Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter<!>
Vol. V. No. 18.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL Oct. 1, 1844. [Whole No. 102.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The August number of the Star contained the following:
This desolating sickness is spreading steadily over the United States. The account of its ravages, in many places, we cannot give: The whole number of cases in New York, to July 31st, is-3731. Deaths-1520.
No man can stop the work of the Lord, for God rules the pestilence, and the pestilence rules men. Oceans, sentinels, and forts, may hinder men or money may bribe, but when the pestilence rides on the wings of the wind, the ocean is no barrier; the sentinel has no power; the fort is no obstacle, and money has no value; the destroying angel goes, waving the banner of death over all; and who shall escape his pointed arrow? Not he that could brave death at the cannon's mouth, but shrink at the sound of the cholera; not he that worshipped his god in some stately chapel, every sabbath till the cholera comes, and then flees for his life; no; none but him that trusts in God, shall be able to stand when a thousand shall fall at his side, and ten thousand at his right hand, by the noisome pestilence.
TO THE HONORABLE MEN OF THE WORLD.
To the honorable searchers for truth, we in a spirit of candor and meekness, are bound by every tie that makes man the friend of man. By every endowment of heaven, that renders intelligent beings seekers of happiness, to show you the way to salvation. In fact, we are not only bound to do thus for those that seek the riches of eternity, but, to walk in the tracks of our Savior, we must love our enemies; bless them that curse us; do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that dispitefully [despitefully] use us, and persecute us, or you and the world may know, that we are not the children of God.-Therefore to be obedient to the precepts of our divine master, we say unto you, search the scriptures-search the revelations which we publish and ask your heavenly Father, in the name of his son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to his glory, nothing doubting, he will answer you by the power of his holy Spirit: You will then know for yourselves and not for another: You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation. No: for when men receive their instruction from him that made them, they know now he will save them. Then again we say search the scriptures, search the prophets, and learn what portion of them belongs to you, and the people of the nineteenth century. You, no doubt, will agree with us, and say that you have no right to claim the promises of the inhabitants before the flood; that you cannot found your hopes of salvation upon the obedience of the children of Israel when journeying in the wilderness; nor can you expect that the blessings which the apostles pronounced upon the churches of Christ, eighteen hundred years ago, were intended for you: Again, if others' blessings are not your blessings, others' curses are not your curses; you stand then in these last days, as all have stood before you, agents unto yourselves, to be judged according to your works.
Every man lives for himself. Adam was made to open the ways of the world, and for dressing the garden. Noah was born to save the seed of every thing, when the earth was washed of its wickedness by the flood; and the Son of God came into the world to redeem it from the fall. But except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. This eternal truth settles the question of all men's religion. A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the Terrestrial kingdom, or in the Telestial kingdom, but he can never see the Celestial kingdom of God, without being born of the water and the Spirit. He may receive a glory like unto the moon, or a star, but he can never come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly of the church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God of the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, unless he becomes as a little child, and is taught by the Spirit of God. Wherefore we again say, search the revelations of God: study the prophesies, and rejoice that God grants unto the world seers and prophets: they are they who saw the mysteries of godliness; they saw the flood before it came; they saw angels ascending and descending upon a ladder that reached from earth to heaven; they saw the stone cut out of the mountain, which filled the whole earth; they saw the Son of God come from the regions of bliss and dwell on earth; they saw the
Deliverer come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob; they saw the glory of the Lord when he showed the transfiguration of the earth on the Mount; they saw every mountain laid low and every valley exalted when the Lord was taking vengeance upon the wicked; they saw the truth spring out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven in the last days, before the Lord came the second time to gather his elect; they saw the end of wickedness on earth, and the Sabbath of the creation crowned with peace; they saw the end of the glorious thousand years, when satan was loosed for a little season; they saw the day of judgment when all men received according to their works, and they saw the heaven and the earth flee away to make room for the city of God, when the righteous receive an inheritance in eternity: And, fellow so-journers upon the earth, it is your privilege to purify yourselves and come up to the same glory, and see for yourselves, and know for yourselves: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.
The elders began to return from their missions to the eastern states, and present the histories of their several stewardships in the Lord's vineyard; and while together in these seasons of joy, I enquired [inquired] of the Lord and received the following;
A Revelation given on the 22d and 23d of September, 1832.
A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, jr. and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high; yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon mount Zion, which shall be the city New Jerusalem; which city shall be built, beginning at the Temple Lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the state of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, jr. and others, with whom the Lord was well pleased.
Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the Temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation; for verily, this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be ever the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house. And the sons of Moses, according to the holy priesthood, which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro, and Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb, and Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu, and Elihu under the hand of Jeremy, and Jeremy under the hand of Gad, and Gad under the hand of Esaias, and Esaias received it under the hand of God; Esaias also lived in the days of Abraham and was blessed of him, which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; and from Noah till Enoch through the lineage of their fathers, and from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first man; which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.
And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever, with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God. And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, on the ordinances thereof the power of godliness is manifest; and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of God, even the father, and live.
Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and saught [sought] diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence, therefore, the Lord in his wrath, (for his anger was kindled against them,) swore they should not enter into his rest, while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness [fullness] of his glory. Therefore he took Moses out of their midst and the holy priesthood also; and the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the keys of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism and the remission of sins and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord, in his wrath, caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; for he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power-to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming
of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.
And again, the office of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the high priesthood. And again the offices of teachers and deacons are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood, which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons.
Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses-for the sons of Moses and Also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be build unto the Lord in this generation upon the consecrated spot, as I have appointed-and the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord upon mount Zion in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church; for whoso is faithful unto the obtaining of these two priesthood's of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctifyed (sanctified) by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies: they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom and the elect of God; and also all they who receive this priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord, for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father, and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom.-Therefore, all that my Father hath shall be given unto him; and this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood receive thi (this) oath and covenant of my Father which he cannot break, neither can it be removed; but whoso breaketh this covenant, after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. And all those who come not unto this priesthood, which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens, and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.
And now I give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life; for you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spiris [Spirit] of Jesus Christ; and the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world: and the spirit enlighteneth every man through the world thnt [that] hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit, and every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit, cometh unto God, even the Father; and the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world: and the whole world lieth in sin; and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin; and by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me; for whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin; and whoso receiveth not my voice is not aquinted [acquainted] with my voice, and is not of me: and by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do, according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zlon [Zion]; for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
Verily, verily I say unto you, who now have my words, which is my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things: for I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment, that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.
Therefore go ye into all the world, and whatsoever place ye cannot go into ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world, unto every creature. And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you; for you are mine apostles, even God's high priests: ye are they whom my Father hath given me: ye are my friends: therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost; and these signs shall follow them that believe:
In my name they shall do many wonderful works: in my name they shall cast out devils: in my name they shall heal the sick: in my name they shall open the eyes of the blind-
and unstop the ears of the deaf: and the tongue of the dumb shall speak: and if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them: and the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them. But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.
Verily, verily I say unto you, they who believe not in your words, and are not baptized by water, in my name, for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, shall be damned and shall not come into my Father's kingdom ,where my Father and I am. And this revelation unto you, and commandment, is in force from this very hour upon all the world, and the gospel is unto all who have not received it. But verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given, from you it must be preached unto them that they shall repent of their former evil works; for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief: and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.
And again, I say unto you my friends, (for from henceforth I shall call you friends,) it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them travelling [traveling] to preach this gospel in my power: for I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats: behold I sent you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire. And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, or joint; and an hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
Therefore, take no thought for the morrow, for what you shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed; for consider the lillies [lilies] of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these; for your Father who art in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things. Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself. Neither take ye thought beforehand what you shall say, but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
Therefore let no man among you, (for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church, unto the ministry,) this hour, take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom. Behold I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.-And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also for I will go before your face: I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
Whoso receiveth you, receiveth me, and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money. And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in no wise loose his reward: and he that doeth not these things is not my disciple: by this you may know my disciples. He that receiveth you not, go away from him alone by yourselves, and cleanse your feet, even with pure water, whether in heat or in cold, and bear testimony of it unto your Father which is in heaven, and return not again unto that man. And in whatsoever village or city ye enter, do likewise. Nevertheless, search diligently and spare not; and wo unto that house, or that village, or city, that rejecteth you, or your words, or testimony concerning me. Wo, I say again, unto that house, or that village or city that rejecteth you, or your words, or your testimony of me; for I the Almighty, laid my hands upon the nations to scourge them for their wickeduess [wickedness]; and plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work which shall be cut short in righteousness; until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying,
The Lord hath brought again Zion;
The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,
According to the election of grace,
Which was brought to pass by the faith,
And covenant of their fathers.
The Lord hath redeemed his people,
And satan is bound, and time is no longer:
The Lord hath gathered all things in one:
The Lord hath brought down Zion from above:
The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath:
The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength;
And truth is established in her bowels.
And the heavens have smiled upon her;
And she is clothed with the glory of her God;
For he stands in the midst of his people;
Glory, and honor, and power and might,
Be ascribed to our God, for he is full of mercy,
Justice, grace and truth, and peace,
For ever and ever; Amen.
And again, verily, verily I say unto you, it is expedient, that every man who goes forth to proclaim mine everlasting gospel, that inasmuch as they have families and receive monies [moneys] by gift, that they should send it unto them, or make use of it for their benefit, as the Lord shall direct them, for thus it seemeth me good. And let all those who have not families, who receive monies [moneys], send it unto the bishop in Zion, or unto the bishop in Ohio, that it may be consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and the printing thereof, and for establishing Zion.
And if any man shall give unto any of you a coat, or a suit, take the old and cast it unto the poor, and go your way rejoicing. And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him he that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.
Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and to prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill. Behold this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built churches unto me.
Therefore let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet, it hath no need of the feet, for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand? also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
And behold, the high priests should travel, and also the elders, and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church.
And the bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also, should travel round about and among all the churches, searching after the poor, to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud; he should also employ an agent to take charge and to do his secular business, as he shall direct; nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, and also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which awaits them if they do reject these things; for if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh: and their house shall be left unto them desolate. Let him trust in me and he shall not be confounded; and an hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed.
And verily, I say unto you, the rest of my servants, go ye forth as your circumstances shall permit, in your several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days; for with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms. I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble: for I the Lord have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven: ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end: Amen.
CONTINUATION OF ELDER RIGDON'S TRIAL.
Sidney's first revelation in Kirtland was telling the people that the kingdom was rent from them, and they might as well all go home for they were rejected. The saints felt very bad and were almost distracted. When brother Joseph came home, (who was absent at the time) he called Sidney into council and there told him he had lied in the name of the Lord; and says he, 'you had better give up your licence [license] and divest yourself of all authority you can, for you will go into the hands of satan, and he will handle you as one man handeleth another, and the less authority you have the better for you.' Sidney gave up two licences [licenses] to brother Whitney, (who has got them at this day) and according to his own testimony, he was handled by satan just as brother Joseph said, and weltered in the most extreme agony for about two or three months, and then brother Joseph seeing that he had repented, said that he had suffered enough and restored him again. He made a tremendous blunder at the first revelation, but we would hardly suppose that a man who has been in the church so long as Sidney has, would make such a monstrous bluder [blunder] as he has made this time. The object of Sidney's revelation was to divide the church and scatter it. Brother Joseph has said at different times, that if elder Rigdon was to lead the church twelve months, he would lead them to the devil. When he attempted to lead the people in Kirtland, it
was to lead them to the devil, and when he made the attempt this time, it was for the same purpose. When he was making his flowery sermon and endeavoring to captivate the people by his eloquence, they looked, and when he had got through, behold they had seen nothing; and when he found that there were those who were on the alert, and that there were men in whose ears the God of heaven would whisper, and they would discover his principles, he could not stand it; he was going to run; he was in a wonderful hurry to get back to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] He was determined not to let brother Young pull the things out of him. I presume the atmosphere did not feel very congenial to his spirit. After we had been and spent the evening with him last Tuesday and had concluded to demand his licence [license], he then said he was going to publish the history of all the secrets of this church. I think if he dont [don't] give a straighter history than he has given in his revelation, we shall not need to be at the trouble to go abroad and contradict it, for he will contradict himself. He took a position when he first came here, but since that he has left the ground entirely. If he talks with one of brother Joseph's friends, he will say, 'I admit that Joseph held the keys of the kingdom at his death,' but if he talks with those who are not Joseph's friends, he will say, 'I knew he was not led of God for a long time.' In our council in the Seventies Hall, he said that this vision was a continuation of the vision recorded in the book of Doctrine and Covenants. There was however this difference, the one in the Doctrine and Covenants was an open vision, but the vision he received in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] was a mental vision, a vision presented to the mind. Now it seems very likely that while brother Sidney was maturing his plans in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], and laying his schemes as to what course he would pursue, it was very natural to see that the church would cut him off. There are many who seem to be in difficulty concerning Sidney Rigdon's standing in the church during the time he has been wallowing in his filth and corruption for four or five years past. I know how he has stood, but I rather someone else would tell it, I shall therefore leave the subject.
Elder John Taylor arose and said, I wish to make a few remarks, and to give in my testimony in this case. There has already been much said, sufficient to criminate [incriminate] elder Rigdon, and to prove satisfactorilly [satisfactorily] to the minds of every unprejudiced person, that he is unworthy of the confidence we have reposed in him; that he has dishonored his high and holy calling, and has in every way disqualified himself to act in that relationship to the church, which he has heretofore sustained. We did not investigate his conduct or character previous to the conference before alluded to, in order to prove this; his own acts and deeds since his return from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] as they have been set forth before this conference, are sufficient to establish that fact. It may be supposed by some that the Twelve are enemies to Elder Rigdon. So far from this, they have courted his company. They invited him frequently to their councils, and have shown every mark of esteem, deference and respect, which his long standing in the church, his years, his talent and his calling would entitle him to.-They have been extremely solicitous to cultivate a friendly feeling, and not until they were forced with overwhelming testimony, have they taken steps in the matter; but they have a duty to God and this church to perform; and whatever may be their personal predelections [predilections], prejudices or feelings; they feel bound by the relationship they sustain to this church and to God, to lay aside all private feelings and secondary considerations in the fulfillment of the great work that they are called upon to perform.
Elder Rigdon was appointed by President Smith to go to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and build up a church; but he was expressly forbid to take any one with him. Now I would ask, has Elder Rigdon accomplished his mission? Has he sought to build up the church according to President Smith's order? No. He has been holding secret meetings; he has ordained men illegally, and contrary to the order of the priesthood; he has been ordaining men to the offices of prophets, priests and kings; whereas he does not hold that office himself; who does not know that this is wrong? There is not an officer belonging to the church but what is acquainted with this fact. Can a teacher ordain a priest? Can a priest ordain an elder? Can an elder ordain a high priest, or any of the former ordain an apostle? You all know they could not, it is contrary to the order of God; and yet we find that President Rigdon, a man who ought to know better-who does know better-has been ordaining men to office that he does not hold himself: and yet he has come to us with a revelation to lead this church to the Celestial kingdom of God; and even if he had the authority to ordain these men, he could not do it in and of himself without the accompanying ordinances, and under the circumstances which he did. There are numbers here who can bear witness to the truth of what I now say. These things go plainly to show that his mind is enveloped in darkness, that he
is ignorant and blinded by the devil, and incompetent to fulfill the work which he has undertaken.
There are some who would insinuate that we should be merciful; we have been as merciful as we could be in the fulfillment of our official duties. But if we pass over such gross violations of the ordinances of God's house, and such departures from the revelations of God; if such ordinations and organizations are suffered to proceed, we shall, as a people, soon be destroyed. I see men in this congregation who have received illegal ordinations, ordinations imparted through a perversion of the priesthood, and through the influence of an improper spirit. Who wants to see their friends destroyed in this way? A man may receive a spirit in a few minutes, the which it will take him years to get entirely rid of. I dont [don't] want any man with such a spirit to put his hands on my head, or on the head of any of my brethren.
Some people talk as though they considered these things very little matters; but is [it] was for a transgression of this kind that satan and his angels was cast out of heaven, and it is those very principles that have destroyed the church in every age of the world. It was not for drunkenness, theft nor any other act of immorality that satan was hurried from heaven, but for resisting authority, and trying to subvert the order of God. And this is the thing that Elder Rigdon is guilty of; which is calculated to lead men to destruction. I consider that this conference has had evidence enough before it in relation to the matter. We have tried him who has said he was a prophet, and sent of God with revelations to this church, and found him a liar. I feel sorry for him as a man, but I also feel sorry for others whom he is leading astray. What has been the cause of all our difficulties? Why, a little difference of feeling, a little difference of opinion, a little difference of spirit, and this little difference has finally ended in bloodshed and murder. I do not blame those men who shot our beloved brethren, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, one hundredth part as much as William and Wilson Law, the Fosters and the Higbees: it is true they are murderers, but I consider that those men who pointed their guns at me, are not so steeped in crime, nor half so guilty before God, as those men who were their instigators, their aiders and abettors. They are men who are the most guilty before God, and of them will their blood be required.
Elder W. W. Phelps said, it becomes necessary on this occasion that you should be acquainted with all the facts in this case. I am knowing myself to most of the facts. Perhaps I have taken a greater iuterest [interest], and have been better disposed toward Sidney Rigdon than many would suppose under existing circumstances. I have endeavored to be his friend in every situation I could. When I learned he had arrived from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] I went to see him, and tried to find out his views and calculations on the subject, but in all his conduct there appeared to be something wrong, a reluctance to communicate. I have had as good a privilege of knowing the whole of Joseph Smith's revelations as any other man, and I know that the Twelve are the first authority after the first presidency. Secondly, the Twelve are the travelling [traveling] high council, to regulate all the affairs of all the churches in all the world. Now I would ask this congregation, are you willing to throw away this authority for one man?-What have you gathered here for? You have gathered here to build up a city; to build up a kingdom, and shall we come up to this time, and then throw away the revelations and all the measures laid down by Brother Joseph? No! Verily no!
There are a few in authority in this place who have been sustaining Sidney Rigdon although the church voted to sustain the Twelve. I would give them all the advice I am able, to save them; and will read a revelation which was given November 19, 1833.
"Kirtland Nov. 19, 1833.
And again, blessed be Brother Sidney, also, notwithstanding he shall be high and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth beneath his burthen [burden] that learneth his master's will by the stroke of the rod, thus saith the Lord. Yet the Lord will have mercy on him, and he shall bring forth much fruit; even as the vine of ' the choice grape, when her clusters are ripe, before the time of the gleaning of the vintage; and the Lord shall make his heart merry as with sweet wine, because of him who putteth forth his hand, and lifteth him up out of deep mire, and pointeth him out of the way, and guideth his feet when he stumbles, and humbleth him in his pride. Blessed are his generations; nevertheless one shall hunt after them as a man hunteth after an ass that hath strayed in the wilderness, and straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus shall the Lord watch over his generation, that they may be saved; even so, Amen."
Now I want he should be dealt with in justice, but yet with mercy, for I know that what you do here this day, will be sealed in heaven,
until the day of redemption and will be impossible to get it off. You will perceive by this prophesy, that all this has to come upon him. He will stumble and be cast into the mire; his family will stray away, &c. I think enough has been said to make the matter plain to the minds of the people. He has come and lied in the name of the Lord. He has told me two stories. He said he wanted to form an intimacy with the Twelve, but he has never taken one step to do it, but has in every instance, endeavored to shun them. The Devil has blinded his eyes, and he has endeavored to blind the minds of the people against those revelations that have been our guide since we came into this church. Those revelations that said we should build the temple, in order to save ourselves and our dead, and bring to pass those keys and blessings which will secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessing which all, since the days of Adam, had lived and died for. The Lord has said that the church would be able to judge those who were prophets and those who were not. The first thing Elder Rigdon endeavored to press upon the minds of the people, was the idea that it belonged to some person to rise up and build up the church to Joseph Smith, but there is no such thing written in the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, or the book of Doctrine and Covenants. This church has been built up to Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith always taught us that there is no other name whereby we can be saved but in and through the name of Jesus Christ.
It is one part of the portion of this people to be tried to the centre [center,] and you will learn to judge men when they come before you. There will be men who cannot endure a celestial law, and consequently, they cannot obtain a celestial glory. Brother Sidney is endeavoring to draw off a party , and he will be like those who are spoken of in the vision: some for Paul, some for Apollos, some for Cephas, &c., and many will have to go to outer darkness and there tarry till they have paid the uttermost farthing. Is there one person here who wishes to barter away a certainty for an uncertainty and go to perdition? If any man come to you to lay on hands suddenly, dont [don't] suffer them to do it, lest you be deceived. Recollect this-"an apostle is an elder" and he has the authority to ordain elders, priests, &c. Be wise and lay hands suddenly on no man; neither suffer any one to lay hands suddenly on you. It takes a majority of any quorum, according to the order of God, as declared in the Doctrine and Covenan s, [Covenants] which I hold in my hand, and the common consent of the whole church, to make any act valid; every ordination, therefore made by Sidney Rigdon, he being one only out of a quorum of three, even if he had not otherwise transgressed, is illegal. I therefore, in the authority of the holy priesthood, and as one who cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance, declare his late revelations, and his extraordinary ordinations of prophets, priests and kings among the gentiles, holding the keys of David,-of the devil; and let all the people say: Amen.
Elder Heber C. Kimball arose and said he was sick and could scarcely speak, but he could not forbear to offer his testimony on this subject. You have already had the testimony of my brethren, and I feel disposed to offer my testimony. I have been in all their councils since they returned home. I was with the brethren at Elder Rigdon's last Tuesday, but I don't know that I can do any thing more than confirm what they have said. They have related things as they transpired, as near as I can recollect, and I cannot do more than confirm their testimony. As to Elder Rigdon's course there is scarce any one that can give a relation of it. Elder Rigdon is a man I have always respected as a man, but I have not respected his course for more than five years past.-Brethren, I have known his course and was aware of it all the while. When I have gone abroad to preach and have returned again, I would not have the privilege of sleeping, before Brother Joseph would call us to council; and there is not a thing of importance which was ever done, but Brother Joseph counselled [counseled] with us. Elder Rigdon after he came from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] never attended council only when he could not avoid it. He has no authority only what he receives from the church, if he was one with us, why was he not in our councils? He was not in the council pertaining to the High Priesthood until just before he started for Pittsburgh. Brother Phelps was the means of bringing him in, but he has not got the same authority as others; there are more than thirty men who have got higher authority than he has. Elder Rigdon has intimated that if we opposed him we should have a mob on us-Brethren, if I have to be martyred for the truth, amen to it! If I have to go as Joseph and Hyrum did, it will be a short work. Elder Rigdon has not been in good standing as a counsellor [counselor] to Brother Joseph for some years. Brother Joseph shook him off at the conference a year ago, he said he would carry him no more; if the church wanted to carry him they might, but he should not. Joseph said, he had no more authority in his office as a counsellor [counselor]. Elder
Amasa Lyman was appointed in his stead, and all the power and authority and blessings which Elder Rigdon ever had, was put on the head of Brother Amasa. Brother Hyrum plead to have Brother Rigdon restored, he said try him a little longer, try him another year; Brother Joseph would not receive him again but shook him off. The church voted to try him again, and it was the church that received him and not Brother Joseph. If Elder Rigdon was in good standing, why has he not been with Bro. Joseph in all his councils. He has not acted as a councillor [councilor] in Bro. Joseph's councils for five years, but the Twelve have, they have never forsaken him. Now when Bro. Joseph is gone, he comes and set us aside. I have handled with my hands, and have heard with my ears, the things of eternal reality, but I never betrayed Bro. Joseph.
Brethren, as it was in the days of Moses, so it is now. When Moses went into the Holy of Holies, he pulled off his shoes; Bro. Joseph has passed behind the vail [veil] and he pulled off his shoes, and someone else puts them on, until he passes the vail [veil] to Bro. Joseph. President Young is our president, and our head, and he puts the shoes on first. If Brother Hyrum had remained here, he would have put them on-Hyrum is gone with Joseph and is still his counsellor [counselor]. The Twelve have received the keys of the kingdom and as long as there is one of them left, he will hold them in preference to anyone else. I wish the people would hear and be wise, and those who have been upholding Brother Sidney, would turn about before they go into everlasting despair. Here is John C. Bennett, and Wm. and Wilson Law, Robert D. Foster and the Higbee's, are all the while seeking to come back and if they cannot accomplish their purposes they will seek to take our lives. We stand forth as the shepherds of the sheep, and we want to lead you into green pastures, that you may be healthy and strong. There are men here brethren who have got authority, but we dont [don't] want to mention their names, for the enemy will try to kill them.
President Young arose again and said he wanted to read some testimony which had been presented to him relative to this case, but did not wish to mention the names of the individuals at the present time, if it could be dispensed with. He continued: honest men may be deceived for a time, but they will generally see their error and turn about. There are some who are trolling off and wan ing [wanting] to make divisions amongst us. Brother Sidney says, "if we go to opposing him he will tell all of our secrets!" but I would say, oh dont, [don't] Brother Sidney! dont [don't] tell our secrets, oh dont [don't]! But if he tells of our secrets, we will tell of his-tit for tat. He has had long visions in Pittsburgh revealing to him wonderful iniquity amongst the saints. Now, if he knows of so much iniquity, and has got such wonderful power, why dont [don't] he purge it out? He professes to have got "the keys of David." Wonderful power, and revelations, and he will publish our iniquity! Oh dear, Brother Sidney, dont [don't] publish our iniquity! Now dont [don't]! John C. Bennett said in his exposure, he knew all of Brother Joseph's secrets, and he would publish them. Joseph H. Jackson, says he has published all Joseph's secrets, but nobody believes their tales, because they lie! and if Sidney Rigdon undertakes to publish all of our secrets, as he says, he will lie the first jump he takes. if Sidney Rigdon knew of all this iniquity why did he not publish it sooner? If there is so much iniquity in this church, as you talk of, Elder Rigdon, and you have known of it so long, you are a black hearted wretch because you have not published it sooner. If there is not this iniquity you talk of, you are a black hearted wretch, for endeavoring to bring a mob upon us and murder innocent men, women and children! Any man that says the Twelve are bogus makers, or adulterers, or wicked men, is a liar; and all who say such things shall have the fate of liars, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Who is there that has seen us do such things? No man. The spirit that I am of tramples such slanderous wickedness under my feet. And if they take my life I will go where they cannot hurt me.
Brother Joseph did cast of [off?] Sidney, and his power and authority was taken from him, and put upon Amasa Lyman. We told Brother Sidney to come along with us, and if he will do this we will build him up. Let him do as Elder Amasa Lyman has done. Now we dont [don't] expect ever to move without revelation and they that have the keys of the kingdom can get revelation. If any thing would make me fight it would be to hear any one heap charges on Brother Joseph who is dead. They cannot let the dead alone so great is their corruption and wickedness.
Here is another secret leaked out of their secret meetings. They say the man of sin spoken of in the revelations, is the Twelve. A pretty large man I should say. Now this is the testimony we present before this council to know if we are to fellowship Elder Rigdon any longer.
I shall now wait and see if there is any one
to produce testimony in favor of the opposite side of the question.
President Wm. Marks arose and said he felt disposed to say a few words in defence [defense] of Elder Rigdon. There has been a strong team against him. They all seem to speak against him and there is nothing said in his favor. I feel to take up the opposite side of the question and say something in his defence [defense], for I have always been a friend to Elder Rigdon. It has always been the case before this High Council, that there are two sides to the question; there are some to speak in favor of the accused, but there only seems to be only one side to this subject. There has been many things said which I know nothing about. But it has always been the case before the High Council that some should speak in the defence [defense] of the accused, I feel to volunteer to speak in his behalf. It is no more than right that both sides should be represented. I dont [don't] wish to justify any man in an error, but there is a trial before this church and council. In regard to his character there has been many things said which appear to be objectionable, but I can do some of them away. I hear objections to his authority, and to his conduct for four or five years past. There were charges brought before the conference, last fall, and one or two days spent in hearing of them, and it seemed to me, that every exertion was made that could be made, to criminate him and cut him off. There was time given to bring all the charges that could be got at, but there was not a single particle of the charges sustained, if I recollect right, as to proving him guilty of committing any of the acts specified in the charges. Now I think if Brother Rigdon was restored at that time we ought not to go beyond the conference to fetch charges to-day; but here are charges fetched up for years back. It is known that he was restored to full faith and fellowship last fall. I have heard Brother Joseph say repeatedly since that time, that all things was right between them. Just before Elder Rigdon left here I heard Bro. Joseph say that all things were right between them. Sister Emma had a good many feelings against Elder Rigdon, but they are all done away. She has said within a few months, and in fact within one week, that she was on as good terms with Elder Rigdon as she had ever been since he was a member of the church.
As respects his not presenting his vision or revelation before the first quorum, I can say, that Elder Rigdon did not know that this order was introduced. Brother Joseph told us that he, for the future whenever there was a revelation to be presented to the church he should first present it to that quorum, and then if it passed the first quorum, it should be presented to the church. But Brother Rigdon did not know this, for he was only just brought into the quorum before he left to go to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh].
There have been many things said of his course since he came from Pittsburgh which I know nothing of, as to his wishing to lead this people, I dont [don't] know anything about it. And as to his revelations being from the devil, I am sure I dont [don't] know whether they are from God or the devil. The Twelve and the High Council both know that my mind differs from theirs respecting the organization. I had always been taught that the first presidency would remain and always be with the church. I had always understood that the church would be imperfect without the quorum of three to stand as a first presidency, and I cannot find any law to say that this quorum should ever be dropped. I laid my hands on Brother Sidney with Brother Joseph and he ordained him to be a "prophet and a seer and revelator," and to be equal with him in holding the keys and authority of this kingdom. I have known this for two years, and according to my understanding he has not lost it through transgression. I still feel that he is a member of the quorum of the first presidency, and I always expected that the quorum would be filled up the same as at the commencement. I always felt that there was a power and responsibility in that quorum which did not exist any where else. I will read an extract from the 84th section of the book of Doctrine and Covenants: "Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come: nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another." This is what I ever supposed would be the case that through him the oracles should be given to another who should be a prophet, and a seer and revelator, and through him to the church. I have always felt since last special conference that the order was not according to this pattern. Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were appointed to stand equal with Joseph in this kingdom; and I always supposed that one would receive the oracles from Joseph and give them to the church. Now brethren, I have searched diligently to get the right of the matter, and I know I am honest and wish to know how it should be.
I will read another extract from the Doctrine and Covenants, which you will find on the ninety-sixth page. I never supposed that this quorum could be disorganized while there was one or two left. I have ever felt that Elder
Rigdon sustains his authority; I never believed he had lost it through transgression; I believe he is the man to receive the oracles from Brother Joseph and give them to the church; all I want is to have the thing right, I am ready to confess it as any other man. (read several extracts from D. & C.)
When this organization is broken up there is a quorum broken up which is of great power and authority, and I always thought it ought to have been continued. The church has always supposed that the Twelve were to bear the gospel to all the world, and when they are absent, who will preside over the church? We know that it tis [is] necessary for individuals to preside over the whole church. Now, we are losing this office and power and authority, but I feel as though we dont [don't] want to lose any thing. I feel that we ought to keep up the organization, if it is right to do so.
When Elder Rigdon first came from Pittsburgh he said it was his place to receive the oracles, but there was a delicacy in Brother Rigdon in presenting his claims to the people; he supposed there would have been some individuals who would have taken up the case.-It appears from what has been stated this morning, that the questions have been put which seems to bring a contradiction. If Elder Rigdon has done any thing worthy of being severed from the church, I feel to go with the church, and to be satisfied with what they do. I dont [don't] know that I can see any thing worthy of cutting him off at the present time. Probably I am prejudiced in his favor; if it is wrong I hope the brethren will forgive me. When I have set with the High Council I have always tried to divest myself of prejudice. I am willing that the High Council and church should act on his case, if they think best. I felt as though there was a great many men here who were saying hard things against him and nobody to speak a word for him, and I have volunteered to say a few words in his defence [defense].
I have had a conversation with Elder Rigdon and I cannot find that he has committed a crime. The church has never cut off any person without a crime was proven against him. Now is there a man in the church who has received the ordination of a prophet, seer and revelator? If there is I want to see him.-There has men been ordained prophets, priests and kings, but I have never heard of anyone being ordained a seer and revelator. I think I am knowing to all the ordinations, but I dont [don't] know of a man who has been ordained to the office and calling Brother Sidney has; and if he is cut off, who will we have to obtain revelations? A man must be in possession of this power to be able to ordain a prophet, and a seer and a revelator. If there is a man ordained to lead this people, I do not know it. I dont [don't] believe there are sufficient revelations given to lead this people, and I am fully of the belief that this people cannot build the kingdom except it is done by revelation.
President Young arose and replied-I feel it a duty to make some remarks in reply to what Brother Marks has said with regard to Brother Rigdon's character. I have not been beyond the last fall conference to fetch evidence.-There was enought [enough] brought forward at the conference, and abundance more could have been presented, but Brother Hyrum plead so hard it was kept back. Brother Rigdon did enough when he came from Missouri, to cut him off from the priesthood. He said he never would follow Brother Joseph's revelations any more, contrary to his own convenience. He said Jesus Christ was a fool to him in sufferings; was this not enough to cut him off? There was enough to cut him off long ago, but Brother Marks has endeavored to soft soap the people. I have known that Brother Marks "had no evidence but the written word;" But if this people have no evidence but the written word, it is quite time to go to the river and be baptised [baptized] for the remission of their sins. Who cannot see that Elder Rigdon would sacrifice this people? Brother Marks says, if there are any ordained to offices equal with Elder Rigdon he dont [don't] know it. He dont [don't] know all the ordinations, nor he wont till he knows something more than the written word.
I know the reason why Brother Joseph said all was right between him and Elder Rigdon; he (Rigdon) was whining all the while because of his sufferings. He wanted to go back to Kirtland. Brother Hyrum went to Brother Joseph and plead with him again, and begged of Joseph to "bless him-hold on to him, for I believe he will yet straighten out," and he finally got him ordained. But did he help Brother Joseph after this? No. There was then another revelation given for him to move his family near to Brother Joseph. He finally did, but did he then go to Brother Joseph and assist him in his councils? He did not.
If I had the same feelings towards this people that Elder Rigdon and some others have I should hope you would cast us off to-day. Elder Rigdon is now preaching secretly to the people, to have them go back to Pittsburgh-go back to the "leeks and onions." He has prophesied in the name of God that we wont
build this temple. As has been previously stated, Elder Rigdon was not in our councils before he went away. But, Brother Hyrum used to go and see him, and labor with him, and Sidney would make great promises, which would cause Hyrum to come and plead with Joseph again, and say, Brother Joseph bless him, he will come back &c. He is going contrary to Joseph's instructions, and he shall not lead the innocent to destruction; I say it in the name of Israel's God. His orders was to go to Pittsburgh and build a kingdom, but he was positively prohibited from taking any one with him from this place, but, now he wants to divide the people and take them somewhere, to the mountains near Pittsburgh. Elder Rigdon can go to Carthage, and to Warsaw, and he is in no danger from the mob; but can a prophet of God go there with safety? No, he cannot.-If I was to lay down my authority in this church, they would soon say, Mr. Young how do you do, I approve of your course. As to Elder Rigdon's revelations, they are from the same source as Oliver Olney's, Gladden Bishop, Mr. Strang's, &c. They are from the devil. John C. Bennett passed up the river last Tuesday, and called at the upper landing. He sent a messenger to Elder Rigdon and wished to see him, and Elder Rigdon would have gone had not a Mr. Lawrence, (who professes no kind of religion) rebuked him. If you make Sidney Rigdon your president and leader, you will soon have John C. Bennett here, with the Laws and Fosters and all the murderous clan. Elder Rigdon was the prime cause of trouble in Missouri, by his fourth of July oration. He is liable to be deceived, and has already been deceived. As to a person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will.
All I ask of men or women to do, is, if they believe in Sidney Rigdon and want him to lead them, I want they should be bold enough to go with him, and not say they want to tarry with the church. They say they believe in Joseph Smith, and at the same time all their operations are to destroy and tear down what he has built up.
Elder P. P. Pratt briefly referred the people to the plea of Elder Marks, "that he did not know any thing to cut Elder Rigdon off." He referred the people to the testimony before them concerning his revelation to destroy this people and yet he has not done enough for Elder Marks.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
OCTOBER 1, 1844.
CHURCH AND SLAVERY.
At the Methodist general conference for 1844, held in New York, the subject of slavery was brought up. The first object of investigation was F. A. Hardin, of Baltimore, a member of the conference, who had become a slaveholder by marrying a woman who owned a lot of slaves. The north and south very soon made a question of it; the north voted to suspend Mr. Hardin, and the south, surprised at the severity of the case, voted against it; both parties thought they acted according to the 'Discipline.'
A strong committee of six; three north and three south, were appointed, but as they could not agree, they were discharged; and in their own language; "then came the struggle in the case of Bishop Andrew. The committee on Episcopacy, under the special instruction of the conference, reported a statement of the facts, from which it appears beyond controversy that he was connected with slavery, and was in fact a slaveholder. A resolution was first introduced asking him to resign; but this was subsequently superceded [superseded] by another declaring it to be sense of the conference that he should cease to exercise the functions of his office until the impediment of his connection with slavery should no longer exist. The debate on this resolution lasted about a fortnight, the south occupying the largest share of the time. The north with but few exceptions, contended that the resolution was the very last which could preserve the church here from destruction, while the south declared, without a dissenting voice, that its passage would bring disaster and ruin upon her. The former affirmed the lawfulness of the measure, while the latter strenuously maintained that it was extra-judicial and utterly subversive of the Discipline. The excitement was intense, and all hope of a compromise was apparently at an end. In these circumstances, the bishops interposed and endeavored to persuade the parties to postpone all action on the question until the next general conference, to be held in 1848. This proposition satisfied neither party, and was therefore dropped by general consent.-Then came the final struggle-the resolution was put to vote and adopted by a large majority, nearly the whole north voting in its favor.
The south united in a strong protest against the proceeding, written by Dr. Bascom, of Kentucky, which was placed on the journal and referred
to a committee of three on the part of the majority. This committee of which Dr. Durbin was chairman, on the last day of the session submitted a reply to the protest which was also entered on the journal.
The lines having been thus distinctly drawn between the parties, the next step taken was to rescind the resolution of 1840, declaring it inexpedient to permit colored persons to give testimony in a church trial, in all cases where such testimony is not allowed by the civil courts.-This resolution had been a source of trouble at the north, and it was repealed by a strong vote, without much discussion.
Thus defeated on every issue, the southern delegates united in a formal declaration that the farther jurisdiction of the general conference over the conferences at the south would be inconsistent with the success of the ministry in this part of the country. This declaration was referred to a committee of nine, who were instructed, in case they could not succeed in making an amicable adjustment of the difficulty, to devise, if possible, a plan for a constitutional division of the church. The committee made their report on Friday, the 7th inst. They proposed to submit a proposition to the annual conferences for such an alteration of the restrictive articles of the Discipline as would permit the next general conference, in case the South should find it necessary to withdraw and form a new ecclesiastical organization, to make an amicable division of all the church property.-This proposition was adopted by a nearly unanimous vote, and if sanctioned by the annual conferences, as it probably will be, the south will be free to secede from the church if she choose to do so. Whether she will do this or not, time only can determine."
-> This sudden ecclesiactical [ecclesiastical] opposition to slavery, bolstered up by national prejudice, will eventually be the overthrow of the methodist and American union, slavery and peace, unless each party gives up their rights.
AN EPISTLE OF THE TWELVE,
TO THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS:-Greeting;
Having promised in our former epistles to address you from time to time, we now proceed to give you further information relative to the welfare of the church both temporally and spiritually; the building up of Nauvoo; the gathering of the saints; the building of the temple; the establishment of manufacturing, and various branches of industry; the support of the poor, and the preserving of peace, good order, union, love and truth: to the suppression of vice, and every kind of disorder, evil and immorality.
THE TEMPLE, as a great and glorious public work, immediately connected with the completion of our preparations, and ordinances, touching our salvation and exaltation, and that of our dead, necessarily claims our first, and most strict attention. And we rejoice to say for the encouragement of all that its walls are now ready to receive the capitols, and the arches of the upper story windows; and in fact, seven of the capitols are already reared. The timbers are also being framed, and reared on the inside. In short it is progressing with a rapidity which is truly astonishing.
Let the saints now send in their young men who are strong to labor, together with money, provisions, clothing, tools, teams, and every necessary means, such as they know they will want when they arrive, for the purpose of forwarding this work.
Brethren, bring all your tithings into the store house, and prove the Lord, and see if he will not pour out a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive.
Yes, brethren, we verily know and bear testimony, that a cloud of blessing, and of endowment, and the keys of the fulness [fullness] of the priesthood, and of things pertaining to eternal life, is hanging over us, and ready to burst upon us; or upon as many as live worthy of it, so soon as there is a place found on earth to receive it. Therefore, let no cunningly devised fable, no false delusive spirit, or vision, no man or set of men who go out from us, but are not of us, have any influence on your minds for a moment, to draw your minds away from this all important work. But enter steadily and regularly upon a strict observance of the law of tithing, and of free-will offerings, till Jehovah shall say it is enough; your offerings are accepted: then come up to the house of the Lord, and be taught in his ways, and walk in his paths; yea, enter his sanctuary; and receive the oil of joy, for mourning, and the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness.
THE GATHERING, next claims our attention as a work of salvation, to be accomplished in wisdom and prudence. Your prophets and apostles, have often told you, that he [the] saints cannot gather together in large numbers, and be able to enjoy the comforts and necessaries of life, without the necessary calculations and preparations, for their employment and support. Not only must farms be cultivated, houses built, and mills to grind the corn, but there must be something produced by industry, to send off to market in exchange for cash, and
for such other articles as we need. This must be produced, not by singing or praying, or going to meeting, or visiting, or friendly greetings, or conversation, BUT, BY THE UNITED INDUSTRY, SKILL, AND ECONOMY OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE. Men, women, and children must be well, and constantly employed. In order the more effectually to do this, we must turn our attention to the erection of work-shops for the manufacture of every useful article; and wares thus manufactured must find a market, not in Nauvoo alone but in all the wide country, and in cities and towns abroad.
If the saints will commence and follow out this plan, and lay out their cash for the raw material, and employ their friends and themselves at home, instead of sending away all our cash for manufactured goods, we can soon produce millions of wealth, and the poor will have no cause of complaint: for among a temperate people thus employed there would soon be no poor except the widow, the orphan, or the infirm, and these could be abundantly provided for.
The fact is, we have a country abundantly supplied with natural resources, and ca ulated [calculated] for the production of wool, flax, hemp, cotton, and many other articles; and we have water power to any amount; and after all our troubles, a prospect of peace and protection; in short every thing for the encouragement of capitalists and workmen. Come on then, all ye ends of the earth, take hold together, and with a long, strong, steady and united exertion, let us build up a strong hold of industry and wealth, which will stand firm and unshaken amid the wreck of empires and the crash of thrones.
In regard to principle and doctrine, we know that we are founded upon the plain and manifest truth as revealed from on high; and which is sufficiently manifest and plain to convince all honest men who look into it, and to confound all who oppose. The main object then which remains to be carried out is to practice accordingly, and to live according to our knowledge.
In order to do this we must not only be industrious and honest, in providing abundantly for our temporal wants, and for those for whom duty and charity bind us to act. But we must abstain from all intemperance, immorality and vice of whatever name or nature; we must set an example of virtue, modesty, temperance, continency, cleanliness, and charity. And be careful not to mingle in the vain amusements and sins of the world.
In nearly all cities or towns of an extensive population there are certain vices, or crimes, not exactly tolerated by law, but yet, borne with by the people, as a kind of unavoidable or necessary evil; such, for instance, as gambling, drunkenness, vain and wicked amusements and allurements, directly calculated to corrupt the morals of the people and lead them from the paths of virtue and truth. Among the most conspicuous and fashionable of these we might mention, balls, dances, corrupt and immodest theatrical exhib tions [exhibitions], magical performances, etc., all of which are apt not only to have an evil tendency in themselves, but to mingle the virtuous and the vicious in each others society; not for the improvement of the vicious, but rather to corrupt the virtuous.
Nauvoo is now becoming one of the largest towns of the west, and it was founded, and is still in a great measure managed by the saints, we greatly desire the united influence of all well wishers to our society, and to good order and morality, to cooperate with us in preserving the general peace and quiet, and in suppressing these and all other vices and evils.
Or, to be plain on the subject, we wish to suppress all grogshops, gambling houses, and all other disorderly houses or proceedings in our city, and to tolerate no intemperance or vice in our midst. And so far at least as the members of the church are concerned, we would advise that balls, dances, and other vain and useless amusements be neither countenanced or patronized; they have been borne with, in some instances heretofore for the sake of peace and goodwill. But it is not now a time for dancing or frolics but a time of mourning, and of humiliation and prayer.
If the people were all righteous, it would do to dance, and to have music, feasting and merryment [merriment]. But what fellowship has Christ with Belial? or what fellowship has light with darkness? or what union have the sons and daughters of God with the children of this world, who fear not God nor regard man. All amusements in which the saints and sinners are mingled tends to corruption, and has a baneful influence in religious society.
There are amusements which are at once both innocent, instructive, and entertaining; and which the saints can enjoy, in honor to themselves, and without mingling with the world. Such for instance, as musical concerts philosophical astronomical exhibitions, etc. These, together with our religious devotions, and the increase of light, knowledge and intelligence which flows like a flood of glory from the upper world, are quite sufficient to exercise all our powers of enjoyment.
As the business of the conference is now fast crowding upon our time, we must cut short this communication by informing you that an organization and arrangement is now in progress, by which high priests and presiding officers will be appointed over each district of the country, throughout the union, who will have entire charge, under the direction of the Twelve of all spiritual matters, superintending the labors of the elders and the calling of conferences. Arrangements will also be made, for the proper payment and reception of tithing, so that it may be duly received by responsible agents and recorded. Of these particulars you will receive further communication from us soon.
Done in council at Nauvoo, this first day of October, A. D. 1844.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres't.
THE TWO LAST NUMBERS.
The two preceding numbers have been much occupied with the trial of elder Rigdon. This was judged most advisable, in order that the facts and arguments might be spread before the saints. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God;" when the saints are the judges of the fact. But let us console ourselves that the judge of all the earth will do right. Every thing formed against Zion must eventually fall, and Zion will flourish upon the hills and in the vallies [valleys]:-after much tribulation comes the blessing. The truth is, religion-old fashioned Abel, Noah, Abraham, Israel, Moses, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jesus Christ, Apostolic, Mormon religion-is made up of "obedience," come life or death, with crowns for crosses; being ordained to eternal life after sin is overcome. Therefore Brethren, endure, like good soldiers, to the end, and you will be ordained to this highest honor of the priesthood. ETERNAL LIFE!
A WORD OF CONSOLATION.
Owing to the continued illness of some of our hands in the office, this number of the paper has been unavoidably delayed beyond the usual time of publication. In future we hope this will not be the case, but be overcome by punctuality which is always considered, with prompt pay, the life of business.
The October conference minutes, which are very interesting, will occupy a great portion of the next number, and if the Spirit of the Lord animates the souls of his brethren abroad with a pure desire for the spread and benefit of the kingdom of our Savior, as it does ours, there will certainly be a greater degree of unity, joy, peace and satisfaction among the Latter Day Saints than there has been. Polished steel keeps brightest by constant use; so brethren be active, prayrful [prayerful] and charitable, and your light will so shine that others can see as well as you.
DIED-In Brownstown, Michigan, on the 20th of August, last, Elder Joshua R. G. Phelps, aged 31 years.
He was on a mission to Canada, and died in the possession of the latter day faith and knowledge, which the world neither gives nor takes away. His sudden death in the midst of life and usefulness, brings to mind a verse of his, written upon an infant, some years since:-
"What is it comes and stops the breath,
And takes away the spirit?
It is the power of God, by death,
And all the world do fear it."
But the house where the good man meets his fate
Is honor'd more than the haunts of wicked men,
Therefore, 'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord!'
For when the Lord comes they shall come with him.
Sept. 20th, l844.
To the saints in Nauvoo and abroad:-
We would say that the penny subscription by the sisters, which has always been conducted and carried on by Mrs. Hyrum Smith, and Mrs. Thompson will still continue, and the payments be made and enclosed as usual with the persons names signed, and for which the Twelve will be responsible.
President of the Twelve.
Willard Richards, clerk.
Elder Benjamin Winchester and his wife are cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for unchristian like conduct, in slandering the Church, and railing against, and speaking evil of the Twelve and others.
It is with regret that we take this course; as his parents are here in our midst, as firm members of the Church, and willing to do right.-But unpleasant duties must be done, and the authorities, character and the union of the Church be preserved for the salvation thereof.
Done by the authorities of the Twelve and others, in council assembled, at President B. Young's, Nauvoo, Illinois, this 26th day of September. 1844.
WILLARD RICHARDS, clerk.
For the Times and Seasons.
A SONG FOR THE LATTER DAY SAINTS;
BY MISS ELIZA R. SNOW,
Thou that created the heavens and the earth, the seas and the fountains of water, thou art my God.
Thou art the same-thou changest not, therefore I will not fear; for thy word will endure and thy promises will surely be verified.
In thee have I put my trust-I know in whom I have confided, and I shall not be confounded.
Though difficulties rise before me higher than the Himmaleh [Himalayan] mountains, I will go forward, for thou Lord wilt open the way before me and make straight the paths for my feet.
When the billows of Change encompass me-when its surges dash furiously, and the foam thereof is nigh unto overwhelming; thy power will sustain me: I will laugh at the rage of the tempest, and ride fearlessly and triumphantly across the boisterous ocean of circumstance.
Thy Spirit is better than the juice of the grape-thy approbation is preferable to the smile of princes-thy favor is richer than the finest gold, and thy wisdom transcendeth all human understanding.
Thy power is supreme-thy plans are founded in wisdom-thou wilt perform thy work and accomplish thy purpose: man cannot prevent it.
The principles of thy kingdom are principles of truth, and truth is everlasting as thyself, therefore thy kingdom will stand, and those that abide its laws will come up before thee to dwell in thy presence.
I will adhere to thy statutes-I will maintain the new and everlasting covenant, not counting my life dear unto me.
When the clouds of uncertainty gather upon the horizon, darker than the shades of midnight-when distrust is raising its standard over the broad field of speculation.-thy word will dissipate every obstruction; and the testimony of Jesus will light a lamp that will guide my spirit through the portals of immortality, and communicate to my understanding the glories of the celestial kingdom.
I will make mention of thy goodness in the day-time, and in the night season, I will rejoice in thy loving kindness, and meditate on the Justice of thy dealings with the children of men.
From the Nauvoo Neighbor.
GOD SAVE NAUVOO;
BY W. W. Phelps.
When you pray for all blessings to equally flow;
For the gathering and kingdom of Christ here below;
For the good of all people: the Mormon and Jew,
For a more perfect union: then pray without ceasing, O God save Nauvoo!
When you pray for old Israel, now scattered afar:
For the nations and kingdoms, degraded by war;
For the world in its blindness, through wickedness, too;
For redemption as promised; then pray without doubting. O God save Nauvoo
When you pray for your foes, both without and within;
For the captives in prison, the exiles in sin,
When you enter your closet, as Christ told you to;
And ask of the Father: then pray in the spirit, O God bless Nauvoo!
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 nor receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter