurrection and rebellion? Let your honorable body give the answer. Where is that nation to be found, so stupid to her welfare, so blind to her interest, as to suffer her laws thus to be trampled upon, without making a manly attempt to wipe the bloody stain from her escutcheon? If such a nation is now to be found in existence, she no longer deserves to have her name recorded among the nations of the earth, lest her unborn sons blush at the history of her crimes. Let me further invite the attention of your honorable body to the disgraceful fact, that the very characters who committed all the above outrages, were upheld and paid off by the executive of the state; and at the same time that they committed those outrages, they declared that they were the militia, and that they were called out to enforce the laws and see that they were kept. Under this cover, they put at defiance both the laws of God and man, and with worse than savage cruelty, committed theft, violence, rape and murder! Is it a republican form of government where such a blood-chilling tragedy as this, is acted in the face and eyes of all the authorities of this nation, and no redress be had? Let your honorable body give the answer. Is it a fact that in this boasted land of liberty, that a man's crimes, either pretended or real, are sufficient to subject his bosom companion to insult, his daughters to rape, himself and family to starvation and exile? Let it be answered by every virtuous man and woman in letters of gold, big with meaning, No! Yet all these outrages have been committed upon us without there being the first crime proved against us; and yet after repeated application to the authorities of Missouri, for redress, we can obtain none.-Then to say the least, had she ought not to be made to feel the chastening hand of a parent nation, and as far as in her power, be made to restore to us, not only our rights and property, but damages for all the injury she has done us. This is our claim, and a just one too.
To whom then shall your memorialist look for redress of wrongs committed upon himself and his brethren in tribulation? And where can he look for human assistance with more confidence than to the people of his native state? No where! Then to your honorable body I appeal in the name of an American citizen, and in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for redress of our wrongs; and through you to the general government.-To you he has told his wrongs and that of his brethren, and in confidence he looks to the patriots of Massachusetts, the state of his nativity, and the land of the sepulchres [sepulchers] of his ancestors. On yonder Green Mountain, in the town of Plainfield, lies the ashes of my father, who labored and fought to gain the liberties you now enjoy; he filled a place in the ranks of the army at the critical hour of the taking of Burgoyne; and shall his spirit be wounded at beholding the sons of Columbia in exile, and the banner of liberty stamped in the dust, and nothing done by the patriots of Massachusetts in behalf of suffering innocence? Tell it not in the streets of the valley, publish it not in the highways of the Green Mountains, lest the wicked hear the sound thereof; lest the daughters of Missouri laugh at your weakness. Yea, your memorialist tells you, that he will tell his wrongs and that of his brethren in Massachusetts, I will publish them in the streets of the valley, until the sound thereof reaches to her mountains top; that her statesmen may plead the cause of suffering innocence in the legislative halls of our nation; her patriotic sons, stimulated by her fair daughters, raise their voices and cease not until the cause of innocence shall be heard, and our most sacred rights restored. As one of the native sons of Massachusetts, I ask your honorable body, in the name of all the constitutional rights of man, to instruct the whole delegation of Massachusetts, in congress, to use all lawful and constitutional means to obtain for us a redress of all our wrongs and losses. Believing as your memorialist does, that our case comes within the power of the general government, and that they are bound, not only by every principle of justice, but also by law, to see that justice is meted out to every son and daughter of our national republic. Weak indeed must have been the capacity of statesmen, if they framed and accepted a constitution that made no provision for self defence [defense] Is it a fact that our laws have become so weak, our statesmen so stupid to the existence of our nation, that American citizens can be driven from lands and enjoyments guaranteed to them by the government and she has no power to redress their wrong?
Tell it not in the streets of Lexington, publish it in the ships of Boston, lest it is wafted by the western breeze till it salutes the tyrant's ear, and causes the daughters of Columbia to weep. If, indeed, there remains no means of redress for us, well may the despotic powers of Europe laugh and rejoice in their hearts, in the anticipation of beholding the United States of America fall and crumble to atoms beneath its ponderous weight. If this be the case, come on then ye prowling beasts and feathered fowl, prepare to glut yourselves upon the flesh of the fair sons and daughters of Columbia's soul; fallen by her own depravity, and slain by wicked aspirants and robbers from all nations. But I hope better things than those from your honorable body; yet certain causes will produce certain effects. If America refuses to punish robbers and murderers, she opens the door for a tenfold ingress of the same. From a recollection of some of the facts contained in the history of his native state, your memorialist feels a confidence in making his appeal to your honorable body, the executive of Massachusetts, a state whose people are noted in the annals of history, and one famed for her zeal in the cause of civil and religious liberty, as well as her firmness in breaking the tyrant's chain.
Her soil was the cradle of the first religious society in New England, who were exiles from Europe, as we now are from Missouri. She can boast of being the first to rise in virtuous indignation against the unjust principle of taxation without representation, when her bold sons hurled the tyrants tea by the board, and defied the despots power. The blood of her sons was the first to flow in support of those principles that gave birth to our national existence. At Lexington, in defiance of the tyrant's laws, and fearless of her power, her citizens in just indignation rallied around the murderous clans, and in firmness of soul, dared to redress the wrongs of her bleeding sons, and in the greatness of their philanthrophy [philanthropy], declared that the rights of man should be sacred, and that her land should be free; an assylum [asylum] for the oppressed, a land of liberty for the tyrant's slave. Yes, on the ever memorable l9th of April, A. D. 1775, flowed the first blood that gave birth to our national independence. It was then the blood of the martyred sons of Massachusetts, by the hand of tyranny, first cried from the ground for the vengeance of an offended God and suffering innocence, to be poured upon the murderous band. Nor did the mingled groans of the dying, the wailings of the orphan, the flowing tears of the bereaved parent, and the deeper moans of the disconsolate widow, but barely have time to reach the heavens, until a just retribution of an offended God was poured upon the offenders, through the valor of the patriotic sons of my native state. Fallen indeed, must be the sons of those martyrs and statesmen of 1775 and '76, if their minds are so degenerated that they have not independence of soul, sufficient to throw their influence into the legislative hall of our nation, in support of the rights of suffering innocence, such as your memorialist has here laid before your honorable body. Honorable regard for the character of my native state forbids the thought. Confident, then, that the pure principles by which our forefathers were actuated, still lingers in the bosoms of their sons, and need only be awakened in the hearts of your honorable body by the tale of wo herein laid before you.
Your memorialist comes to your honorable body, to tell you that the civil and religious liberties sought for and found by the pilgrims on Plymouth rock, and maintained by the blood of our fathers, have been sacrificed by relentless tyrants, upon the altar of jealousy. He comes to tell you, like Babylon of old, our nation is assailed by the jealous tyrant of mankind at one end; and that your assistance is wanted in the national hall, in defence [defense] of the temple of freedom, erected by your fathers.-He comes to tell your honorable body, that the sons of his native state are denied the liberty of conscience and the right of protection under the wide-spread wings of our national escutcheon, and that the blood of the patriotic heroes of the revolution who have been slain in Missouri for enjoying their religious rights, the boon of heaven to man, is crying from the ground; and with the dying groans of the ravished females and infant innocence, are ascending with the prayers of the widows and patriots of the revolution, into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Yea, their blood, their groans, their tears and their prayers of suffering innocence, together with the prayers of your memorialist, are now crying in the ears of your honorable body, through this, my silent messenger, saying "redress;" redress the wrongs of your memorialist, and those of his brethren, and wipe disgrace from the stained banner of our national republic; and perpetuate the glorious laurels so nobly won to my native state, when on Bunker's Hill, our fathers in unequal combat first sustained the shock, and dared assert the rights of man amidst the clatter of clashing steel, the blaze of arms, and the more deep-toned thunder of the tyrants cannon. May the departed spirits of the brave Warren and his associates, whisper in the ears of your honorable body, saying, redress the wrongs of the innocent; and maintain by legislation, those rights
of man so dearly bought by our blood that flowed on Bunker's height. Let not the name of Hancock and Adams, written by their own hands, and attached to the declaration of Independence, be obliterated or dimmed by the slackness or timidity of the sons of Massachusetts.
Under all these circumstances your memorialist prays to be heard by your honorable body, touching all the matters of this memorial; saying to you, that except our prayers are heard by your honorable body, touching all the matters of this memorial; saying to you, that except our prayers are heard, our rights restored and maintained, and ample redress made, as far as it can be by the legislative powers of the United States of America. [The] wrath of an offended God will be poured out upon the whole nation; and her statesmen and legislatures shall be awakened from their dreams, by a voice in their ears, saying thou art no longer worthy to wield the destinies of the brave, noble, patriotic and virtuous sons and daughters of Columbia's soil
And as in duty bound your memorialist will ever pray.
Russell, Mass., March 5, 1844.
TIMES AND SEASON S.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MONDAY, MAY 1, 1844
FOR PRESIDENT, GEN. JOSEPH SMITH, NAUVOO, ILLINOIS.
TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS.
We take this opportunity of informing our subscribers that the present number of the Times and Seasons (No. 9.) closes the year with a considerable portion of our readers, we therefore acquaint all those who have honored us with their patronage, that we have adoped [adopted] one uniform plan, without respect of persons. viz.-That the Times and Seasons will be discontinued, in every case (where the time has expired) should the subscriptions not be renewed before our next publication. Our friends will therefore see the necessity of making arrangements without delay. Should any of our readers be in want of any of the back numbers they can be supplied by calling at the office. Also the first, second, third, and fourth volumns [volumes] may be obtained.
Owing to the extensive calls for Gen. Smith's views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States, we have concluded to publish them in our next number.
For the information of our readers, we would state that the truths of the gospel, as revealed in the last days, are spreading on every hand, and we learn from the elders collected together at our general conference, that much of the opposition and bigotry which they have heretofore had to contend with, has ceased; and that the public have begun to investigate for themselves, and can no longer be duped by the foolish tales and slanderous reports of wicked, crafty men whose business it is to deceive.
It was, indeed, a pleasing sight to see such a vast concourse assembled to celebrate the fourteenth annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the unanimity and good feeling which pervaded the whole. Much instruction was given by President Smith and others, and the whole conference was edified by an appropriate and interesting address from elder Sidney Rigdon, giving a history of the church from its first organization, and a sketch of the sufferings and privations of the first elders, and showing that the kingdom of God could be established in any country, without infringing upon any law, or interfering with any government. That the saints lived far above all earthly laws;-that the law of God was far more righteous than the laws of the land; that the kingdom of God does not interfere with any of the laws of the land, but is sustained by its own laws. He made many pleasing references to the manifestations of God at different times; how they had been annoyed by certain men who were wise in their own conceit, and opposed to the principles of virtue and righteousness.
Elders were sent out to all parts; when the conference adjourned, highly delighted with what they had heard and seen, after returning thanks to Almighty God for the propitious weather with which they had been favored.
HERCULANEUM AND POMPEII.
Of the vast wonders I would desire to be silent, greatly fearing my narrative may detract from, rather than add to, the interest already created in your mind by the accounts you may have read. I was prepared for a gigantic wonder; but the actual sight far exceeded my anticipation. Not only have the streets been rescued from their volcanic tomb, but the very ruts formed by the carriages appear quite fresh, and most of the external walls are as upright as if they had just been built. The Frescos also remain in a most admirable state, but the best have been removed to the Museo Borbonico from which a complete history of the manners and customs of the Pompeians might be written. With these remarks upon this wonderful ruin I shall leave you to your own readings and imagination. We spent about five hours in its
examination, and then, after making a detour by Castellamre, where we dined, returned to Naples. I went to Herculanium by the railway from Naples. The principle wonder there is an immense amphitheater, which was discovered buried in lava, as hard as granite, whilst digging for a well. On the ceiling of a chamber underneath I saw the exact impression of a marble statue, which had been removed, washed down, and there rested by the volcanic torrent. In another part of the ruin, the streets and houses, prison-walls and bars, may be seen as at Pompeii; and at the edge of a well the marks formed by the cords or chains in pulling up the buckets remain to this day. During the time of its destruction, lava must have descended from Vesuvius in a perfectly liquid state, as the lowest cellars are frequently as neatly filled as if the lava had been chiselled [chiseled] for the purpose. A visit to these buried cities cannot fail to suggest the most solemn reflections. O race of man! what awful materials for a chapter in the history of the Providence of God.-Scamper through Italy.
The present physical, moral, and social condition of the Jews must be a miracle. We can come to no other conclusion. Had they continued from the christian era down to the present hour in some such national state in which we find the Chinese, walled off from the rest of the human family, and by their selfishness as a nation, and their repulsion of alien elements, resisting every assault from without, in the shape of a hostile invasion, and from an overpowering national pride forbidding the introduction of new and foreign customs, we should not see so much a miracle interwoven with their existence. But this is not their state-far from it. They are neither a united nor an independent nation, nor a parasitic province. They are peeled and scattered into fragments; but broken globules of quicksilver, instinct with a cohesive power, ever claiming affinity and, ever ready to amalgamate. Geography, arms, genius, politics, and foreign help do not explain their existence; time and climate and customs equally fail to unravel it. None of these are, or can be, springs of their perpetuity. They have spread over every part of the habitable globe; have lived under the reign of every dynasty; they have used every tongue, and lived in every latitude. The snows of Lapland have chilled, and the suns of Africa have scorched them. They have drank of the Tiber, the Thames, the Jordan, the Mississippi. In every country, in every latitude and longitude, we find a Jew.
It is not so with any other race. Empires the most illustrious have fallen, and buried men that constructed them; but the Jew has lived among the ruins, a living monument of indestructibility. Persecution has unsheathed the sword and lighted the faggot; Papal superstition and Moslem barbarism have smitten them with unspeakable ferocity; penal rescripts and deep prejudice have visited on them the most ungenerous debasement; and, notwithstanding all, they survive.
Like their own bush on Mount Horeb, Israel has continued in flames, but unconsumed.-They are the aristocracy of scripture-let off coronets-princes in degradation. A Babylonian, a Theban, a Spartan, an Athenian, a Roman, are names known to history only; their shadows alone haunt the world and flicker its tablets. A Jew walks every street, and dwells in every capitol, traverses every exchange, and relieves the monotony of the nations of the earth. The race has inherited the heirloom of immorality, incapable of extinction or amalgamation. Like streamlets from a common head, and composed of water's peculiar nature, they have flowed along every stream without blending with it or receiving its flavors, and traversed the surface of the globe amid the lapse of many centuries distinct-alone. The Jewish race at this day is, perhaps, the most striking seal of the sacred oracles. There is no possibility of accounting for their perpetual isolation, their depressed but distinct being, on any ground save those revealed in the record of truth.-Frazer's Magazine.
For the Times and Seasons.
Mr. Editor:-Sir: Having been absent from our beloved city some four months on a mission to proclaim the pure principles of the everlasting gospel; and as some incidents occurred in the course of my travels, which may not be uninteresting to the readers of your very valuable paper, I am induced to forward you this letter, which you can dispose of as you think proper.
After I closed my ministerial labors in Iowa Territory, which were crowned with success it was thought best that I should visit the upper counties in this state. Accordingly, on the 5th of December last, I left here for the above place. On my way I preached at Macedonia, Burnadotte, and Washington. At the latter place, after I had closed my second discourse on the first principles of the gospel, I received a challenge from the Rev. Mr. Phelps, to discuss the subject of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and our principles in general. He said that he intended to investigate
the very foundation of our doctrine. I agreed to his proposition, on condition he would allow me the same privilege with regard to those which he advocated, and bind himself not to close the discussion until we had thoroughly weighed Mormonism, and Methodism, in the balance of truth, and abundantly tried the authenticity of both, by the word of God, which is the great test.
Accordingly on the following evening, we met in the Methodist chapel, for the discussion of the above subject; chose moderators and commenced. We continued the debate four evenings. At the close of the discussion on the last evening, the Rev. Mr. Hall, a methodist, insisted the discussion should be closed; but the majority of the audience together with myself, objected to it. My opponent, to satisfy the multitude for the time being; agreed to meet at a future evening and continue it. Accordingly, the appointment was mutually made, but to the surprise of the audience, he was among the missing: the reason however seemed to be obvious to all. This Reverend gentleman has been lecturing against the Mormons for several years past, boasting that he could meet one of the elders face to face, and prove the doctrine false. He has now had a trial, say the people, and ingloriously retired from the contest.
During the discussion, the audience paid good attention, and if I am to judge from the expressions of the people, and the spirit that is manifested, I can say that much good was done, and that the impression made is very favorable to the cause of truth.
On the evening that my opponent did not appear according to appointment; I addressed the meeting on the subject of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, that is adumbrated by the "eleventh hour," in our Savior's parable of the laborers and the vineyard.
I had calls for preaching more than I could fill, for I was then already behind my time.-I proceeded on my journey, preached five times in Ottowa, and Dayton, baptized one, and then proceeded to Chicago and its vicinity, where I preached about four weeks, to hundreds of attentive hearers. Priests and lawyers, to be sure, raged, and collected all the slanderous reports, newspaper stories, and works written against the church, and the leading men of the same, that they could get hold of, which they marshalled [marshaled] against me, but all to no purpose. The work of the Lord rolled on, and many were convinced of the truth of the gospel, which we preach. Notwithstanding all this opposition, I baptized and organized a branch (in the town of Newark, about forty-five miles this side of Chicago,) of thirty-five members. Indeed, the town was a changed place, and many more, I believe, will go and do likewise. I had many more calls for preaching in this section of country, but as I wanted to be here at conference, I was obliged to come away without filling them.
On my return, I stopped a short time in Ottowa, and organized a branch consisting of twelve members. During my absence, I preached from six to eight times in a week, and I can truly say that the prospect in the country where I have been, for the rolling forth of the kingdom of God, is good, and I pray God, that many more may embrace the truth.
With sentiments of high esteem
I subscribe myself your friend
and fellow laborer in the cause
of truth, Wm. O. CLARK.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Brother Taylor:-I have travelled [traveled] near six months since July last, most of which time I labored in Franklin, Williamson, and Johnson counties, in the south part of the state.-There had been but few discourses delivered by any of the elders in these counties; therefore prejudice was great, but after hearing for themselves; the honest in heart began to discover the many falsehoods that had overrun the country, and began to investigate the doctrine of Christ. The result was, many believed and I had more calls for preaching than I could attend to; and through the assistance of God I was enabled to baptize twenty-four; and left many more believing, which I hope will obey the gospel. There is a great door open for preaching, and my prayer to God is, for the rolling forth of the kingdom, until the kingdoms of this world becomes the kingdom of God.
Respectfully, your brother
in the everlasting covenant,
Nauvoo, Ill, April 13th, 1844.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Mich., Feb. 17, 1844}
Sir:-I take this opportunity to inform you of the prosperity of the Redeemer's cause in this section of the country. Last winter, (December 19) I commenced preaching in this place; my congregations were large and attentive; I continued preaching and baptizing till March 6th, when I organized a branch of 25 members. On the 7th, I started for Nauvoo, at which place I arrived on the 14th of April. At the special conference, held in July, I was appointed
in company with my brother P. Webb, to visit Will and Grundy counties, Ill. On the l9th, we started on our mission; labored about two weeks in Will, then continued our journey for this place, and arrived here September 5th; found the saints strong in the faith, and their numbers increased to 34, since which time 14 have been added. I have lately been out in Barry county, and delivered seven lectures. Prejudice gave way, and several manifested their determination to obey the gospel; whom I expect to baptize when I return. The work is in a prosperous condition through this whole section of country; we have much opposition from the priests and others, but truth is invariably triumphant. About a month since, elder Waldron baptized a Universalist preacher, by the name of Spafford, in Van Buren county.-He has since commenced preaching the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel.
Elders Gamet and Loveland are preaching in Calhoon county, and I understand have baptized several.
I will now close by subscribing
myself with high confidence
of respect, your friend, &c.
E. M. WEBB.
Conference met pursuant to appointment, on Saturday the sixth of April, 1844
Present, President Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon and William Marks.
Of the twelve, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A. Smith.
The members of the High Council, an immense number of elders, and an innumerable concourse of people.
Saturday, April 6, 1844.
Presidents Joseph, and Hyrum Smith came to the stand at 1-4 past 10 o'clock, when the meeting was called to order by elder Brigham Young. The choir sung a hymn, after which President Joseph Smith rose to state to the congregation the nature of the business which would have to come before them. He stated that it had been expected by some that the little petty difficulties which have existed, would be brought up and investigated before this conference, but it will not be the case; these things are of too trivial a nature to occupy the attention of so large a body. I intend to give you some instruction on the principles of eternal truth, but will defer it until others have spoken, in consequence of the weakness of my lungs. The elders will give you instruction, and then, (if necessary) will offer such corrections as may be proper to fill up the interstices. Those who feel desirous of sowing the seeds of discord will be disappointed, on this occasion. It is our purpose to build up, and establish the principles of righteousness, and not to break down and destroy. The great Jehovah has ever been with me, and the wisdom of God will direct me in the seventh hour; I feel in closer communion, and better standing with God than ever I felt before in my life, and I am glad of this opportunity to appear in your midst. I thank God for the glorious day that he has given us. In as large a congregation, it is necessary that the greatest order and decorum be observed; I request this at your hands, and believe that you will all keep good order.
Prayer was offered by W. W. Phelps, after which the choir sung a hymn.
Elder Sidney Rigdon then rose and said, It is with no ordinary degree of satisfaction, I enjoy this privilege this morning; want of health, and other circumstances have kept me in silence for nearly the last five years. It can hardly be expected, that when the violence of sickness having used its influence, and the seeds of disease have so long preyed upon me, that I can rise before this congregation. I am now come forth from a bed of sickness, and have enough of strength left to appear here for the first time in my true character. I have not come before a conference for the last five years in my true character. I shall consider this important privilege sacred in my family history, during life. I hardly promise myself lungs to make this congregation hear me, I shall do the best I can, and the greatest can do no more.-The circumstances by which we are now surrounded points out the principles of my discourse-the history of this church which I have known from its infancy: my text is, "Behold the church of God of the last days." I do not know that I can find it in the bible; I do not think it necessary to have Paul to make a text for me; I can make a text for myself; I recollect in the year 1830, I met the whole church of Christ in a little old log house about 20 feet square, near Waterloo, N. Y. and we began to talk about the kingdom of God as if we had the world at our command; we talked with great confidence, and talked big things, although we were not many people, we had big feelings; we knew fourteen years ago that the church would become as large as it is to-day; we were as big then as we shall ever be; we began to talk like men in authority and power-we looked upon the men of the earth as grasshoppers; if we did not see this people, we saw by vision, the church of God a thousand times larger: and when men would come in, they would say we wanted to upset the government,
although we were not enough to well man a farm, or meet a woman with a milk pail; all the elders, all the members, met in conference, in a room 20 feet square. I recollect elder Phelps being put in jail for reading the Book of Mormon. He came to see us, and expressed great astonishment, and left us apparently pondering in his heart; he afterward came to Kirtland, Ohio, and said he was a convert. Many things were taught, believed, and preached, then, which have since come to pass; we knew the whole world would laugh at us, so we concealed ourselves; and there was much excitement about our secret meetings, charging us with designs against the government, and with laying plans to get money, &c. which never existed in the heads of anyone else, and if we had talked in public, we should have been ridiculed more than we were, the world being entirely ignorant of the testimony of the prophets and without knowledge of what God was about to do; treated all we said with pretended contempt, and much ridicule; and had they have heard all we said, it would have made it worse for us; we talked about the people coming as doves to the windows, that all nations should flock unto it; that they should come bending to the standard of Jesus, saying, our fathers have taught falsehood, and things in which there is no profit; and of whole nations being born in one day; we talked such big things that men could not bear them, and they not only ridiculed us for what we did say in public, but threatened and inflicted much personal abuse, and had they heard all we said, their violence would have been insupportable. God had great things to say for the salvation of the world, which, if they had been told to the public, would have brought persecution upon us unto death; so we were obliged to retire to our secret chambers, and commune ourselves with God. [He here referred to the prayer of elder Phelps concerning our having arrived at the age to choose our own guardian.] If we had told the people what our eyes behold this day, we should not be believed; but the rascals would have shed our blood, if we had only told them what we believed. There we sat in secret and beheld the glorious visions, and powers of the kingdom of heaven, pass and repass; we had not a mighty congregation to shelter us-if a mob came upon us, we had to run and hide ourselves to save our lives. The time has now come to tell you why we had secret meetings. We were maturing plans fourteen years ago which we can now tell; were we maturing plans to corrupt the world, to destroy the peace of society? Let fourteen years experience of the church tell the story. The church never would have been here, if we had not done as we did in secret. The cry of false prophet and imposter [impostor] rolled upon us. I do not know that anything has taken place in the history of this church, which we did not then believe; it was written upon our hearts, and never could be taken away; it was indelibly engraved, no power beneath yonder heavens could obliterate it. This was the period when God laid the foundation of the church, and he laid it firmly, truly, and upon eternal truth. If any man says it is not the work of God, I know they lie.-Some of you who know you have a house, how long would it take to make you reason yourself into a belief that you have no house, where you now reside with your family? Neither have we any power whereby we can ever persuade ourselves, that this is not the church of God. We do not care who sinks or swims, or opposes; but we know here is the church of God, and I have authority before God for saying so. I have the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophesy; I have slept with it, I have walked with it; the idea has never been out of my heart for a moment, and I will reap the glory of it when I leave this world. I defy men and hell, and devils to put it out of my heart: I defy all, and will triumph in spite of them. I know God, I have gazed upon the glory of God, the throne, visions and glories of God, and the visions of eternity in days gone by. What is a man of God to do, when he sees all the madness, wrath and follies of our persecutors. He will do as God does; he will sit and laugh; one breath from the nostrils of God would blow them out of existence to hell. These were the beginning of good days; shut up in a room, eating nothing but dry johnny cake and buttermilk; every man who had a little farm, or clothes, sold them and distributed what he had among the rest, and did the best they could. I had nothing to eat, nothing to wear, and yet it was the beginning of good days. Some say I want plenty to eat, plenty to drink, plenty to wear and a good house to live in, and say they, then I will believe; but God will not give it, until you have proved yourselves to him. No wonder then that we should be joyful to-day. If the people will do as they are told, I will tell you what to do. Get the visions of heaven, and seek not what you shall eat or what you shall drink, but seek the will of God; get into the presence of God, and then you will have johnny cake and milk and water no more. Would you not be astonished if even now we should tell the glories and the privileges of the saints of God to you, and to the world, we should be ridiculed; and no wonder we shut it up in secret; if we were to tell you
when Jehovah looked on, lo it is beauty, it is heaven, it is felicity to look on; I should marvel if it were otherwise; if a man tells you one glory or one message, he is learning another at the same time. Do not be astonished then if we even yet have secret meetings; asking God for things for your benefit. Do not be afraid, go back to the commencement of this church, and see what was concocted then; there was no evil concocted when we first held secret meetings, and it is the same now; has God forgotten to be gracious? To be merciful to mankind? Did he ever concoct anything that was devilish for mankind? He could not do it, I never am afraid of God or man concocting any thing to hurt me, I have faith to detect man, even if he did; I would ask God to detect them, and would hold them fast before he should do it. I am not afraid of men or devils. I have none of those fears, jealousies, dreads, forebodings, surmisings, &c.: I put my trust in God, and whatever God does for me, is only for my salvation. A man is a bad teamster who runs his team in the worst road. [And showed how much like the gospel.] What I have already said, is only to prepare the way. [Here five of the Pottowattomie tribe appeared with their interpreter, and were assisted to the stand by the president.] I am going to tell of something that surprised me at the beginning of the church; I have handled, and heard, seen and known things which I have not yet told. After the church began to grow, it was favored with monstrous wise men; they had so much wisdom that they could dispute what God said, and what his servant said. They were opposed to virtue; they would say they had revelations and visions, and were as certain that God had given it, as I was that the devil had. He referred to the children of Israel who were sniveling and murmuring about their leeks and onions, &c. &c., and so it is in these last days, some men are always yelling about what the church believes, and opposing every good thing. I want devils to gratify themselves, and if howling, yelling, pelping, will do you any good; do it till you are all damned. If calling us devils, &c., will do you any good, let us have the whole of it, and you can then go on your way to hell without a grunt. We hear these things ever since the church existed, they have come up with us, they have had so much more wisdom, they knew all about the kingdom before God revealed it; and they know all things before they are heard; they understand more than God knows. We gather of all kinds, if we get all nations, we get all wisdom, all cunning, and every thing else. The sectarians cannot be as wise as we are, for they have only got the plans of man for salvation, but we have got man's plans, the devil's plans and the best of all, we have God's plan. I do not know whether there are any of these wise men here this morning; I have merely given this as part of the history of this church. I am disposed to give some reasons why salvation only belongs to the kingdom of God, and to that alone. I will endeavor to show you why salvation belongs to us more peculiarly, in contradistinction of all other bodies; will this be clear enough? I discover one thing, mankind have labored under one universal mistake about this, viz: Salvation was distinct from government; i. e.; that I can build a church without government, and that thing have power to save me. When God sets up a system of salvation, he sets up a system of government; when I speak of government I mean what I say; I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs. Every man is a government of himself, and infringe upon no government. A man is not an honorable man if he is not above all law, and above government. I see in our town we have need of government, some study law, only for the purpose of seeing how many feuds, how many broils they can kick up, how much they can disturb the peace of the public, without breaking the law, and then say: "I know my rights and will have them;" "I did not know it was the marshal, or I would not have done it." He is no gentleman, gentlemen would not insult a poor man in the street, but would bow to him, as much as those who appear more respectable. No marshal, or any one else should pull me up; we ought to live a great way within the circle of the laws of the land. I would live far above all law. The law of God is far more righteous than the laws of the land; the laws of God are far above the laws of the land. The kingdom of God does not interfere with the laws of the land, but keeps itself by its own laws.
(To be Continued)
MINUTES OF CONFERENCE
of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints held in the city of New York on the 3rd and 4th days of April 1844.
The conference met at the Military Hall at half past 10 o'clock A. M. and was organized by calling Elder Wm. Smith to the chair, and appointing
elder Wm. H. Miles, Clerk, there were present 2 High Priests, 12 Elders, and 2 Priests.
The conference was opened by singing, and prayer by the President.
The President then addressed the conference
upon the object and purposes of their meeting. Elder Geo. T. Leach was then called upon to represent the branch in New York, but not having the records, was excused until afternoon.
Elder A. Everitt then called for information concerning the alleged disorganization of the branch at Satauket L. I. on motion,
Resolved, that Elder Hultz, make his statement of Elder's Bolton, and Raymond's proceedings in the branch; which was done.
Elder Raymond then made his statement and presented Elder Page's letter written to him, which was read by the Clerk, and after a number of remarks by the Elders, the President said that in the disorganization of a branch, the members were not cut off from the church, and unless there was sufficient cause to justify them, Elder's Bolton and Raymond had no authority to disorganize the Branch, therefore,
Resolved that the Conference do not consider the branch at Satauket disorganized, on motion,
Resolved, that 3 Elders be authorised [authorized] to examine into, and settle the difficulties of the Church in that place, whereupon,
Elder's McClain, Geo. T. Leach, and Willey, were selected for that purpose, on motion, adjourned until half-past 2 o'clock P. M.
The conference convened, at half-past 2 o'clock P. M. after singing, and prayer, the president made some cheering remarks on the prosperity of the cause.
Elder Willey declined acting with the committee appointed in the forenoon, to settle the difficulties in the Satauket Branch, whereupon,
Elder John Leach was chosen in his stead.
Elder Geo. T. Leach represented the Branch in N. York, numbering 152 members including 3 High Priests, 13 Elders, 3 Priests, 4 Teachers 1 Deacon, added since last conference 19, Deaths 2, Cut off 4, Moved 27.
Elder Merrill represented the branch at Norwalk, Connecticut; 38 members, including three elders two priests, one teacher, one deacon: 23 removed to Zion, two to New York, and three added by baptism, since last conference. Elder Merrill stated that the branch would nearly all remove to Zion this spring.
Elder Raymond represented the branch at Hemstead; 41 members, including one elder, one priest, one teacher, and three added by baptism since last conference; at Jerusalem, nine miles south, there were three members.
Elder Snyder represented the branch at Brooklyn, 15 members, including one priest, one teacher, and one deacon.
Elder John Leach, represented the branch at Mead's Basin, 12 members including one priest, one teacher one deacon; and also at Wynockie and Pompton, 10 members not organized. Elder Leach gave a very interesting account of his labors.
Brother K. Morris, represented the branch at Bridgeport, 10 members, including one elder, and one teacher, all in good standing.
Elder John Leach reported five members not organized, at Mechanicsville and New Germantown.
Elder McClain gave an account of his visits to Hudson, Albany, and Rochester. He also gave a favorable account of the prosperity of the cause in Boston, Lowell and Salem.
Elder Wm. H. Miles, represented the branch at Newark; 12 members, including one priest.
Elder Willey gave an account of his travels and ministry; he has been laboring in New Haven county, Connecticut, with elder Pell. He stated that there was about fifty believers in North Haven, and near one hundred in a neighboring village. Elder Davis was preaching in the Baptist church, in the town of Straitsville; the people were believing, and he was baptizing every Sunday. There were also many in the city of New Haven ready to obey the gospel.
Brother White represented the branch at Middletown, Connecticut; 17 members, including three elders, in good standing, nearly all going to Zion soon.
Elder Young represented the branch at Patterson; eight members, including one elder and one teacher.
Elder Merrill then gave an account of his labors, and the prosperity of the cause, in the region where he had labored; after which,
President William Smith made some remarks upon the prosperity and future prospects of the church, which were calculated to encourage the breast of every true saint of God.
On motion of elder A. Everett, brother T. Dennis was chosen to be ordained to the office of an elder. Brother T. Dennis was then ordained under the hands of elders Smith, Geo. T. Leach and Everett.
On motion, adjourned till to-morrow at 1-2 past 10 o'clock. Closed by singing and benediction.
Met agreeable to adjournment, singing and prayer by elder Smith.
Elder Sandburn represented the branch at New Bedford; 60 members, two elders, three priests, four teachers, three deacons; and the branch at Newport, R. I., 21 members, one elder one teacher, two deacons. He also gave an account of his labors and the prosperity of the cause in the place where he had been laboring.
On motion, Resolved, That brothers Everett
and Leech, be appointed to wait upon elder Hewett, to know his reasons for not attending conference.
Elders Lane and Leech laid before the conference a statement concerning the condition of the Brooklyn branch, and the presiding elder's conduct.
On motion, Resolved, That two responsible elders be empowered by this conference to go to the branch at Brooklyn, to [inquire] into the affairs of the church, and if necessary to disorganize the branch and re-organize, and choose another presiding elder; whereupon,
Elders Everett and Holmes were appointed for that purpose.
On motion the following were nominated and chosen for the office of elders.
John Swackhammer, H. J. Doremus, David Fairbank, Brother Wally.
Also the following as priests; A. Brockelbanks, K. Morris, James Thompson, S. Leaver.
James Miller was ordained teacher.
On motion, Resolved, that should elder Meynell go to Europe, he will have the approbation of this conference, therefore,
Resolved, that the clerk be instructed to give him a certificate to that effect.
On motion, Resolved, that the conference proceed to ordinations.
On motion adjourned till 1-2 past 2 O'clock, P. M.
Conference convened; after singing and prayer by elder Miles, brother Wm. Smith arose and addressed the saints at great length upon certain reports abroad among the saints.
The elders appointed to wait upon brother Hewitt reported.
The branch at New Rochelle was represented by elder Wolfe; numbering 15 members, one elder, three priests, one teacher, in good standing.
Elder George T. Leach, submitted to the conference a proposition for publishing a weekly paper for the disseminating of our principles, which was read by the clerk, after some discussion upon the wisdom of such a course. The President spoke at length in favor of the proposition.
On motion, Resolved, that the proposition be accepted, and a committee of five be appointed to act upon it. Whereupon, elder Wright, George T. Leach, Brockelbanks, Miles, and John Leach were appointed as a committee.
On motion, Resolved, That the minutes be accepted.
Resolved, That elder Wright, be appointed to cooperate with the clerk, to prepare the minutes for publication.
On motion, Resolved, That the thanks of this conference be tendered to the president for his able manner of presiding, and also to the clerk for his services.
On motion, Resolved, That this conference determine to uphold the authorities of the church.
Resolved, That this conference adjourn to meet the first Wednesday in September next, at 1-2 past 10 o'clock, A. M.
Closed by singing and benediction.
Chairman Wm. H. Miles, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in Albion, Calhoun county, Mich., on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of March, 1844.
Elders present, D. Savage, William R. Loveland, C. Dunn, D. M. Grant, W. H. West.
Elder C. Dunn was chosen chairman, and D. M. Grant, appointed clerk.
Meeting was opened by prayer, by C. Dunn. He then proceeded to deliver a discourse on the necessity of faith and obedience to the law of God.
Conference was then dismissed until 10 o'clock next day.
We met at 10 o'clock the next morning;-opened by prayer, by William D. Loveland, and a discourse was delivered by elder Savage on the subject of faith and the fruit thereof. He was followed by C. Dunn, and the conference adjourned till 2 o'clock, P. M.
Conference convened agreeable to adjournment. D. Savage, and D. M. Gamet spoke on the gathering of Israel. He was followed by H. J. Brown. Samuel Graham was then ordained to the office of an elder, under the hands of elder Gamet. Elder Brown spoke on the Book of Mormon, followed by C. Dunn. Conference adjourned till next day.
At 10 o'clock, Sabbath morning, meeting was opened by C. Dunn. Elder Savage spoke on the order of the kingdom of God.
The representation of the different branches of the church in this vicinity was then called for.
The branch of Moroni, in Jackson county, was represented by elder H. J. Brown; consisting of 13 members, two elders, one teacher, one deacon.
The Paupau branch, Van Buren conunty [county], was represented by elder Savage; consisting of eight members, four elders.
The Comstock branch was represented by elder Savage, consisting of 50 members, six elders, three priests.
The Albion branch, represented by elder Gamet, consisting of 27 members, three elders, one deacon.
The Flawrence branch, represented by elder Dunn, consisting of seven members, one elder.
The Motville branch, represented by elder Dunn, consisting of nine members, one elder.
We are happy to say that the work of the Lord is prospering in this part of the vineyard.
Conference adjourned until the 7th, 8th, and 9th of June, next, at the town of Florence, St. Joseph county, Michigan.
C. Dunn, Prest.
David M. Gamet, Clerk.
For the Times and Seasons.
THE MARRIAGE VOW.
Speak it not lightly!-tis a holy thing. Then will ye gaze upon the the altered brow,
A bond enduring through long and distant years, And love as fondly, faithfully as now?
When joy o'er thine abode is hovering,
Or when thy eye is wet with bitterest tears; Should fortune frown on your defenceless [defenseless] head,
Recorded by an angel's pen on high, Should storm o'ertake your bark in life's sea;
And must be questioned in eternity! Fierce tempest rend the sail so gaily spread,
When hope her syren [siren] strain sang joyously;
Speak it not lightly!-though the young and gay Will you look up, though clouds your sky o'ercast,
Are thronging around thee now, with tones of mirth; And say, 'Together we will bide the blast?'
Let not the holy promise of to-day
Fade like the clouds that with the morn have birth, Age, with its silvery locks, comes steaming on,
But ever bright and sacred may it be, And brings the tottering step, the furrowed cheek,
Stored in the treasury-cell of memory. The eye from which each lustrous beam had gone,
And the pale lip, with accents low and weak;
Life will not prove all sunshine! there will come Will ye then think upon your life's gay prime,
Dark hours for all: O will ye, when the night And, smiling, bid love triumph over time?
Of sorrows gather thickly round your home.
Love as ye did, in times when calm and bright Speak it not lightly! Oh, beware, beware!
'Tis no vain promise, no unmeaning word;
Seemed the sure path ye trod, untouched by care, Lo! Men and angels lisp the faith ye swear,
And deem'd the future like the present fair? And by the high and holy One 'tis heard;
Oh, then, kneel humbly at His altar now,
Eyes that now beam with health may yet grow dim, And pray for strength to keep your marriage vow!
And cheeks of rose forget their early glow; M. N. M.
Languor and pain assail each active limb,
And lay, Perchance, some worshiped [worshipped] beauty low;
The Times and Seasons,
Is Printed and Published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
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