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Vol. V. No. 16] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. SEPT. 2, 1844. [Whole No. 100.
History OF JOSEPH SMITH.
During the mob, one of the twins received a severe cold, and continued to grow worse till Friday, and died. The mobbers were composed of various religious parties, but mostly Campbelites, Methodists and Baptists, who continued to molest and menace father Johnson's house for a long time. Elder Rigdon removed to Kirtland with his family, then sick with the measles, the following Wednesday, and on account of the mob he went to Chardon on Saturday, April first. Sunday, April second, I started for Missouri, in company with Newel K. Whitney, Peter Whitmer, and Jesse Gauze, to fulfil [fulfill] the revelation. Not wishing to go by Kirtland, as another mob existed in that neighborhood, (and indeed, the spirit of mobocracy was very prevalent through the region of the country at the time,) brother George Pitkin took us in his waggon, [wagon] by the most expeditious route to Warren, where we arrived the same day, and were there joined by elder Rigdon, who left Chardon in the morning; and proceeding onward; we arrived at Wellsville the next day, and the day following at Stubenville, where we left the waggon [wagon]; and on Wednesday the fifth of April, we took passage on board a steam packet for Wheeling, Virginia; where we purchased a lot of paper for the press in Zion, then in care of W. W. Phelps.
After we left Hiram, fearing for the safety of my family, on account of the mob, I wrote to my wife, (in connection with bishop Whitney,) to have her go to Kirtland and tarry with his family till our return. She went to Kirtland, to brother Whitney's, and sister Whitney's aunt, Sarah Smith, (who was then living with her,) inquired of her niece if my wife was going to stay there; and, on being answered in the affirmative, said she should go away, for there was not room enough for both of them; accordingly sister Whitney invited my wife to leave, which she did immediately; having enjoyed about two hours visit. She then went to brother Reynolds Cahoon's, and father Smith's, and doctor Williams', where I found her, very disconsolate on my return.
From Wheeling we took passage on board the steamer Trenton. While at the dock, during the night, the boat was twice on fire, burning the whole width of the boat through into the cabin, but with so little damage the boat went on in the morning; and when we arrived at Cincinnatti, [Cincinnati] some of the mob which had followed us all the way round, left us, and we arrived at Louisville the same night; Captain Brittle offered us protection on board of his boat, and gave us supper and breakfast gratuitously. At Louisville, we were joined by elder Titus Billings, who was journeying with a company of saints from Kirtland to Zion, and we took passage on the steamer Charleston for St. Louis, where we parted with brother Billings and company and by stage arrived at Independence, Missouri, on the twenty-fourth of April, a distance of about three hundred miles from St. Louis. We found the brethren generally enjoying health and faith, and extremely glad to welcome us among them.
On the 26th, I called a general council of the church, and was acknowledged as the president of the high priesthood, according to a previous ordination at a conference of high priests, elders and members, held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of January, 1832. The right hand of fellowship was given to me by the bishop, Edward Partridge, in behalf of the church. The scene was solemn, impressive, and delightful.-During the intermission, a difficulty or hardness which had existed between bishop Partridge and elder Rigdon, was amicably settled, and when we came together in the afternoon, all hearts seemed to rejoice, and I received the following:
Revelation given April, 1832 showing the order given to Enoch, and the church in his day.
Verily, verily I say into you my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your tresspasses, [trespasses] even so I the Lord forgive you; nevertheless there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly; yea, even all of you have sinned, but verily I say unto you, beware from henceforth and refrain from sin lest sore judgments fall upon your heads: for unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you, and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings which I give unto you, ye become transgressors, and justice and judgment is the penalty which is affixed unto my law: therefore, what I say unto one I say unto all, watch, for the adversary spreadeth his dominions and darkness reigneth: and the anger of God kindleth against the inhabitants of the earth; and none doeth good, for all have gone out of the way.
And now verily I say unto you, I the Lord will not lay any sin to your charge: go you [your]
ways and sin no more; but that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you; or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me that it may turn to you for your salvation. I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servant Alam and Ahashdah, Mahalaleel and Pelagoram, and my servant Gazelam, and Horah, and Olihah, and Shalemanasseh, and Mehemson, be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships, to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion and in the land of Shinehah, for I have consecrated the land of Shinehah in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High, and for a stake to Zion: for Zion must increase in beauty, & in holiness: her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened: yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments: therefore I give unto you this commandment, that ye bind yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done according to the laws of the Lord. Behold here is wisdom, also, in me, for your good. And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just: and all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents; yea, even an hundredfold, to be cast into the Lord's storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church, every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.
This order I have appointed to be an everlasting order unto you and unto your successors, inasmuch as you sin not: and the soul that sins against this covenant, and hardeneth his heart against it, shall be dealt with according to the laws of my church, and be delivered over to the buffitings [buffetings[ of satan until the day of redemption.
And now verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you. Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you; my blessings continue with you, for even yet the kingdom is yours, and shall be forever if you fall not from your steadfastness; even so:-Amen.
On the 27th, we transacted considerable business for the salvation of the saints who were settling among a ferocious set of mobbers, like lambs among wolves. It was my endeavor to so organize the church, that the brethren might eventually be independent of every encumbrance beneath the celestial kingdom, by bonds and covenants of mutual friendship, and mutual love.
On the 28th and 29th, I visited the brethren above Big Blue river, in Kaw township, twelve miles west of Independence, and received a welcome only known by brethren and sisters united as one in the same faith, and by the same baptism, and supported by the same Lord. The Colesville branch in particular, rejoiced as the ancient saints did with Paul. It is good to rejoice with the people of God. On the 30th, I returned to Independence, and again sat in council with the brethren and received the following:
Revelation given April 1832.
Verily thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers: women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church, and if they are not faithful, they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.
All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age; and after that they have claim upon the church; or in other words upon the Lord's storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances. And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church, that widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor: Amen.
Our council was continued on the first of May, when it was ordered that three thousand copies of the Book of Commandments be printed the first edition; that William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdry [Cowdery] and John Whitmer be appointed to review and prepare such revelations as shall be deemed proper for publication, for the press, and print them as soon as possible at Independence, Missouri, "Published by W. W. Phelps, & Co." It was also ordered that W. W. Phelps correct and print the hymns which had been
selected by Emma Smith, in fulfillment of the revelation.
Arrangements were also made for supplying the saints with stores in Missouri and Ohio, which with a few exceptions, was hailed with joy by the brethren. Before we left Independence, elder Rigdon preached two most powerful discourses, which, so far as outward appearance is concerned, gave great satisfaction to the people.
On the 6th of May I gave the parting hand to the brethren in Independence, and in company with brothers Rigdon and Whitney, commenced a return to Kirtland, by stage to St. Louis, from thence to Vincennes, Indiana; from thence to New Albany, near the falls of the Ohio river. Before we arrived at the latter place, the horses became frightened, and while going full speed bishop Whitney attempted to jump out of the coach, but having his coat fast, caught his foot in the wheel and had his leg and foot broken in several places; at the same time I jumped out unhurt, and we put up at Mr. Porter's public house, in Greenville, for four weeks, while elder Rigdon went directly forward to Kirtland. During all this time, Brother Whitney lost not a meal of vituals [victuals] or a night's sleep, and doctor Porter, our landlord's brother, who attended him, said it was a d d pity we had not got some Mormon there, they can set broken bones or do anything else. I tarried with brother Whitney and administered to him till he was able to be moved. While at this place I frequently walked out in the woods, where I saw several fresh graves; and one day when I rose from the dinner table, I walked directly to the door and commenced vomiting most profusely. I raised large quantities of blood and poisonous matter, and so great were the muscular contortions of my system, that my jaw was dislocated in a few moments. This I succeeded in replacing with my own hands, and made my way to brother Whitney, (who was on the bed) as speedily as possible; he laid his hands on me and administered in the name of the Lord, and I was healed in an instant, although the effect of the poison had been so powerful, as to cause much of the hair to become loosened from my head.-Thanks be to my heavenly Father for his interference in my behalf at this critical moment, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Brother Whitney had not had his foot moved from the bed for near four weeks, when I went into his room, after a walk in the grove, and told him if he would agree to start for home in the morning, we would take a waggon [wagon] to the river, about four miles, and there would be a ferry boat in waiting which would take us quickly across, where we would find a hack which would take us directly to the landing, where we should find a boat in waiting, and we will be going up the river before 10 o'clock, and have a prosperous journey home. He took courage and told me he would go. We started next morning and found everything as I had told him, for we were passing rapidly up the river before 10 o'clock, and landing at Wellsville, took stage coach to Chardon, from thence in a waggon [wagon] to Kirtland, where we arrived sometime in June, and I found my wife as before mentioned.
As soon as I could arrange my affairs, I recommenced the translation of the scriptures, and thus I spent most of the summer. In July we received the first number of the 'Evening and Morning Star,' which was a joyous treat to the saints. Delightful, indeed, was it, to contemplate, that the little band of brethren had become so large, and grown so strong, in so short a space as to be able to issue a paper of their own, which contained not only some of the revelations, but other information also,-which would gratify and enlighted [enlighten] the humble enquirer [inquirer] after truth.
So embittered was the public mind against the truth, that the press universally had been arrayed against us; and although many news papers published the prospectus of our new paper, yet it appeared to have been done more to calumniate the editor, than give publicity to the sheet. Editors thought to do us harm, while the saints rejoiced that they could do nothing against the truth, but for it.
The following extracts from the 'Evening and Morning Star;'Independence, Missouri, June 1832, first number.
With the help of God, the first number of the Evening and Morning Star, comes to the world for the objects specified in its prospectus, which was published last winter. That we should now recapitulate some of its leading objects and briefly add a few remarks, will naturally be expected: and we cheerfully do so, that this generation may know, that the Star comes in these last days as the friend of Man, to persuade him to turn to God and live, before the great and terrible day of the Lord sweeps the earth of its wickedness. That it comes not only as the messenger of truth, to bring the revelations and commandments of God which have been, but to publish those that God gives NOW, as in the days of old, for he is the same God yesterday, today and forever; and, if, after he was taken up, as mentioned in the first chapter of Acts, he through the Holy Ghost had given
commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen, what possible reason is there to suppose that he would neglect to do likewise now-before he comes in his glory; before he gathers his elect, (the house of Israel; see Isaiah, 45:4;) and even before John the revelator must prophesy again before my peoples, and nations and tongues, and kings? (see Rev. 10.) We know of no reason in the Bible. That it comes as a harbinger of peace and good will to them that serve the Lord with a determination to have a part in the first resurrection, and finally become kings and priests to God, the Father, in the celestial Kingdom, where God and Christ is, and where they will be for eternity; and where will be also, the general assembly of the first born, the church of Enoch, who walked with God and built up Zion and Enoch the Lord translated to paradise before the flood; but Isaiah says: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring AGAIN ZION. that it comes according to the will of God. From those who are not ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, and walk lowly in the valley of humiliation, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon them: knowing that the great day of the Lord will soon usher in the sabbath of creation, for the rest of the saints: that the Savior may reign his thousand years of peace upon the earth, while satan is bound. That it comes in meekness and mercy to all mankind that they may do works meet for repentance and be saved in the first resurrection, and afterwards dwell with the spirits of just men made perfect in the celestial kingdom, which transends [transcends] the glory of the terrestrial as much as the terrestrial transends [transcends] the telestial, or the telestial transcends the prison of the imperfect. That it comes to bring good tidings of great joy to all people, but more especially the honse [house] of Israel scattered abroad, that the day of their redemption is near, for the Lord hath set his hand again the second time to restore them to the land of their inheritance; ready to receive the Savior in the clouds of heaven. That it comes to show that the ensign is now set up, unto which all nations shall come, and worship the Lord, the God of Jacob, acceptably. That it comes when war, and the plague of pestilence, as it is called, are sweeping their thousands and tens of thousands, to show that the day of tribulation spoken of by our Savior, are nigh at hand, even at the doors. That it comes to repeat the great caution of Paul: Beware lest any spoil you, (the disciples of Christ,) through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men and the rudiments of the world. That it comes to prepare the way of the Lord, that when he comes he may have a holy people ready to receive him. That it comes to show that no man can be too good to be saved, but that many may be too bad. That it comes to declare that goodness consists in doing good, not merely preaching it. That it comes to show that all men's religion is vain without charity. That it comes to open the way for Zion to arise and put on her beautiful garments and become the glory of the earth, that her land may be joined, or married, (according to the known translation of Isaiah,) to Jerusalem again and they be one as they were in the days of Peleg. Thus it comes.
Man, being created but little below the angels, only wants to know for himself, and not by another, that, by obeying the commands of his creator, he can rise again, after death, in the flesh, and reign with Christ a thousand years on the earth, without sin; be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and become a king and a priest to God in eternity-to forsake his sins, and say: Lord I am thine! The first words of which we have account, that Jesus Christ spake concerning the things of eternal life, were: Suffer it to be so now: For thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he was baptized: and truly, if it became the savior of the world, holy as he was, to be baptized in the meridian of time, to fulfill all righteousness, how much more necessary is it for man, to be baptized on the very eve of the Sabbath of creation, to be saved? Let the heart answer the head, that the body may save the soul. As this paper is devoted to the great concerns of eternal things and the gathering of the saints, it will leave politics, the gainsaying of the world, and many other matters, for their proper channels, endeavoring by all means to set an example before the world, which, when followed, will lead our fellow men to the gates of glory, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary will find rest. There may be errors both in us and in the paper, we readily admit, and we mean to grow better, till, from little children, we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measures of the stature of the fullness of Christ, which we pray may be the happy lot of thousands, before he comes with the hundred forty and four thousand that are without guile.
W. W. PHELPS.
TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ABROAD IN THE EARTH.
It is the duty of the church of Christ, in Zion, to stand as an ensign to all nations, that the Lord hath set his hand the second time to restore the house of Israel to the lands of their inheritance , &c., and it behooves the members of this church, to manifest before the world by a godly walk; by a noble example, as well as by sterling precept; by prudence in living; by plainness in dress; by industry; by economy; by faith and works, and above all, by solemnity, humility and patience, that this is a day of warning and not a day of many words.
This being the order in Zion, how much more necessary is it, that the churches of Christ, which have not yet come up to this land, should show the world, by well ordered conduct in all things, that they are the children of the living God? It is all-important and the salvation of many souls depends upon their faultless example. They will therefore, knowing that the Lord will suddenly come to his temple, do their part in preparing the way, by observing the Sabbath day, and keep it holy, by teaching rheir [their] children the gospel and learning them to pray; by avoiding extremes in all matters; by shunning every appearance of evil; by studying to be approved, and doing unto others, as they would have others do unto them; by bearing trouble and persecution patiently, without a murmur, knowing that Michael, the arch angel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, the Lord rebuke thee. They will not only set an example worthy of imitation, but they will let their light so shine as that others, seeing, may go and do likewise. Example is the great thing that defies the world with all its vain glory; by letting their moderation be known unto all men, both in dress and in living; in words and in deeds; in watching and in praying; in love and in labor, and in works as well as in faith, they preach the world a lecture, they set the enquirer [inquirer] a sample, and teach all christendom a lesson, that studied preaching and pulpit eloquence have failed to accomplish."
Minutes of a conference held in Gerry, Chautauqua county, N. Y., July, 27th, 1844.
Conference convened pursuant to appointment, and organized by calling elder Joshua Holman to the chair, and appointing elder Rowland Cobb, clerk.
After singing and prayer, the chairman proceeded to state in a brief manner the object for which the conference was called. A branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized in this place, called the Gerry branch, consisting of twenty members. Elder Rowland Cobb was chosen to preside over the branch, and S. Stephens was appointed clerk.
Brother F. Williams represented the branch at Charlotte Centre, consisting of ten members, one elder and one priest.
A discourse was delivered by elder Tyler, on the first principles of the gospel, to an attentive congregation.
Adjourned till 10 o'clock, A. M., July, 28.
Met pursuant to adjournment and opened by singing and prayer. Elder Whipple addressed the assembly on the subject of the kingdom being taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles, and the great work of the last days, &c.
Brother F. Williams and Asa Horton were ordained elders, and the conference adjourned.
ROWLAND COBB, Clerk.
Minutes of a conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in Southfield centre, Oakland county, Michigan, on the 9th 10th and 11th of Aug. 1844.
Pursuant to previous appointment, conference met at 4 o'clock P. M. called to order by elder G. Savage; and elder William Burton chosen president pro tem-elder M. Serrine being absent-and elder Wm. Van Avery clerk.
Conference was opened by singing and prayer, by the president, after which he made some remarks respecting the business of the conference, and gave liberty for others.
Elder G. Savage made some very appropriate remarks on the death of the prophet and patriarch, and was followed by other elders. After the usual solemnities Conference adjourned until tomorrow, at 11 o'clock.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment; elder Serrine being present, took the chair.-Singing and prayer by elder G. Savage. Elder Merely delivered a discourse from Matthew, 28th chapter, 19 and 20th verses from which he set forth the first principles of the gospel in a very able manner, showing the necessity of obeying all the ordinances of God's house.
Conference adjourned for one hour and a half.
Conference convened; singing and prayer, by elder D. Hickey. The number of different quorums were then called for.
High Priests-M. Serrine and -- Stoddard.
Seventies-G. Savage, Wm. Burton, L. Malloray and --Merely.
Fourteen elders, two priests and one deacon.
The different branches were then represented.
Franklin branch by elder J. M. Wait, 34 members, one high priest, five elders, one priest, one teacher and one deacon.
Livonia branch by elder David Wood, 16 members, one elder, one priest, one teacher and one deacon
Superior branch by elder M. Serrine, 16 members and one teacher.
Brownstown branch by elder G. Savage, 19 members, one elder and one teacher.
Redford branch by Levi M. Randall, 14 members, two elders, one priest and one deacon.
Southfield branch by R. Hogle, eight members, one elder and one priest.
Avon branch by elder D. Hickey, 14 members, 2 elders, 1 priest.
Pleasant Valley branch by elder B. Searls, 28 members, three elders and one priest.
Lapier branch by brother Lathrop, 11 members.
Cedar branch by M. Serrine, 13 members, one priest and one teacher.
Waterford branch by M. Serrine, 12 members, one elder and one teacher.
Pine Run branch by elder S. Malloray, nine members, one elder and one teacher.
Rose branch by B. Searls, nine members, one priest and one teacher.
Hillsdale branch by M. Serrine, six members, one elder and one priest.
About 40 members in the above branches not represented.
Elders Peter Van Avery, jr. and Martin Sprague were called to labor in the county of St. Clair, J. M. Waite in Siwassee, G. Savage in Oakland and Macomb counties.
The following brethren were then nominated for ordination:
Brother Lathrop and Wm. Walworth to the office of elders.
Aurora Burnes and Wm. Surviss to the office of priests.
It was then motioned and seconded, that elder Wm. Burton preach Joseph's and Hyrum's funeral sermon, on the Sabbath at 11 o'clock.
Conference adjourned until to-morrow, at half past ten o'clock, A. M.
Conference met according to appointment and after the usual solemnities, elder Burton delivered a lengthy discourse from Revelations 14th chapter, 12th and 13th verses, giving a brief sketch of the rise and progress of the church from the time it was organized; also the life and sufferings of the prophet and patriarch, from the time they were called to the ministry, until they were assassinated and suffered Martyrdom for the cause of truth. A deep solemnity rested upon the congregation.
Conference adjourned for one hour
During intermission, two were add;d to the church by baptism.
Conference convened; after the throne of grace was addressed, a discourse was delivered by elder Savage on the subject of faith; after which the confirmation of those that were baptized, blessing of children and sacrament was administered.
A minister of the christian order then arose, desiring the privilege of addressing the congregation a few moments; he then stated he came there for the purpose of hearing for himself concerning our principles, and he said he must confess he had heard the truth, and inasmuch as he had embraced error, he was willing to exchange it for truth any time, and as an honest man before God, he exhorted the congregation to obey the gospel if they wished to be saved in the kingdom of God.
It was then motioned and seconded that the minutes of this conference be sent to the Times and Seasons for publication.
Conference then adjourned until the first Friday in November next, at Oakland Town, Oakland county, four miles north of Rochester.
M. SERRINE,} Prest's
Wm. Van Avery, Clerk.
A MIRROR FOR THE SAINTS TO LOOK IN TO SEE THEMSELVES.
"How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not."
These words were addressed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem by our Lord and Savior, intimating that if they had been willing to hearken to him and to the prophets who were before him, they might have remained in the quiet possession and enjoyment of their city and temple, and national rights and liberties. But because they would not hearken, they should be scattered, their temple destroyed, and their city and country left desolate.
But we have quoted them in order to apply them to the saints in this age.
O! ye Latter Day Saints! How oft would the Lord have gathered you, but you WOULD NOT.-The fact is, if the saints had been willing to
hearken to counsel, and to give heed to the commandments and revelations of God as published among them from time to time, Nauvoo would now have contained a hundred and fifty thousand souls; with industrious work shops of every description, manufacturing every article for home use and comfort, and supplying the whole western states with every thing useful which ingenuity could invent, or skill and industry execute, from a cambrick [cambric] needle or a pin, up to a steam engine; while Hancock and half a dozen other counties would have been filled with a hundred and fifty thousand more of industrious and flourishing farmers, stock raisers, wool growers, etc. etc., while the state legislature would have been filled with our wise men, to make just laws; and the executive chair with a man who would have administered them in equity and justice, for the benefit and protection of all. Every foot of vacant land would have been cultivated like Eden, and a hundred thousand outlaws, murderers, mobbers, and traitors, would have found it impossible to have disturbed our peace, or broke up the government of the country; and those who were opposed to peace, order and civilization, would have had their money for their lands, and would long since have been traveling to Texas, California, Oregon, or the lower regions of his satanic majesty's dominions.
O ye Latter Day Saints, how oft would I have gathered you, but you WOULD NOT.
What is the reason you would not be gathered as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings? I answer; covetousness and unbelief. Ye have chosen your own ways, and have never been willing to hearken to the prophets and servants whom God has sent to you; 'Rising early and sending them.' The instructions have been given you all the day long, to sell off your lands and property, and to gather up your money and substance, and come and purchase lands and farms and establish all the various branches of industry, both in town and country, and to make your purchases and establish your settlements according to counsel; so to act in unison, and thus be able to withstand persecution and every evil work.
We will now proceed to show in a few instances how this has been fulfilled.
An elder by the name of J. M., residing in Ohio, professes great zeal and faith, and made mighty promises what he would do with his money. He accordingly sold and prepared for removal. He had about ten thousand dollars in ready money, which he divided chiefly among his children who were great enemies to the truth, and as I was informed, let the remainder ont [out] at interest to some worldling in his own state, and then came on to Missouri, with great zeal to keep the commandments of God; but was driven out. Query; How many mobbers would that ten thousand dollars have purchased out, in a new country where land was cheap?
Old elder B, of Gennessee Flats, owned about eight thousand dollars worth of land and mills. He promised much, but finally instead of fulfilling, I believe he divided a part to his unbelieving children, and trusted out a good store of the rest; and then came on and was driven out of Missouri.
There is Captain J., an elder who runs a shop from Sing Sing to New York, said to be worth some thousands, who has great zeal for the commandments; and who has known and testified to the truth for some years past. This man runs his sloop still; and his money has never purchased a farm or erected a work shop in Zion. 'how oft would I have gathered you but you WOULD NOT.'
There was a brother W., of New York who joined the church and came out west; but he kept his gold and silver locked up for years instead of laying it out in some branch of industry to employ the poor. He was doubtless the person referred to in the scripture, who did not put his money to use because 'he was afraid.'
One comes here and goes away to St. Louis, Burlington, Peoria, Chicago or some other place, and lays out his means bocause [because] he thinks there is a greater prospect of gain; another goes to a newer country where he thinks to get better or cheaper land; another pays his money out, or lends it to some scoundrel, because he has not sufficient confidence in the church to deal with them.. A woman comes here and keeps her money sewed up in her stays, instead of entering into business with it.
Another comes here and looks about him a while, and then takes his money and goes back to England, or to Philadelphia, or wherever he came from, for fear he should spend it here in doing good.
Another goes away by himself and buys a farm, where he neither enjoys society nor protection.
Thus the poor go unemployed, and are scattered to and fro over the earth, to seek to earn a morsel of bread; while the city of Nauvoo languishes in poverty, the Temple is not built, business is at a stand, and the saints of the Most High are few in number, have but little means, and are persecuted, robbed, killed and destroyed all the day long.
The foregoing are only a few samples out of the thousands which are known to transpire
among the members of this church whose boast is: that they have prophets, apostles and revelators to guide them, while the sectarians have not. Nor are the rich alone to blame in these matters; for many of the poor either stop on the road, or come here and go away again, as they say through poverty or necessity. But if they are not prospered abroad, they excuse themselves because they have no means to settle here; and if they are prospered, then they are doing so well that they think that they had better stay where they can do the best;-and they are led on by worldly schemes, and by drunkenness and whoredom, till they care nothing for the Lord, or his saints. Scores and hundreds of young ladies come here, or start to come, and either on their way, or after they arrive, are led away and corrupted; and are finally made servants or wives to some unbelieving rascal who fears not God or regards man; and others still more wicked and unfortunate, loose [lose] their character entirely, in St. Louis, Warsaw, or some other place, where they are placed in houses of ill fame and made merchandize [merchandise] of, for fear lest they should come to Nauvoo and be deluded; while thousands on thousands stay for years in their native land and profess all the while to believe that God has commanded the church to come together.
Again, many who do come and stay here among the saints, come more with a view of being helped to a living, while they pray, and sing, and tattle, and hear and tell news, than of entering into the strict rules of persevering industry and economy, in order to procure the comforts of life.
Again; merchants, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, and others who are not of our faith, and only here in our midst for speculation, or something worse, are supported and even made rich while our real friends are neglected, and compelled to seek employment and support in other and distant towns.
Many persons are here who stand still, and are in a great measure idle, who do not take half the pains to establish themselves in business, which they would be willing to do in St. Louis, in Lowell, in Salem, or in Boston.
What is the result of all these operations and proceedings? The answer is obvious. Our city is impoverished, and many go hungry and destitute. Our people are scattered and not prepared to defend their freedom and their rights. Mobs prowl around us, and overpower us, and vex and murder at pleasure, and we are in danger of being scattered and driven.
Then a general murmur commences from these same covetous, unbelieving and disobedient saints.
They say, it cannot be that God has called ua [us] together to suffer hunger and poverty without the means of support, and why, (if this is his work,) does he not defend us from our enemies, and give us peace and plenty. Thus God and his servants have to bear the blame for all the consequences of their disobedience and neglect; while they scatter from the rest like wild quails, or pheasants; and crying as they go: 'the work of the Lord has failed, and the revelations of his prophets are falsified.
O ye Latter Day Saints! how oft would Jesus have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not.
So much for those who would not.
But there are thousands who would be gathered under the wing of the Almighty, and who have strove from the beginning to keep his commandments and to be counselled [counseled] by his servants.
What shall we say to them?
We say dear brethren and sisters; you have suffered much, because of false brethren and traitors, and the hypocrite and the covetous.-But, persevere without discouragement; for God Almighty will gather you under his wing: and Jesus will lead you and deliver you from all trouble and wipe all tears from your eyes. Therefore, be of good cheer; and endure in faithfulness unto the end.
As to the church at large, at home and abroad, if they will now repent of all these evils, and come together as the heart of one man; and be governed by counsel, and seek to employ themselves and each other, and to support and build up in perfect union, according to the plan of heaven; they shall be saved; and no power shall scatter or destroy them; but if not, behold your house is left unto you desolate, and the kingdom of God shall come with power for the deliverance of those who will do these things.
I am as ever, your affectionate
and humble servant, who loves
you so well that he dares tell
you the truth. P. P. PRATT.
TO THE SAINTS.
Whereas Elders James J. Strang and Aaron Smith have been circulating a "revelation." (falsely called) purporting to have been received by Joseph Smith on the 18th of June, 1844: and through the influence of which they have attempted and are attempting to establish a stake, called Voree, in Wisconsin Territory, thereby leading the saints astray: therefore, the said James J. Strang and Aaron Smith are cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this 26th day of August, 1844.
By order of the Council of the Twelve.
W. RICHARDS, Clerk.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO
SEPTEMBER 2, 1844
Great excitement prevails throughout the world to know "who shall be the successor of Joseph Smith?"
In reply, we say, be patient, a little, till the proper time comes, and we will tell you all. "Great wheels move slow." At present, we can say that a special conference of the church was held in Nauvoo on the 8th ult., and it was carried without a discenting [dissenting] voice, that the "Twelve" should preside over the whole church, and when any alteration in the presidency shall be required, seasonable notice will be given; and the elders abroad, will best exibit [exhibit] their wisdom to all men, by remaining silent on those things they are ignorant of.-Bishops Whitney and Miller have been appointed trustees, to manage the financial concerns of the church, and will soon enter on the duties of their calling.
From the Boston Investigator.
LIBERALITY OF A PRIEST.-The last Jonesboro (Tennessee) Whig, edited by the Rev. Mr. Brownlow, contains the following editorial expression:-
"Our opinion is, that there is to be no peace in this country, till the Mormons and Catholics are exterminated."
The above is extracted for a text, without an idea of abridging the freedom of thought, or freedom of the press: for the Deist and the Priest exhibit in words what they would be ashamed of in deeds. The Hottentots of Africa; the Cannibals of the islands of the sea, the wild Arabs of the desert, the Pirates of the Ocean, or wild Indians of the mountains, have never, to our knowledge, settled down on the deadly conclusion to 'exterminate' their neighbors, but a CHRISTIAN PRIEST AND A LIBERAL DEIST HAVE!.
To take the text as a whole, as the fair position of the author; 'there is to be no peace in this vast country, till the Mormons and Catholics are exterminated!,-which is rather a vast calculation, allowing each term to express what it means, and mean what it expresses. 'This vast country,' about comprises the habitable globe, and in nearly all places where there is people, there are 'Mormons and Catholics,' as well as priests in Jonesboro,' or Deists in Boston. Again, 'in this vast country,' among all nations, 'the Mormons and Catholics' are a constituent part of the community, government, and greater or lesser power, with as many natural rights, privileges, immunities and claims, on earth and in heaven, as the classical dictator of Tennessee, or the pontifical free-thinker of Massachusetts; and who, as a righteous judge, ought to say to Moses; blot out Amalek? Has the powers that be, set up a negro driving priest of the south, and a speculating Yankee of the north, as Aaron and Hor, to bolster up public opinion, and 'utterly put the remembrance of Mormons and Catholics from under heaven?'
But this is not all. The absence of one thing often substitutes another, and, as there 'is to be no more peace,' till this priestly prophecy is fulfilled, war, calamitous WAR! must be prosecuted by the whole Protestant world, against the 'Mormons and Catholics' till their blood, booty and utter 'extermination, whitens a peace; pure as the crystal fountains of the untrodden valley, or gushing spring of the mountains. Really we, that is the 'Mormons and Catholics' of the enlightened nineteenth century, have 'fallen on evil times,' for the great men of the south, and the wise men of the north, have taken counsel tegether [together] to war for the whole world, and we must be 'exterminated' or kiss the priest's toe, and black the Deists boots.
There is certainly a good deal of old fashioned religion embraced in the limits of our text: i e; if the priest of Jonesboro' is that prophet spoken of as being raised up among his brethren, which, every soul that would not hear him, should be cut off from among the people; and that the patriotic, philanthropic infidel, (pardon the expression, it only means trusting in fidelity,) of Boston, is the spirit of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the Lord comes out and smites the whole earth with a curse! There is, too, an immense appearance of the milk of human kindness, and charity for the honor and glory of christianity, and the reason and wisdom of free-thinking, couched in the manly idea of 'exterminating' the 'Mormons and Catholics'-by universal war! It savors so much of the millennium; the instruction of Jesus, and the prayers of pious, praying men! It must be that we, i e: the 'Mormons and Catholics,' have waked up on the wrong planet, for the pious and pompous of the north and south, of this boasted 'asylum of the oppressed' of all nations, have decided that we have no right here in 'this vast country,' and must be exterminated
by the vengeance of war! We should like to ascertain what the great crowned heads of the kingdoms of the world think of universal war; universal extermination; universal priestcraft, and universal power of the lesser priesthood! America is waking up in wonders, and we sincerely hope the people will follow one of the old prophet's advice: Consider your ways!
The London Quarterly Review contains an elaborate but interesting article upon the systemized [systematized] murders of the Guillotine, the origin of the barbarous instrument, and other matters connected with this most terrible feature in the history of the French Revolution. The Guillotine, it appears, was not originally designed with any view to what turned out be its most important characteristic-the great number of victims it could execute in a short space of time-but this bloody instrument was at first proposed on a combined principle of justice and mercy, the inventor contending, that hanging was a lingering and cruel punishment, while death by decapitation must be immediate.
After giving much information in relation to this sanguinary machine, the writer of the article, speaking of the position it occupies in France, says, that the Guillotine remained in June 8th 1794, when the inhabitants of the streets through which the sufferers had to pass, being weary of the heart-rending [heart-rendering] sight, resolved that the cruel instrument should be removed to the Place St. Antoine, in front of the ruins of the Bastile [Bastille]. It stood in this new position, however, but five days, the shop keepers not liking their new neighbor, and having in those brief five days, executed ninety-six persons, it was removed to the Barriere du Trone, where it stood from the ninth of June, to the fall of Robespierre, 27th of July, 1794.
In the forty-nine days, in which it is said to have stood at the Barriere du Trone, it despatched 1270 persons of both sexes, and of all ages and ranks, and it became necessary to build a kind of sanguiduct to carry off the stream of blood; and on the very day when Robespierre fell-even when the slightest interruption would have sufficed to have stopped the fatal procession-forty-nine persons passed to the place of execution! On the 27th of July, at about half past three in the afternoon, just as this last batch of victims were about to leave the Conciergerie, a considerable commotion in the town took place, caused by the revolt against Robespierre.
Here an event occurred which reflected great credit upon Sanson, the chief executioner. He was conducting the prisoners, but observing the disturbance, and seeing Fauquier, the Aecusateur Public, passing the court where prisoners were ascending the fatal carts, on his way to dinner, he ventured to stop Fauquier, and represented to him that there were rumors of a commotion, suggesting whether it would not be prudent to postpone the execution, at least until the morning; Fauquier roughly replied that the law must take its course. He went to dinner, and the forty-nine victims went to the scaffold-whither, in due time he followed them.
The next day the Guillotine was removed back to the scene of its longest triumphs-the Place de la Revolution-where on the 28th of July, it avenged humanity on Robespierre and twenty-one of his followers; the next day sixty-nine; and the day after, thirty more of his associates. The writer in the Quarterly justly adds that, though France is naturally anxious to forget the revolutionary horrors, it behooves the rest of Europe to remember and meditate upon them.
The above extract is taken from an exchange paper as a matter of historical vengeance. In fact, such specimens of the cruelty and corruptions of men serve as monuments, raised over the degeneracy, ambition and folly of past generations, for the reflection, contemplation and solemn warning of virtuous people.
In good cooking various articles are used to prepare a palatable repast for the appetite of man. Salt, pepper, spice, vinegar, catsup, cassia, and many other seasonables, make up the dish to please the taste: and thus have we brought in the Guillotine as a variation of death to please the vanity and wrath of man.
There is a consequence and a power attached to death, that man, poor weak man, has never fathomed. He, to-be-sure, has sought out many inventions; circumnavigated the globe; brought down the lightening from the clouds, and soared above them in baloons [balloons]-but he cannot cope with death. From the morning that Cain, in his ambitious thirst for power, without prudence, and humility, shed the innocent blood of his brother Abel, the spirit of the evil one has rambled forth among mankind to destroy life. The opposition to life has marched even handed with the anxiety to perpetuate it. Yea, more so; for when all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth, the Lord himself sent in the floods and made a wholosale [wholesale]
business of the whole earth, and all that had life, save what was in Noah's Ark, died.-By the time the saints have spent as much time in the next world, as they live in this, they will have learned that death is a person, and occupies a conspicuous place among the damned. Hell is a person too, aud [and] death , hell and the devil must fill the three lower kingdoms. It is written in Isaiah: 'We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at an agreement: when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come upon us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold me [I] establish in Zion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner, a fountain well founded, that on account of unbelief shall be hastened.'
Again, while this foundation is hastening to prostrate the designs of wicked men, death, hell and the devil, we read in the revelations of St. John as follows: 'And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat upon him was Death, and hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over a fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.'
But enough on this point. The great idea is, to show how many horrible modes of destroying life have been invented by the cunning, malice, and wisdom of men, in the various periods of time; stoning, crucifying, frying in pans, boiling in oil, and beheading; were among the many modes of olden times; as popular as the Guillotine, scaffold, drawing in quarters, burning at the stake, and inquisition, among christians; or faggots, pine knots, stuck into the flesh and burnt [burned], throwing the tomahawk and scalping, among savages. They are all awful, and bespeak degradation of soul, and a lack of pure religion. To incarcerate men in prison, through ambition and wrath; or to hang them in chains; or banish them among beasts on desert islands; or cast them into dens of lions; or plung [plunge] them into furnaces, heated seven times hotter than they were wont to be; or to skin them alive-show such an insatiable thirst for revenge, and display of power over life; that good men cannot endure it:-it will, require a God to judge such enormous crimes, an eternity for the punishment, and a case hardened devil to inflict it!
Modern times, by the invention of gun powder and fire arms, have made the exit of life more speedy. It will be noticed among the most ferocious of the latter day mobs, that swords and gun powder, are the dernier resort to destroy one another; and, perhaps, since there is a consumption decreed upon the whole earth, this method will be the mildest one allowed among the wicked, till all the plagues are poured out and death is taken out of the world. Cowper says:
'Variety's the spice of life,
That gives it all its flavor.'
And, when candid men meditate upon the horrid modes of destroying life, invented by tyrants, they can exclaim:
Jealousy's the bane of life
That gives it all its trouble!
Were it not for the glorious hope of a hereafter, what would be the consolation of the Lord's noblemen? Ah! says the apostle, 'if in this life we only have hope, we are of all men most miserable; eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!' There is a something in the inner man, which reaches beyond death; and like the ancients, we can exclaim: 'Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song, arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive thou son of Abinoam.'
It seems cruel, excessive, and soul dejecting to let wicked and corrupt men, use power, unto the death and destruction of so many millions as frequently are murdered, butchered, imprisoned and otherwise inhumanly [inhumanely] treated for their religion; or for the sake of glutting the desire of despots; or for the gratification of an ignorant mob; but when the patient spirit of Jesus lifts up the imagination and we view in visions what must shortly come to pass upon all the ungodly, we can pray like Hannah of old: 'My heart rejoiceth in the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies: because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee; neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumble are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath borne seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The Lord killeth and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low and lifteth up. He raised up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, and set them among princes, and to make
them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness: for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them; the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his King, and exalt the horn of his annointed [anointed] .'
In conclusion, our extract on the Guillotine, and our remarks on modes of murder, have perhaps exceeded the space which they should have occupied, what is the use of curtailing a subject of such immense magnitude?-Were it not that there is a day coming when the nations of the earth shall learn war no more, and when death shall be swallowed up in victory, we should not have had more courage to have written on such a painful theme. The Lord, however, having made a wholesale business of slaying the wicked several times when they became 'too plenty,' has promised that they shall be burnt [burned] up, root and branch, in the last days: Therefore 'let Israel rejoice in him that made him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand;-To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all the saints.-Praise ye the Lord.'
This will be glory enough for one world, and joy enough for those who have waded in blood to bliss. Then and only THEN will the saints understand what death is; and what the power is, of him that conquers all, in this world and the world to come.
"A FOOL'S BOLT IS SOON SHOT."
The following very sage selection, by some wise-acre of Massachusetts, appeared in a late 'Boston Bee:'
A False Mormon Prophesy.-Mr. Editor:-In the Book of Mormon, second edition, commencing on page 526, occurs a prophesy; in the course of which the Prophet Smith is brought into view, and the following prediction is made concerning him:-
'But behold the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him; although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him; for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.'
Happening to be familiar with Mormon books I thought I would transcribe the above passage for publication, in order to show how it squares with the violent death of Smith.
This 'marring' which was to take place before he brought the words of the book forth to the Gentiles, happened near the hill Cumorah, when Joseph Smith was knocked down with a handspike, and afterwards healed almost instantly! The second time he was marred, can be seen by reading the 'Times and Seasons' of August 15th, 1844; when his flesh was scratched off, and he tarred and feathered. He was again healed instantly, fulfilling the prophesy twice. But lest the uncircumcised Philistines should triumph, we wish that 'An Observer' would read the following paragraph in the 6th chapter of the first book of Nephi, page 54, in said Book of Mormon. 'Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was declared, have I spoken; and the Lord God and his spirit hath sent me. And thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer, the Holy One (Jesus Christ) of Israel; I have sent him; [Joseph Smith] the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit; who leadest thee by the way thou shouldst go, has done it. O that thou [the Gentiles] hadst hearkened to my commandments, then had thy peace been as a river, and righteousness as the waves of the sea: thy seed also had been as the sand: the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof:-his name [Joseph Smith's] should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before me.'
Perhaps Isaiah in the 48th chapter and other places, might have mentioned the fact that his name was cut 'off.' Read and reflect, for there are more true prophesies in the Bible and Book of Mormon, than the sects and sinners ever dreamed of. Remember that.
THE WINE CUP OF FURY.
There is a solemn idea contained in the command of the Lord to Jeremiah: 'To tako [take] the wine cup of his fury at his hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee, to drink it. This awful command has yet to be executed, 'for the slain of the Lord' has never been 'from one end of the earth to the other.' If this generation is not the one for the inhabitants of the earth 'to drink and be drunken, and spue [spew] and fall to rise no more;' let some divinely authenticated servant of the Lord say when it will be, for it must come.
On reflection, we think Pollock's words for Death, in his 'Course of Time,' comes very near a reality. He says:
Is poisoned: her renown most infamous;
Her gold, seem as it may, is really dust;
Her titles, slanderous names; her praise reproach;
Her strength, an idiot's boast; her wisdom blind;
Her gain, eternal loss; her hope, a dream;
Her love, her friendship, enmity with God;
Her promises, a lie; her smile, a harlot's;
Her beauty, paint, and rotten within; her pleasures;
Deadly assassins masked; her laughter, grief;
Her breasts, the sting of Death; ; her total sum,
Her all, most utter vanity; and all
Her lovers mad; insane most grieviously [grievously];
And most insane, because they know it not."
And five of them were wise, and five foolish: Mat. 25;2.
So much is said about stakes of Zion, recently, that a few words of Revelation on the subject may suffice. On the 235 page of the old book of Doctrine and Covenants, (366 in the new) we read as follows:
"Verily, I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins my bowels are filled with compassion towards them: I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy. I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in the behalf of my people; and even as I have said, shall it come to pass. Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations, and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full. And in that day, all who are found upon the watchtower, or in other words, all mine Israel shall be saved. And they that have been scattered shall be gathered: and all they who have mourned shall be comforted; and all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned. Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands: be still, and know that I am God. Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered, they that remain and are pure in heart shall return and come to their inheritances; they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy; to build up the waste places of Zion. And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled. And behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed for the work of the gathering of my saints, until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains, or the strength of Zion."
Now, brethren, the word of the Lord is plain, no more 'places of gathering, will be appointed of the Lord, till there is 'no more room" in Zion; and should the wicked scatter the saints ever so far and wide from their inheritance, yet, when Jacob begins to go up to the house of the Lord, and to the God of Israel, they will come home. The wise virgins will have oil enough in their lamps to see the 'way marks,' and walk in the old paths. Glory to God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord, by adhering to his commandments, as given by Joseph Smith, his servant the seer.
PRELIMINARIES FOR RELIGION.
In 1835 there was published in London, a 'Book of the Denominations.' This publication, of about 700 pages, contains an account of nearly sixty different sects, all serving God under various creeds, ceremonies and expectations. Truly was it said, 'when the shepherd is smitten the sheep will scatter.' To obviate the objection, however, so often made to revelations, as believed by the Latter Day Saints, we have though [thought] it advisable to make an extract from the writer's preliminary remarks. It is not all gold that shines, neither is every pile of rubbish destitute of jewels: By proving contrarieties, truth often manifests itself so clearly that he that runs may read, and he that reads may understand.
Now to the extract:-
"For eighteen centuries it has been the singular fate of christianity to attach to itself, and yet to seperate [separate] from each other, those who have professed to embrace it as a revelation from heaven. Its promulgation has been uniformly marked by this two-fold character of unity and division. The most violent zealots for opposite or different opinions, have yet ranged themselves under the common standard of the faith; they have all strenuously adhered to the name of their founder, while they have strangely used that name as the watchword of dissension and persecution. So remarkably has the anomalous exhibition of the christian religion prevailed, that there has scarcely been a moment during its progress in which its friends, because they were its friends, have not been opponents of each other. Thus the odium of engendering strife, and every uncharitable and
antisocial feeling in the human bosom, has been fixed, not upon any particular sect, church, or denomination, but upon the gospel itself; and superficial objectors have inferred, that because professing christians in all ages and of all parties have been the persecutors of each other, that Christianity is nothing more than a mischievous delusion, designed to impose upon the credulity, and to awaken into active energy the worst passions, of mankind.
The preliminary duty of the author of a work like the present, unquestionably, is to meet and refute a conclusion so utterly unsupported by the facts from which it is ostensibly derived.
Assuming the facts to be true, can it indeed be shown, that Christianity is in the slightest degree responsible for the conflicting opinions and persecuting animosities, which have so unhappily disgraced its disciples and tarnished its glory?
A notion has very generally prevailed, that a revelation from heaven ought to be so clear, distinct and luminous, as to render uniformity of sentiment upon the subject of its discoveries the almost necessary consequence of its promulgation. This notion as applied to Christianity has operated very differently upon different minds. It has induced infidelity in one class and intolerance in the other. The sceptic [skeptic] waits for the perfect agreement of all Christians, before he will admit their religion to be divine; the bigot contends that among true Christians this agreement is indispensable, that the most trifling departure from his own opinions which are of course the only opinions founded in truth, is a mark of heresy; in the suppression of which, he suffers himself to be hurried into all the extravagances of remorseless persecution. The favorite position of both is, that diversity of sentiment regarding the contents of alleged revelation is fatal to its pretensions; perhaps the only point in which the infidel and the zealot are agreed, the practical influence of which is to make one the enemy of himself, and the other the enemy of all mankind. As a subtle and dangerous fallacy it deserves exposure; and for this, a very little sagacity will suffice: those who maintain it, are perhaps hardly aware of its legitimate consequences, any more than they are prepared to direct the sophism on which it is founded. It has not probably occurred to them, that this, their strongest argument for two of the worst things in the world, infidelity and bigotry, is subversive of not only revealed, but of natural religion. If everything assuming the character of a revelation from heaven is to be rejected simply on the ground of the differences and contrarieties of opinion, which may prevail among its advocates, then there is nothing true, nothing divine, in the universe. For what is there in the whole range of philosophy that has not occasioned disputation, and divided the most acute and sagacious reasoners?-Uniformity is, and ever has been confined within the narrow limits of self-evident truths and mathematical demonstrations. There are no duplicates in human nature, no classes where individuals possess an exact resemblance. It is not therefore possible, unless the capacities of different minds could be equalized, and their circumstances rendered precisely similar, they should entertain identical opinions, and contemplate under the same aspects, and with the same convictions, the doctrine which they believe to be true. Universal concert and perfect agreement are utterly unknown in this world of ignorance, prejudice and passion, where a thousand influences conspire to obscure the most glorious truths, and to diminish the force of the most powerful arguments.'
On the 8th of August, 1844, at a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, President Brigham Young called the audience to order, and arranged the several quorums according to their standing, and the rules of the church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to choose a guardian, or trustee for said church.
Elder Phelps opened the meeting by prayer, and President Young then proceeded to speak, and give his views of the present situation of the church, now that the prophet and patriarch were taken from our midst by the wickedness of our enemies. For the first time since he became a member of the church; a servant of God, a messenger to the nations in the nineteenth century; for the first time in the kingdom of God, the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, chosen by revelation, in this last dispensation of the gospel for the winding up scene, present themselves before the saints, to stand in their lot according to appointment. While the prophet lived, we all walked by 'sight;' he is taken from us and now we must walk by 'faith.' After he had explained matters so satisfactorily that every saint could see that Elijah's mantle had truly fallen upon the 'Twelve,' he ashed [asked] the saints what they wanted. Do you want a guardian, a prophet, a spokesman, or what do you want? If you want any of these officers, signify it by raising your right hand. Not a hand was raised.
He then gave the saints his views of what the Lord wanted. Here are the 'Twelve,' appointed by the finger of God, who hold the keys of the priesthood, and the authority to set in order and regulate the church in all the world. Here is elder Amasa Lyman and elder Sidney Rigdon; they were councillors [councilors] in the first presidency, and they are councillors [councilors] to the twelve still; if they keep their places; but if either wishes to act as 'spokesman' for the prophet Joseph, he must go behind the veil where Joseph is. He continued his remarks nearly an hour, opening by the spirit of God, the eyes, ears and hearts of the saints to the subject before them, and to their duty and the glory of God.
Elder Amasa Lyman followed, and fully accorded with the instructions and views of elder Young. I have been at the back of the prophet Joseph, and I shall be at the back of the 'Twelve.' There is no need of choosing a guardian or head, the apostles have the power, as they had anciently, and this is the power that turns the key and will bear off the kingdom of God in all the world, triumphantly; and I shall help them obtain that glory, that eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, and the heart of man hath not conceived. His remarks were continued in the full fruition of the spirit, that whispers: union is strength, and peace is joy.
Elder Phelps spoke next, and continued the same spirit and feeling, having known many of the elders for fourteen years, and had seen them take their lives in their hands, without purse or script, in summer and in winter,-through good and through evil report, for the salvation of souls, and for the benefit of Zion, without the hope of reward; save pleasing God, and obeying his commandments;-had seen them harness for war when wicked men sought their lives and endeavored to destroy their wives and children; and at all times they were willing to act by counsel; they will do it now; this lake of faces does not seem so pleasant without indicating good; and the elders who have stood on the right and left of our departed prophet, knowing the authority and power of the priesthood, will honor it.-Elder Rigdon must know how he obtained his endowment, or what he has; for he has not received all, only a small part. Let him and the whole of Israel rejoice this day, for if they rear that Temple and are faithful, they shall all be endowed, (men and women,) as God will, till they can save themselves and their progenitors, as well as secure their posterity.-Fear not concerning a prophet; Joseph held the keys in this world, and holds them in the world to come, and counsels for you now. I understand the revelations, and know that in them all things are written concerning the twelve.
Elder P. P. Pratt said what had been said, was well said, and went into the merits of the subject, with his usual animation. Says he, I know we can all live happy if we deal with honest men: I do not like the practice when anyone is sick or in difficulty, to run to a doctor or a lawyer: run to the very worst men to be cured, or helped out of difficulty! Let me die a natural death, and suffer wrong rather than hire a doctor to kill me, or a lawyer to fleece me and leave me to the beggarly elements of the world. As to merchants, I say nothing of them; you know what I mean.
Elder Young again resumed; I do not ask this audience to make my council; act for yourselves; if elder Rigdon is your choice manifest it: if the Twelve be the men to counsel you to finish the great work laid out by our departed prophet, say so; and so not break your covenant by murmuring hereafter. When the whole subject was properly explained and understood, and counsellor [counselor] Rigdon refused to have his name voted for as a spokesman or guardian, the question was put, 'all in favor of supporting the Twelve in their calling, (every quorum, man and woman,) signify it by the uplifted hand;' and the vote was unanimous, no hand being raised in the negative. The next vote was that the Twelve should select and appoint two bishops to act as trustees for the church, according to law. This vote was unanimous also. Another unanimous vote was passed to use every exertion to forward the building of the Temple, and to strengthen the hands of the committee. The revelation in relation to tithing was referred to, and the manifestation of every saint seemed to be, we will do as the Lord hath commanded; and the assembly was dismissed with the blessings of the Lord.
---> The Twelve would invite the brethren abroad, in obedience to the commandments of the Lord, to gather to Nauvoo, with their means to help build up the city, and complete the Temple, which is now going forward faster than it has at any time since it commenced. Beware of the speculations about the prophet! Believe no tales on the subject: Time will tell who are the friends of Joseph Smith, who laid down his life for his brethren. We have no new commandments, but beseech the brethren to honor and obey the old ones. For wheresoever the carcase [carcass] is, there will the eagles be gathered together. More in the next.
Sept. 2, 1844 Pres. of the Twelve.
Fellowship was, last evening, withdrawn from elders Sidney Rigdon, James Emmet, and Zachariah Wilson, by the Counsel of the Twelve, and on Sunday next the matter will be laid before the church for their action.
For the Times and Seasons.
CRY OF THE MARTYRS.
BY P. P. PRATT.
Hark!-the sound of many voices mingling Priests, and praying friends, too oft betrayed them,
Their feeble cries like the groans of myriads But how could these in concience [conscience] kill such men,
Of expiring insects, assends [ascends] the skies And all for their religion and their faith:
In solemn music. While the wide expanse Ah, this, (themselves the judge) they never did.
Of heavens' courts re echoes with the sound: They first accused them, charged with various
Its strains tho' mournful, sad, and solemn are Crimes, belied and slandered; then for justice
Powerful and mighty, and dignified, Cried: and thus distroyed [destroyed] them, in holy zeal for God:
And grand, and sublime: and fill all heaven, And vainly thought to do him service.
As the sound of many waters; or as
The voice of a great thunder; rending the But hark.-That piercing cry still tingles in
Skies; startling the angels; and penetrating My ears, and fills my very heart with grief
The hearts of the Gods: thrilling every nerve What are their words that burn, with might and power
And kindling the flame of justice in each To pain both heaven and earth and all that hear?
Holy bosom.-And whose voices are these?
"How long, O Lord! holy and true, dost thou
They are the voices of ancient martyrs Not judge and avenge our blood on them that
Who were slain for the witness of Jesus; Dwell on earth?"
And for the word of their testimony.
Yes-crucified, beheaded, sawn asunder, Are these the awful words? And what reply
Burned, torn by wild beasts; betrayed, shot, Is given by the avenging heavens?
Hung, boiled, roasted, imprisoned, starved, and BE PATIENT-O ye martyred souls and wait
Tortured in ten thousand nameless ways. Till your fellow servants who are to be
killed in like manner shall be fulfilled.
And who, so cruel, or so hard in heart
As to afflict these blessed martyrs thus? WAIT-till Missouri's plains are soaked in blood
Perchance some demon from the courts of Hell Of innocence, and the souls of Latter day Saints
In human form arrayed, alone performed it? Mingle their cries with yours for vengeance on
Or if by human aid it must have been The earth. Wait, the plains of Illinois,
Some low degraded heathen-cannibal, And the walls of Carthage, are soaked with
Trained from his youth to feed on human flesh. The blood of Martyred prophets, whose cries
Or tell me, where such wretches could be found? Ascend to heaven for vengeance on a mob.
Alas, I blush to own the truth, and yet Myself a man.
These were their PRAYING FRIENDS; Wait-till the last vestige of civil and
Their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, Religious liberty shall expire in
And neighbors. Ah too oft their fellow christians, The bosom of a boasting nation, whose
In name, but not in spirit. Yes, pious Rulers mock the cries of Justice,
And laugh at the prayers of the oppressed.
Wait till then; but wait no longer.-You have
A SONNET ON LIGHT.
BY W. W. PHELPS.
I saw the moon-light on the water, With light o'er light, AD INFINITUM,
Like diamond gems, or burnished gold; All glittering on each others sphers:-[sphere's]
I saw the brilliants on a woman,
All queenly tipt in sparkling pride:- But not a ray was half so brilliant
As when, o'er choas [chaos], God exclaim'd:
I saw the shining orbs of heaven, BE LIGHT! and light, pure light, came shining
As aided by a telescope, On earth-without a sun or moon.
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 JOHN TAYLOR, 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.
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