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Vol. V. No. 24] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JAN. 1, 1844. [Whole No. 108.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
April 2d. F. G. Williams was appointed, by a council of High Priests, an agent, to superintend and employ men to labor in the brick yard, on the French farm, also to rent the farm. The French farm was purchased on account of the stone quarry thereon, and the facilities for making brick, each essential to the building up of the city. The council also instructed Bro E. Thayre [Thayer] to purchase the Tannery of Arnold Mason, in Kirtland.
On the 6th of April, in the land of Zion, which was within the western bounderies [boundaries] of the State of Missouri, about eighty official, together with some unofficial members of the church, met for instruction, and the service of God at the Ferry on Big Blue River, near the western limits of Jackson County, which is the confines of the State and the United States.-It was an early Spring, and the leaves and blossoms, like a glimpse at Paradise, enlivened and gratified the soul of man.
The day was spent in a very agreeable manner, in giving and receiving knowledge which appertained to this last kingdom. It being just 1800 years since the Savior laid down his life that men might have everlasting life, and only three years since the church had come out of the wilderness, preparatory for the last dispensation; they had great reason to rejoice: they thought upon the time when this world came into existence, and the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy: when Israel eat [ate] the "passover" as wailing came up for the loss of the first-born of Egypt, and they felt like the shepherds who watched their flocks by night, when the angelic choir sweetly sung that electrifying strain, "Peace on earth and good will to man," and the solemnities of eternity rested upon them. This was the first attempt made by the church, to celebrate her birth day, and those who professed not our faith talked about it as a strange thing.
While the church was thus rejoicing, the news from abroad was, that 30,000 out of the population of 100,000, had died of starvation, in consequence of the famine produced by three years drouth [drought], followed by a flood, in the Cape de Verd islands: that sixteen shocks of an earthquake had been felt the previous February, at St. Kitts and Nevis, in the West India islands: that the Polish Jews were about to visit Jerusalem: that war was raging between Turkey and Egypt: that a great fire had occurred in Liverpool: that volcanic eruptions, war and rumors of wars, were prevailing in different sections of the earth and fire balls and fearful signs were seen in the heavens, with many other alarming appearances, which caused the hearts of the wicked to tremble, none of which was more awful than the continued spread of the Asiatic cholera in Europe, which had already swept from the earth, in the short space of 15 years about sixty millions of inhabitants. (See "Evening and Morning Star, April 1833."
Brother Jared Carter presented me a letter which he had received from his brother, to me, and requested me to answer it, which I did as follows:
Kirtland, April 17, 1833.
Dear Brother Carter;-Your letter to Bro. Jared is just put into my hand and I have carefully perused its contents, and embrace this opportunity to answer it. We proceed to answer your questions: first concerning your labor in the region where you live; we acquiesce in your feelings on this subject until the mouth of the Lord shall name; and, as it respects the vision you speak of, we do not consider ourselves bound to receive any revelation from any one man or woman without their being legally constituted and ordained to that authority, and given sufficient proof of it.
I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves, therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them: but if any have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for their own benefit and instruction, for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the church is vested in the keys of the kingdom.-As it respects an apostate, or one who has been cut off from the church, and wishes to come in again, the law of our church expressly says that such shall repent, and be baptized, and be admitted as at the first.
The duty of a High Priest is to administer in spiritual and holy things, and to hold communion with God; but not to exercise monarchial [monarchical] government, or to appoint meetings for the elders, without their consent. And again it is the High Priests' duty to be better qualified to teach principles, and doctrines, than the elders for the office of elder is an appendage to the
high priesthood, and it concentrates & centres [centers] all in one. And again, the process of laboring with a member: We are to deal with them precisely as the Scriptures direct. If thy brother trespass against thee, take him between him and thee alone; and, if he maketh thee satisfaction, thou hast saved thy brother; and if not, proceed to take another with thee, &c.; and when there is no bishop, they are to be tried by the voice of the church; and if an elder, or a high priest be present, they are to take the lead in managing the business; but if not, such as have the highest authority will preside.
With respect to preparing to go to Zion:-First it would be pleasing to the Lord that the church or churches going to Zion should be organized, and appoint a suitable person, who is well acquainted with the condition of the church; and he be sent to Kirtland to inform the bishop, and procure license from him agreeable to revelation: By so doing you will prevent confusion and disorder, and escape many difficulties that attend an unorganized band in journeying in the last days. And again, those in debt, should in all cases pay their debts; and the rich are in no wise to cast out the poor, or leave them behind, for it is said that the poor shall inherit the earth.
You quoted a passage in Jeremiah, with regard to journeying to Zion, the word of the Lord stands sure, so let it be done.
There are two paragraphs in your letter which I do not commend as they are written blindly: speaking of the elders being sent like lightning from the bow of Judah; the second, no secret in the councils of Zion. You mention these as if fear rested upon your mind, otherwise we cannot understand it. And again we never enquire [inquire] at the hand of God for special revelation only in case of there being no previous revelation to suit the case, and that in a council of high priests. For further information on the subject you have written, I will refer you to the elders who have recently left here for the east, by commandment, some of whom you will probably see soon. You may depend on any information you may receive from them that are faithful. You may expect to see Brothers Orson and Lyman, for whom we have great fellowship.
It is a great thing to enquire [inquire] at the hand of God, or to come into his presence: and we feel fearful to approach him with subjects that are of little or no importance, to satisfy the queries of individuals, especially, about things, the knowledge of which men ought to obtain, in all sincerity, before God, for themselves, in humility by the prayer of faith; and more especially a teacher, or a high priest in the church. I speak not these things by way of reproach, but by way of instruction; and I speak as being acquainted, whereas we are strangers to each other in the flesh. I love your soul, and the souls of the children of men, and pray and do all I can for the salvation of all.
I now close by sending you a salutation of peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: Amen. The blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be and abide with you all: Amen.
JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.
N. B. If it is inconsistent to send a delegate to Kirtland, to procure license for the brethren to go to Zion, it can be done by two or more elders. We have received two letters from Brother Sherwood, stating the order and condition of the church, aud [and] respecting the vision of his wife, but on account of a multitude of business they have not been answered by us: you will please read this letter to Brother Sherwood. J. S.
In April the school of the prophets closed to commence again in the fall, I also wrote a letter to the brethren in Zion, Missouri, as follows:
Kirtland, March 21, 1833.
Dear Brethren in Zion,-Agreeable to a notice we gave you, in Brother Whitney's last letter to you with respect to answering your letters, we now commence, after giving thanks to our heavenly Father for every expression of his goodness in preserving our unprofitable lives to the present time, and the health and other blessings, which we now enjoy through his mercies.
With joy we received your general epistle, written the 26th of February, which contained the confession of our brethren concerned, all of which was to our entire satisfaction. It was read by the brethren in Kirtland with feelings of the deepest interest, knowing as we did, that the anger of the Lord was kindled against you, and nothing but repentance, of the greatest humility, would turn it away; and I will assure you that expressions of joy burned on every countenance when they saw that our epistle, and the revelation were received by our brethren in Zion, and it had had its desired effect.
For your satisfaction, I here insert a revelation given to Shederlaomack, the 15th of March, 1833, constituting him a member of the United Firm.
Verily, thus saith the Lord, I give unto the united order, organized agreeable to the commandment previously given, a revelation and commandment concerning my servant Shederlaomach,
that ye shall receive him into the order. What I say unto one I say unto all.
And again, I say unto you, my servant Shederlaomach, you shall be a lively member in this order; and inasmuch as you are faithful in keeping all former commandments, you shall be blessed forever : Amen.
With respect to Brother Gilbert's letter of the 10th of December, I would say to him; firstly, we believe he wrote it in all sincerity of his heart: and we were pleased in the style, and composition; but, upon mature reflection; and enquiry [inquiry] at the hand of the Lord, we find some things that are unreconcilable, especially to some: I mean with respect to hints given that are not clearly explained. As every letter that comes from Zion, must go the rounds of the brethren for inspection, it is necessary that there should be no disguise in them but that every subject written from brethren should be plain to the understanding of all, that no jealousy may be raised and when we rebuke, do it in all meekness. The letter written the 24th of February was not written in that contrition of heart which it should have been, for it appears to have been written in too much of a spirit of justification; but the letter to Brother Whitney of the 20th of March, was written to our entire satisfaction.
Now I would say to Brother Gilbert, that I do not write this by way of chastisement, but to shew [show] him the absolute necessity of having all his communications written plain, and understandingly. We are well aware of the great care upon his mind, in consequence of much business; but he must put his trust in God, and he may rest assured that he has our prayers day and night, that he may have strength to overcome every difficulty. We have learned of the Lord that it is his duty to assist all the poor brethren that are pure in heart, and that he has done wrong in withholding credit from them, as they must have assistance; and the Lord established him in Zion for that express purpose.
It is not the will of the Lord to print any of the New Translation in the Star; but when it is published, it will all go to the world together; in a volume by itself; and the New Testament and the Book of Mormon will be printed together.
With respect to Brother Oliver's private letter to me on the subject of giving deeds, and receiving contributions from brethren, &c., I have nothing further to say on the subject, but to make yourselves acquainted with the commandments of the Lord, and the laws of the State, and govern yourselves accordingly. Brother Elliot was here yesterday and shewed [showed] me a letter from Brother Phelps, and we were well pleased with the spirit in which it was written. The probability is that he will not go to Zion at present, as he has bought in Chagrin.
We rejoice to hear that the Seminary lands are reduced in price, and are coming into market: and be assured that we shall use our influence to send brethren to Zion who are able to help you in the purchase of lands &c., &c.
We have just received a letter from Brother Sidney, he has built up a church of eight members, in Medina county, Ohio, and prospects of more. With respect to the deaths in Zion, we feel to mourn with those that mourn, but remember that the God of all the earth will do right. And now, my beloved brethren, I commend you to God and his grace, praying him to keep and preserve you blameless, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Amen.
JOSEPH SMITH, Jun.
P. S. Say to Brother Corrill that his confession gave me great satisfaction, and all things are now settled on my part. J. S.
In the month of April, the first regular mob rushed together, in Independence, (Zion) to consult upon a plan, for the removal, or immediate destruction, of the church in Jackson County The number of the mob, was about three hundred. A few of the first elders, met in secret, and prayed to Him who said to the wind "Be still,' to frustrate them in their wicked design. They, therefore, after spending the day in a fruitless endeavor, to unite upon a general scheme for "moving the Mormons out of their diggings." (as they asserted,) and becoming a little the worse for liquor broke up in a regular Missouri "row," showing a determined resolution that every man would "carry his own head."
April 30th a conference of high priests assembled at the school room, in Kirtland, and appointed Brother Albert Brown, a committee to circulate a subscription, to procure money to pay for the use of the house where meetings had been held, the past season; and John P Green was instructed to go and take charge of the branch of the church in Parkman, carrying with him an epistle to the brethren; and as soon as convenient remove his family to that place. It was also decided that Sister Vienna Jaquies should not proceed immediately on her journey to Zion, but wait until William Hobart was ready, and go in company with him.
On the 4th of May, 1833, a conference of high priests assembled in Kirtland, to take into consideration the necessity of building a school house, for the accommodation of the elders, who should come together to receive instruction
preparatory for their missions, and ministry, according to a revelation on that subject, given March 8th 1833, and by unanimous voice of the conference, Hyrum Smith, Jared Carter, and Reynolds Cahoon were appointed a commitee [committee] to obtain subscriptions, for the purpose of erecting such a building.
Bordentown N. J. Nov. 10th, 1844.
Dear Brother W. W. Phelps of Nauvoo, I take this method of addressing you through the columns of the Prophet, as it will save postage and is not so liable to be miscarried; hoping that it will receive due and immediate attention.
Dear Brother:-Situated as I am in this eastern land, and far from the great emporium of the west, (Nauvoo) and I might say my home, if there is any place on earth that I might with propriety call so. But, indeed, I could say with Abraham, I have no home this side the vale, but a pilgrim and sojourner here on earth; (not exactly in tents, as the good old Patriarch with flocks and herds) a stranger without purse or scrip among strangers to build up the kingdom of God, (a most unpopular theme) and bear some humble part of this last ministry to the nations of the earth?
Can you tell, dear brother, why it is, the saints of God in all ages, and especially in these last times, can have no more rest? persecuted as they are from city to city, and from place to place; I ask myself the question, is anything criminal in Mormonism-in the divine pretensions of the prophet? this cannot be, others have professed the same; there has been hundreds of prophets, true ones too, and men have declared that if they had lived in their day, they would not have killed them; and yet, what have they not done? ("for if they will do these things in the green tree, what will they do in the dry?") But. they say, none of these signs have followed and proven him a prophet, that followed and proved them of old. What say ye, can you answer this?
Tell us the crime, the time and place, when and where; was it finding the Nephite record? revealing to the world the origin of a lost and scattered people, a knowledge of which had been hid for ages in midnight darkness; lost from the deepest research of modern antiquarians. Was it for revealing to the world a knowledge of whose lands, and by whom the foundation of these mighty cities had been laid, and since discovered by Stephens and Catherwood; this none will doubt, yet a knowledge of the fact of these cities being built by skillful hands, hundreds of years ago, written in the Book of Mormon would be 'humbug.'
These discoveries, made by the these men, which are truly great and confirmatory [confirmation] of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and the inspiration of the prophet Joseph, was made since this book was found and published to the world in 1830; then the prophecy was made that the Indians were a remnant of the house of Israel, "had wandered through the wilderness, and came over the sea," inhabited North and South America, built large cities, and were a warlike people; that many had fallen in battle and cities had been destroyed, a remnant remained as the last vestige, to tell the sad tale and history of their fallen race. And who has proved this prophecy true? 'Stephens and Catherwood!'
You will bear in mind, also, that Joseph was but a youth at this time, without any possible means of knowing, as men naturally know of these things-a mere plough [plow] boy at the age of 17, 21 and 22; he never had by the aid of 'government friends,' or wealthy parents, the means to climb the Alpine mountains of the east-to traverse the holy land, and in Central America, stand and gaze upon the richly wrought pyramids, and with wonder and amazement exclaim, whose hands have laid these cities and reared these mighty monuments? Yet God had given him this knowledge; read the Book of Mormon and it will tell you; and mark, kind reader, that this book was published in 1830, and the discoveries and facts proved by Stephens and Catherwood in 1837 proving to a demonstration the inspiration of the prophet, and the divinity of the book.
But it is said in Mormonism there is a charm a mystery that the world cannot explain; I admit it; it has a charm more inviting than all the magicians and sooth sayers of Egypt, and a mystery that sectarians cannot unravel. Why? Because they have not the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Mormonism has inferiors, but no superiors; it acknowledges no twin-sister but heaven; no superior but God; no king but Jesus: with unparalleled rapidity it has rolled on, "out-vied the muttering crowd," and accumulated its thousands who are now rejoicing in the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, revealed and brought to light by the prophet Joseph.
If it should be asked, then, is Mormonism true? a thousand intelligent voices reverberate yes! yes! yes!
Again, who has gathered their thousands? built a city? two temples? and embodied a code of morals garbed with immortality, that has made its way to the imperial thrones of the earth, embosomed itself in the golden rays and unbounded glories of heaven, crowned with
never fading laurels, (is it not Joseph?) Men of sound minds (not Millerites nor bigots) of all ranks, from all societies, of all the intelligence of the earth; combined in one word, the cream and salt of the same, and virtue of heaven; can this be, and Joseph Smith a false prophet?-again is heard from a thousand voices, no! no! no!
Dear brother if the thousand and one testimonies, miracles, records, antiquities, facts, bible truths, knowledge, revelation, fulfilment [fulfillment] of prophecy, God, men and angels do not prove any thing but a fallen prophet, and Mormonism so far beneath the notice of the would be great and wise men, of this age, I wish you would solve the mystery, for to me it is a mystery indeed.
And now, dear brother, I will; come to the point, having done with my preliminaries.-As many faint and incorrect descriptions have been given of Nauvoo and the temple, by travellers [travelers], passers-by, and others, until some have thought the temple built upon moonshine, and the city a barbarian-ugly, formal with head and horns, and stuck into the nethermost corner of the universe, where none but Indians, Hottentots, Arabs, Turks, Wolverines and Mormons dwell; and if you can find time to reply, I wish you would give me an ungarnished statement of facts respecting Nauvoo; its probable number of inhabitants, and finally, a graphic description of the whole place; give us the number of distilleries, liquor venders, and what gross immoralities have corrupted Nauvoo, cursed the city, the temple, the Twelve, &c., smote the daughters of Zion with scabby heads, and numbered the thousands of saints (that have gathered there to hear the word of the Lord, and be taught in his way) with goats, and cursed them above all horned cattle. An answer to these unaccountable problems, will, no doubt be eagerly grasped after, and be very interesting to many in the east, as we have many braying animals which have become quite obnoxious to the quiet rest of the innocent, and bray to the discomfiture of many, not on account of the soundness of their doctrine; but on account of blasphemies, the Twelve, the temple, the church at Nauvoo, and the great body of saints, their moral men and women, the abominable lies they tell, make people nervous sometimes when they do not know how things are; men who were once men of apparent intelligence, make these statements The place must have become materially changed in its morals since last spring, when I was there, a short time indeed for such a mighty change.
I did not intend to argue the question, what is the difference between Millerism and Mormonism now Millerism is dead. Please to answer how high the temple is to the eaves and top of steeple, (if any at all,) and how long, how many moons, suns, ears and heads, and what do they all represent, of what material and workmanship, how antique and of what order the pillars and structure? Is it a pattern of church and priesthood? Show us the order, the font with the length, the breadth, and the height thereof; the unity of the saints, the proper age of my mother, and her birth-place, also that of my father and his age at the time of his death, and the number of the family, (which you can obtain from the family records in my mother's possession,) embodied in one, in as concise a manner as possible. This will correct many errors, and confer a favor on your old and tried friend I must say, I wish I could think more of Nauvoo than I do, yet it is not Nauvoo! for when I reflect that there he the silver locks of an aged and martyred father, martyred by a Missouri persecution, in the grave, numbered with the dead; and four brothers, two of whom in my vision appear with mangled bodies, and garments red with crimson gore. Oh! the fatal steel and barbarous murder! Their blood is still unavenged, and the cruel murderers are lounging about seeking for more; what have others to expect? Yet Nauvoo contains almost all that is near to me. My poor old mother, almost worn out with years and trouble, and three sisters that remain, with myself, are all of that family, who were the founders of Mormonism and the church of Christ in these last days, through great persecution and trouble, having borne [born] the heat of the day; and how long the rest may be spared, God only knows.
Brother Phelps, will you call and see my mother, and give her a word of consolation from me. I hope she will live till I can get to see her. She may live to see all her sons laid in the grave. Remember me also to my sisters Sophronia, Catherine, Lucy and their husbands, and martyrs' widows-God bless them all for ever is my prayer. I wish also to be remembered to all the saints in Nauvoo, give them my prayer, that God may sustain them in all their trials, for truly they are great, and tell them to think of me their brother in affliction, and my sick family, which has kept me from their society in this their time of peril; and if the Lord does no interpose, they must ere long be numbered with the dead. Oh! that God would have mercy upon me and my sick family!
Will you pray for us, dear brethren at Nauvoo? Remember me to your family. Mrs. Smith sends her love to your wife, and wishes to be remembered to all her friends in that country,
as it will be a miracle if she ever sees them again. Write to me immediately.
With sentiments of respect and esteem I subscribe myself, your friend and brother in the gospel of Christ.
Nauvoo, Ill., Dec. 25, 1844.
Remembered Brother William Smith:
Up to the reception of your excellent letter to me, (dated at Bordentown, N. J., Nov., 10, 1844, which you had the goodness to communicate through the columns of the "Prophet,") since we have been members together in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I think it may be said we have been one in faith, one in love, and one in friendship, and like the often used key, we have grown brighter and brighter, as we have performed the great service of opening and shutting the "lock" on religious understanding. As Jeremiah said, so say I: "The heritage of the Lord is like a lion in the forest ; yea, the heritage of the Lord is like a speckled bird:" every body is afraid, and every body is pecking at us. It is a great thing to be a messenger of salvation, and so I will begin to answer your questions.
You ask; "why is it that the saints of the last times, can have no rest!" and I answer, because the world loves darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil. "popularity" now and ever, since the serpent was cursed to crawl upon his belly through the loss of his feet, is, has been, and will be, the best kind of religion in use. Talk about holiness, morality, temperance, humanity, brotherly kindness and charity among the refined polite nations of the world; why, ever since Cain built a city for the ungodly to revel in, for the polygamy of a Lamech; for the droving of a Jabul; for the music saloon of a Jubul; and for the brass and iron foundry, and bogus machine of a Tubal Cain, the majority of mankind, have made money their faith; popularity their works, and persecution their sincerest devotion of moral greatness.
They that live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution, says Paul; and so it is-and it always comes first from him that professes godliness: Cain was a sectarian and could not admit revelation and hear God say: "well, Abel I have accepted thine offering:" and so he killed his brother because the devil slyly whispered in his ear:-it is blasphemy to talk with God.
Now the next generation could discover the wickedness of Cain, and the holiness of Abel, but the same evil spirit whispered that was in a day when revelation was necessary, but there is no need of it now, and it is done away. We have followed the rules and regulations of those good men, and O! if we had lived in their days, they should not have been killed! but as for this fellow he is "unpopular;" he blasphemes our God: he ought to die, but we being compassionate and charitable, and feeling a warm desire for the great cause of religion, will advise him to quit his folly, or delution [delusion]; and if he dont [don't], we will punish him a little by stripes, sword, dungeons, or banishment; and then if he does not stop, we will stop him!
O Lord God Almighty, when the prison doors of Tophet, hell, and the horrible pit are unlocked; and the entrance into outer darkness opened, to bring the damned before the bar of the Judge of all the earth for the final judgment, I think some few christians in company with their father Cain and cousins of "popular" priesthood, from that day down to the judgment trumpet, will "grin horribly a ghastly smile'-YES, we killed the prophets and persecuted the saints, because they were not "popular." Then your question will be answered.
As to the "crime, time, and place, &c., of finding the Nephite record," its revelation is the very thing that produces an earthquake to this generation. It explains the bible: it opens the vision of the prophets; it unravels the mystery who first settled this country, and it shows the old paths wherein if a man walk he shall live. It copes with the boasted knowledge of the world; it glitters through the combined fog of ages; shows that God who eat [ate] of a calf with Abraham, will eat and drink again on the earth with his saints, when the wolf and the lamb, and the lion and the ox, will be as friendly as the saints and seraphs, in the full fruition of bliss; it cuts the gordian knot of priestcraft, and reveals the priesthood of the Son of God which is "without beginning days or end of years;" whereby it shows that prophets were ordained in eternity, when the "morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy:" and it speaks from the dead, whereby the living can hear from their friends, who have fought the good fight of faith, and passed from life unto death, and from death unto life! and Stevens [Stephens] with his incidents of travels in Central America; and others who are opening the bowels of the earth, and rolling "ruins' into being; and tend thousand elders of Israel filled with the Holy Ghost, declaring the everlasting gospel with irresistable [irresistible] power and economy, that surpasses understanding; the great persecutions and murders which are dealt out without measure to its believers; and the distress of nations and the
signs that Jesus Christ said should be, like the sound of many waters, or of a great thunder, declare that it is eternal truth! and that your brother Joseph Smith was one of the Lord's anointed! That he now sits with God in the heavens, and laughs at the calamities that will speedily wrap the world in wo! and that he will mock when their fear seizes the last hope of a crude existence!
Joseph Smith was a Captain General and this world will be introduced to him as such, when the epitaph of its great men's greatness will be written within and without on the gates of the lower prisons, and entrance into outer darkness: "we were, and are not, and yet are!"
But I must not go to preaching to an apostle as I know you are, lest I enter into the rich treasure of knowledge too, and cause you to exclaim:-cast not thy precious jewels to strangers, lest greediness and covetousness seize them and they like the avaricious steward, with his goose that laid a golden egg a day, kill her in order to obtain the whole litter at once, and so destroy the fountain!
Mormonism is the wonder of this world, and the great leveling machine of creeds, constitutions, kingdoms, countries, divisions, notions, notorieties [notoriety's] and novelties; and praise it, talk about it, lie about it, exalt it, degrade it, blow at it, sneer at it, fear it, love it, hate it, persecute it, or laugh at it, still it is Mormonism, true as heaven, powerful as Jesus, eternal as element, going on conquering and to conquer!
Have the mightiest men on earth reared monuments of grandeur? of glory? of splendor? of fame? of utility? or of admirations?-Joseph Smith has exceeded all their wisdom and greatness. He has brought back the past and rolled up the future, whereby the past, present, and future, exhibit their images like the skies over the ocean.
Mormonism! O Mormonism! Nimrod, Homer, Pharoah, Cadmus, Alexander, Nebuchadnezzar, Holofornes, Herod, Bonaparte, and an immense retinue of other dignitaries, who have burst into being with pomp and glory, and made a trembling world wonder at their cruelty and cunning:-Where are the pillars, the records, and the approvals of heaven, of all your greatness?
"A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art and all the proud shall be,"
while Mormonism, from an Abel, though dead, yet speaketh; from an Elijah though translated in a fiery chariot to heaven, yet, returns in glory with Moses, and blesses Jesus at the transfiguration on the mount! O Mormonism! Thy father is God, thy mother is the Queen of heaven, and so thy whole history, from eternity to eternity, is the laws, ordinances and truth of the "Gods"-embracing the simple plan of salvation, sanctification, death, resurrection, glorification and exaltation of man, from infancy to age, from age to eternity, from simplicity to sublimity: from faith, repentance, baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, to washing, anointing, holy conversation, baptism for the dead, to the presence of angels, the general assembly and church of the first born; to the unspeakable glory of seeing God and the Lamb, and to spirits of just men, made perfect, and to be ordained unto eternal life!
And again, we exclaim, O Mormonism! No wonder that Lucifer, son of the morning, the next heir to Jesus Christ, our eldest brother, should fight so hard against his brethren; he lost the glory, the honor, power, and dominion of a God: and the knowledge, spirit, authority and keys of the priesthood of the son of God.
Christ kept his first estate-Lucifer lost his by offering to save men in their sins on the honor of a God, or on his father's honor.-Christ hated sin, and loved righteousness, therefore he was anointed with holy oil in heaven, and crowned in the midst of brothers and sisters, while his mother stood with approving virtue, and smiled upon a Son that kept the faith as the heir of all things! In fact the Jews thought so much of his coronation among Gods and Goddesses; Kings and Queens of heaven, that they broke over all restraints and actually began to worship the "Queen of heaven," according to Jeremiah.
Well, now, Brother William, when the house of Israel begin to come into the glorious mysteries of the kingdom, and find that Jesus Christ, whose goings forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity: and that eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years: and to know at the same time, that deists, geologists and others are trying to prove that matter must have existed hundreds of thousands of years;-it almost tempts the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see and know as we are seen and known!
O Mormonism! no wonder the earth groans with the blood of thy martyrs! But there is one sweet consolation: death hath power on a saint, but once! the righteous rise triumphant over death, hell, and the grave! The wicked, thanks be to God, have to go through the agonies of the grim monster, twice! and the "second
death," will be long enough, excruciating enough, and woful [woeful] enough, to satisfy the "uttermost farthing" for murdering the Lord's anointed! and the punishment still is eternal.
But I must begin to talk about Nauvoo, for I think I have said enough to prove the "mystery," whether the perishing philosophy of the age credit it, or not; so you may set me down as a living monument of Mormonism, and with the Twelve, there will then be thirteen united saints, bearing this testimony to the world that God, man, and Mormonism, are not only material, but eternal, and therefore, like Jesus, when martyred they come to life again.
I shall not describe the localities of Nauvoo, now, because I shall not have room; but as to the facilities, tranquilities [tranquillity's], and virtues of the city, they are not equalled [equaled] on the globe. The saints, since Sidney, the great "Anti-Christ" of the last days and his sons of 'Sceva,' have left Nauvoo, together with some other Simon Maguses, or foolish virgins, and wicked men who had crept in to revel on the bliss of Jehovah, have gone also, peace, union and harmony prevail.
I speak advisedly when I say Nauvoo is the best place in the world. No vice is meant to be tolerated: no grog shops allowed: nor would we have any trouble, if it were not for our lenity in suffering the world, as I shall call them, to come in and trade and enjoy our society as they say: which thing has made us the only trouble of late. These pretended friends, too frequently like old Baalam's girls, when let in among the young men of Israel, find admirers, and break the ordinances of the city, and then "Phineas' javelin," touches the heart.
The temple is up as high as the caps of the pilasters, and it looks majestic, and especially to me, when I know that the tithing, "the mites of the poor," thus speaks of the glory of God. All the description that is necessary to give you now, is that this splendid model of Mormon grandeur, exhibits thirty hewn stone pilasters which cost about $3,000 apiece.-The base is a crescent new moon: the capitols, near fifty feet high, the sun, with a human face in bold relief, about two and a half feet broad, ornamented with rays of light and waves, surmounted by two hands holding two trumpets. It is always too much trouble to describe an unfinished building. The inside work is now going forward as fast as possible. When the whole structure is completed it will cost some five or six hundred thousand dollars; and as Captain Brown of Tobasco, near the ruins of Palenque, said, "it will look the nearest like the splendid remains of antiquity in Central America of any thing he had seen, though not half so large."
The temple is erected from white limestone, wrought in a superior style: is 128 by 88 feet square; near 60 feet high: two stories in the clear, and two half stories in the recesses over the arches; four tiers of windows; two gothic and two round. The two great stories will each have two pulpits, one at teach end; to accommodate the Melchisedek [Melchizedek] and Aaronic priesthoods; graded into four rising seats: the first for the president of the elders, and his two counsellors [counselors]; the second for the president of the high priesthood and his two counsellors [counselors]; the third for the Melchisedek [Melchizedek] president and his two counsellors [counselors], and the fourth for the president over the whole church, (the first president) and his two counsellors [counselors]. This highest seat is where the scribes and pharisees used to crowd in "to Moses' seat" The Aaronic pulpit at the other end the same.
The fount in the basement story is for the baptism of the living, for health, for remission of sin, and for the salvation of the dead, as was the case in Solomon's temple, and all temples that God commands to be built. You know I am no Gentile, and of course, do not believe that a monastery, cathedral, chapel, or meeting house erected by the notions and calculations of men, has any more sanction from God than any common house in Babylon.
The steeple of our temple will be high enough to answer for a tower:-between 100 and 200 feet high. But I have said enough about the temple; when finished it will show more wealth, more art, more science, more revelation, more splendor, and more God, than all the rest of the world, and that will make it a Mormon temple:-"God and Liberty;" patterned somewhat after the order of our fore fathers', which were after the order of eternity.
The other public puildings [buildings] in Nauvoo, besides the temple, are the Seventies Hall, the Masonic Hall, and Concert Hall; all spacious, and well calculated for their designated purposes.
There is no licensed grocery to sell or give away liquors of any kind in the city; drunkards are scarce. Probable number of inhabitants, 14,000: nine-tenths Mormons.
Now for the welfare of your relatives. I have seen your mother and she cried for joy over your letter. Though in her 69th year, her heart was big with hope for her "darling son, William:"-and she blessed you in the name of the Lord.
The rest, I think, enjoy good health, and especially Emma, who amid her great affliction, has given birth to a son, and like David
of old, may he yet be a terror to evil doers; one that will light his candle in the same great fire where his father's was lit, and search the world by the light of it, till the last stain of his father's blood, is made white by righteousness.
The record of your father's family presents the following summary of life and death:
Joseph Smith Sen., born in Topsfield, Mass., July 12, 1722. Died in Nauvoo, Ill., Sept. 14, 1840, aged 68. His grey [gray] hairs were brought down to the grave by being driven from the State of Missouri in the dead of winter by Gov. Boggs and his murderous banditti.
Lucy Smith (Mack) born in Gilsum, N. H. July 8, 1776, now in her 69th year; mourns the loss of a husband and six sons, the most of whom fell by the tender mercies of a Christian Republic, bestowed by the Herods of the land in civilized exile and murder.
Joseph Smith and Lucy Mack, married in Tunbridge, Vt. June 24, 1796.
Alvin Smith, born in Tunbridge, Vt., February 11, 1798. Died in Palmyra, N. Y., November 19, 1829, aged nearly 32.
Hyrum Smith born in Tunbridge, Vt., February 9, 1800, was murdered in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, (by a mob,) aged 44. Thus fell a martyr, against whom not even one crime had ever been known.
Sophronia Smith born in Tunbridge, Vt. May 10, 1803, aged 41.
Joseph Smith Jr. born in Sharon Vt., December 23, 1805. Murdered in Carthage jail on the 27th of June, 1844, (by a mob,) on account of his religion as allmost [almost] all holy men had been before him;-aged 39. Thus fell a martyr, to gratify the cupidity of a priestly thirst for innocent blood; and shows the weakness of our government to protect her citizens: this first prophet of the last dispensation, whose godly works, whose virtuous deeds, and whose innocent blood will entitle him to a fame, a name, a glory, an honor, power, and dominion, with Gods, when his persecutors and murderers will mutter, groan, gnash their teeth, and sigh among the damned, where "their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Samuel Harrison Smith, born in Tunbridge, Vt., March 13, 1808. Died July 30th, 1844, broken hearted, and worn out with persecution. Aged 36. The righteous are removed from the evils to come.
Ephraim Smith, born in Royalton, Vt., March 13, 1810. Died March 24, 1810; aged 11 days.
William Smith, born in Royalton Vt., March 13, 1811; aged (soon) 34; the only male (living) of the family, and one of the "Twelve." Lord, while I write the "the fire burns for the mighty of Israel, to come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan."
Katharine Smith, born in Lebanon N. H. July 28, 1813, aged 31.
Don Carlos Smith, born in Norwich Vermont, March 25, 1815. Died August 7, 1841, aged 26. His untiring vigilance for his parents and the persecutions of Missouri, brought him to the grave, just as he was stepping upon the threshhold [threshold] of life and usefulness.
Lucy Smith, born in Palmyra, N. Y. July 15, 1821; aged 23.
So here you have your history-without painting. The females all married, all Mormons and live in this vicinity.
How think ye this little sketch will fit the refinement of christendom? I believe the next generation will say, O, if we had only lived with those good men, we would not have murdered them! Do you think that this benevolent world, with all their priests, piety, pulpits and philanthropy, will call to mind that through their exertion or silence, one mother, born four days after our independence was declared, and four daughters-in-law, weep over the tombs of their mob-murdered husbands, while their innocent blood stains the land, the law, liberty and religion of the whole nation?
Our pseudo-President says in his last message: "The great moral spectacle has been exhibited of a nation, approximating in numbers to 20,000,000, of people, having performed the high and important duty of electing their chief magistrate for the term of four years, without the commission of any acts of violence, or a manifestation of a spirit of insubordination to the laws."
Now what says the people about the "riots in Philadelphia," the murder at Carthage of one of the candidates for that high office, and shooting a man dead in Tennessee for carrying a poke stalk? was their "any acts of violence" in all these manifestations of murder? Wo unto the hypocrite!
Governor Edwards of Missouri, in his message to the legislature, after regretting mob law or disobedience in other states, says, "but in our State, the great majority of the people are sober and discreet, mild and prudent, industrious and frugal, honest and virtuous, and above all, the lovers of good order and peace in society."
Such mock virtue; such hypocritical eulogy, is enough to merit an earthquake! Great God!! 15,000 people exiled, robbed, mobbed and murdered by executive authority, and now the people are all lovers of good order, and peace in society!
This out Herods Herod! and out Bogges Boggs! O wrath of God! where art thou?
But I must begin to draw to a close, or my letter will be long enough for a pamphlet. I cannot leave the subject, however, till I bring in the "Twelve." They were known from before the foundation of the world, and are thus noticed in the prophecy of Zenos, in the Book of Mormon; I mean in that masterly parable of the "olive tree:" All men, acquainted with revelation and the spirit of God, have agreed that the "servant" spoken of in that parable, was Joseph Smith, and when the Lord commanded him "to go to and call other servants," and "they did go to it with their mights,"-as the whole has been backed up by revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it would require more than "mortal" to prove that allusion to the "servants," meant any body but the "Twelve."
I know the Twelve, and they know me.-Their names are Brigham Young, the lion of t he Lord; Heber C. Kimball, the herald of grace; Parley P. Pratt, the archer of paradise; Orson Hyde, the olive branch of Israel; Willard Richards, the keeper of the rolls: John Taylor, the champion of right; William Smith, the entablature of truth; Orson Pratt, the gauge of philosophy; John E. Page, the sun dial; and Lyman Wight, the wild ram of the mountain. And they are good men; the best the Lord can find; they do the will of God, and the saints know it.
As to Sidney Rigdon and his clique of dissatisfied being-there was to be "another beast," and unclean spirits, like frogs, were to come out of the mouth of the dragon, beast, and false prophet, and time will reveal all about him-and eternity will settle it. The seed by the way side, among thorns, and stony places, belongs to the wicked one, and he will have it. Let the dead bury their dead.
So now, dear brother, while I respect you and the "Twelve," and all their kin, as my own blood relations, shall we, as the legal heirs of salvation, enlightened by the voice of God; by revelation upon revelation; by the gift of the Holy Ghost bringing all things to our remembrance; shall we, who have witnessed the power of God in the spread of the everlasting gospel; in the manifestations of the gift of tongues; the miraculous healing of the sick by the laying on the hands of the elders; shall we, who have spent so many sweet hours under the holy dropping of the prophets' golden fountain; who have been delighted at his heavenly knowledge combating the errors of generations; teaching senators wisdom; judges justice; priests piety, and mankind mercy; shall we, who have beheld prophecies fulfilled knowing that the very bowels of the earth have hove up her "stony ruins," to establish the validity of the Book of Mormon, beyond a doubt; shall we, who have heard the echo of glad tidings from the islands of the sea, and from all quarters of the earth; shall we, who now gaze upon the blood stained prairies of the west; where bleaches the bones of the prophets, patriarchs, elders, men, women, and children, who all gave up the ghost in full faith; shall we, who have tasted of the good word of God, and seen the mysteries of the world to come, shall we turn to the beggarly elements of the world, to work our passage back to popularity and hell, for a "mess of portage," like Hinkle, Bennett, Laws, Rigdon and Co? No! Eternally no!-While water runs and grass grows, while eternity goes and eternity comes we will go on, knowing that it is written in heaven; published on earth, and muttered in hell, that Mormonism is ETERNAL TRUTH, and God Almighty is the author of it!
All the friends and saints greet you and your wife and family, with prayer and love.
W. W. PHELPS
To ELDER WM. SMITH.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
JANUARY 1, 1845.
This number closes volume fifth, of the Times and Seasons, and, in accordance with the usual rule on such occasions, we take the liberty to express our gratitude for the patronage which has been bestowed upon our labors to collect, publish, defend, and spread the everlasting truth of Jehovah. The events of the year, have been noticed in their proper places, and some of them form a chapter, in the history of the world, which an eternity cannot obliterate. Two holy men, while under the plighted faith of the state of Illinois, have been murdered in cold blood in Carthage jail, and the murderers, what shall we say of them? as Shakspeare [Shakespeare] says: "Thereby hangs a tale."
But we will not reflect much upon this subject,-there is, or ought to be virtue enough among the people to purify the State from the infamy and disgrace which now exhibits itself, like the cropt ears of a thief from the dark ages, or the mark set upon Cain. We can only say
Shall not the Judge of all earth do right.
In managing the Times and Seasons, we have availed ourselves of whatever seemed meet in the eye of the Lord, as wholesome aliment for the souls of men, and if at any time, such an intention has been exceeded, by the admission of unnecessary food, it has been an "error of the head and not the heart." We published our future intentions, in the last number of this paper, and if industry, application, and a fervent desire for the great welfare of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can bring into being any good thing from this crooked and perverse generation, besides what the spirit of the living God may dictate, we shall not fail to apply our powers and faculties, to consummate the object.
Transactions of past times, for at least fourteen years, give us very little assurance, that the world is upon the eve of a reformation. Event rolls upon event; crime succeeds crime; and fraud follows in the footsteps of knavery, and so we may justly exclaim: as it was in eighteen hundaed [hundred] and forty-four, it will be in eighteen hundred and forty-five!
Our warning voice therefore, is; "Be ye also ready;"-be ready for the Times and Seasons; be ready for the gathering; be ready for the tithing; be ready to give a reason of your hope; be ready to help finish the Temple; be ready to leave apostates to themselves; be ready for the events of the last days; and be ready to serve God according to his commandments, and thus our prayer for all shall be, may God bless you this year according to your works.
A WORD TO THE CHURCHES ABROAD.
The Twelve, feeling a great anxiety for the unity and prosperity of the whole church, and, more especially, for the benefit of the branches of the church abroad in the world, would, after mature deliberation, and as a matter of counsel, (approving of the course, management and matter of the "Times and Seasons and Neighbor,") recommend that suitable pains and exertions be taken by both elders and members, to obtain these papers from Nauvoo. A unity of effort, to circulate these papers, not only among the saints, but among the people at large, will greatly facilitate the labors of the traveling elders, while it disseminates correct principles, sanctioned by the highest authorities in the church, and at the same time, opens a channel of communication, best calculated to win the good feelings of the community, while the affections, and zeal of the brethren, are harmonized, by the same doctrines, the same rules; and the same laudable purposes.
The kingdoms of the world, continue and extend by division, but the saints can only expect to prevail by wisdom and counsel; we therefore, in connection with the union which prevails among the saints here; and for the prosperity of the branches abroad, and as a reward of merit to the honorable standing of the Times and Seasons, and Neighbor; and for their unyielding energies in the cause of truth, "through good and through evil report." bespeak for them, a liberal subscription, and ready remittance. May right and liberality be equal.
We have just emerged upon the threshold of a new year, and may our Father in heaven, have so much respect to his saints and people, as to bless the pure in heart, pure in purpose, and co-workers for the redemption of man, until the light from Zion extends round the globe and "all Israel shall be saved;" and then we can rejoice and say: it was good for us that we followed ;the counsel of the Lord.
Brethren, we greet you with peace, and may the Lord bless you with righteousness.
Done in council, this first day of January, 1895.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres't.
GO YE SWIFT MESSENGERS.
Elders W. Woodruff and family, in company with Elders H. Clark, and D. Jones and their families, and Elders Milton Holmes and Leonard Hardy, sailed yesterday from this port, in the packet ship John R. Skiddy, for :Liverpool, England, there to commence their labors in the ministry. May the God of Israel send them a smooth sea and a fair wind.-N. Y. Prophet of Dec. 7.
(->) We are happy to give the above information. It is gratifying to thus witness the servants of the Lord, go forth to the nations of the earth, to call the inhabitants thereof to the supper of the Lamb-God bless them.
Among the improvements going forward in this city, none merit higher praise, than the Seventies' Library. The concern has been commenced on a footing an scale, broad enough to embrace the arts and sciences, every where: so that the Seventies' while travelling [traveling] over the face of the globe, as the Lord's 'Regular Soldiers,' can gather all the curious things, both natural and artificial, with all the knowledge, inventions, and wonderful specimens of genius that have been gracing the world for almost six thousand years.
Ten years ago but one seventy, and now "fourteen seventies" and the foundation for the best library in the world! It looks like old times,
when they had "Kirjath Sapher," the city of books.
*** We were surprised to see, in the Prophet an intimation of negligence on our part, in forwarding our papers. Every number of our papers, has been mailed, and if any paper has failed to reach New York, the fault is in the Post Office, not in us. There is no dignity in such insinuations; in fact, as Elder Pratt has taken the charge of matters and affairs in the east, we shall look for a more exalted state of reciprocity, calculated, as every move and idea of a saint should be, to honor those in authority and spread union with the balmy breeze of love and friendship.
Our utmost exertions, are unceasing, not only to give New York, but the world, as far as we have opportunity, the first and best tidings that is worthy to go forth from the mouth of the city of the heritage of God.
BEWARE OF DECEPTION!!
Tidings have just reached us here that certain men in the eastern countries, Ohio and other places, professing to be Latter-day Saints, are very busy in selling Illinois lands, and exchanging them for real estate and other property in the east. I would inform all the saints every where, that this operation is a field for greater and more extensive fraud than any other with which I am acquainted.
You may give some irresponsible, worthless creature a clear title to your homes in the east, with the expectation of finding good land here in exchange with a good title &c. &c. But when you come, you may find your land in a swamp, in the middle of an extensive prairie, ten or fifteen miles from any timber. I will venture to give it as my opinion that those miserable speculators are knaves and villains; professing to be saints, and trying to help the church and build; up the cause, when they have no license from the authorities of the church here.
I say again, beware of those "wolves in sheeps clothing." Whenever any such operation is deemed beneficial to the saints by those who know and understand these things, some competent responsible person will be sent, duly authorised [authorized] with documents from under the hands of the Twelve that reside in this city. Otherwise you may find to your sorrow that you will have to pay for your lands twice over before you get good titles. I therefore warn you, as a watchman of your interests, to hold on upon your homes until you know certainly what you are doing.
(->) Prophet please copy.
Minutes of a Conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Comstock, Kalamazo county, Michigan, December 8th, and 9th, 1844.
Conference convened at 11 o'clock A. M., and was called to order by Elder David Savage; Elder Crandall Dunn was called to the chair, and Elder S. C. Willard was appointed clerk.
Official members present-high priest, C. Dunn; seventies, E. M. Webb, Pardon Webb; elders, Ezekiel Lee, Charles Lee, Lemuel Willard, Edward Willard, Jeremiah Cramer, David Savage, S. C. Willard; teacher, John Tyrrell; deacon James Mathers.
After singing a hymn the conference was opened by prayer by the chairman; another hymn was sung after which the congregation was addressed by the chairman on the principles of the gospel of Christ.
Adjourned for ten minutes.
At 1 o'clock the meeting was called to order by the chairman, after singing Elder E. M. Webb delivered a discourse on the necessity of obeying the word of God given in this last dispensation, wherein he laid before the saints the importance of tithing themselves and sending their donations to Nauvoo at the earliest convenience for the building of the temple.-He was followed by Elder Savage on the same subject.
After which the conference was adjourned by benediction by the chairman until half past six o'clock P. M.
The meeting was then called to order by the chairman, after singing the throne of grace was implored by Elder E. M. Webb. Elder D. Savage addressed the meeting on the subject of baptism and confirmation; he was followed by Elder E. M. Webb on the same subject.
Conference was then adjourned by benediction by the chairman until 11 o'clock, to-morrow morning.
The conference was then called to order by singing, the throne of grace was then implored by Elder D. Savage.
The elders then proceeded to represent the different branches in this conference.
Kalamazoo branch represented by Brother E. Willard, fifty members, eight elders, one teacher and one deacon.
Grand Prairie branch, represented by Brother E. M. Webb, nine members, two elders.
Paw Paw branch, represented by Brother D. Savage, fourteen members, four elders.
Mottville branch, represented by Brother D. Savage, eleven, members two elders.
Florence branch, represented by Brother C. Dunn, sixteen members, one high priest.
Seven members unorganized in Barry county, represented by Elder E. M. Webb.
Elder Dunn delivered a discourse instructing the saints to live in union and strictly obey the law of the gospel.
An investigation was then had into the situation of this branch of the church and all difficulties were settled to the satisfaction of all parties.
The following resolutions were then offered by Elder E. M. Webb:-
Resolved, that we will sustain the "Twelve" and all the authorities of the church, and abide by their counsel as far as in us lies.
Resolved, that we will tithe ourselves according to our several abilities to aid in building the temple at Nauvoo.
Resolved, that a treasurer be appointed having a recommend from this conference whose duty shall be to travel through the conference to receive tithings, consecrations, and donations, and collect all the means possible and forward the same at his earliest convenience to Nauvoo to the "trustee in trust."
Resolved, that Elder Crandall Dunn be appointed said treasurer.
Resolved, that Brother Thomas Forsyth be ordained a priest, and he was then ordained under the hands of Elders Webb and Savage.
Resolved, that the minutes of this conference be sent to Nauvoo with a request that they be published in the Times and Seasons.
Resolved, that this conference adjourn sine die.
During conference one was baptised [baptized] and three infants blessed.
CRANDALL DUNN, Chairman.
Stephen C. Willard, Clerk.
Chicago, December 13, 1844.
Dear brother in the Lord:
I sit down to address a few lines to you, to inform you how we are getting along here. The brethren are in good spirits and are rejoicing in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.
We were glad to hear that you had a good time at conference, for the good feeling that was manifested and determination to carry out Bro. Joseph's views and principles in general, and also the Patriarch, and to stand by the "Twelve" in all their duties. We are one with you, and are determined to do all we can under your instruction in this glorious cause, in which the salvation of all men are concerned.
The branch now contains 34 members and a prospect of its increasing. This branch was re-organized on the 22nd of February last. The president was elected by ballot; the spirit of the Lord attended us and the brethren were all of one mind in choosing their head. I wish you simply to notice the time of the organising [organizing] of this branch in the Times and Seasons.
I now send the remainder of the money for that paper. I would also say that we are determined to do all we can to forward the temple; if the high priest that is appointed for this part has not left I want you to see him and tell him to come here as soon as he can. I remain your brother in the Lord, &c.
Nauvoo, Dec. 21, 1844.
Soon after the conference of April last, I received my appointment or mission to the State of New York. I therefore took leave of my family, in company with Elder John Tanner to the place appointed, by way of the river to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]; and from thence to Buffalo on foot, two hundred and forty miles, lifting up our voices in every place where we had opportunity, in the midst of the people, proclaiming repentance and baptism for remission of sin, and laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, as in ancient days.
From thence we took passage on board a line boat for Troy; there were many passengers on board who desired to hear preaching, and obtained the cabin for that purpose; we commenced by prayer to the throne of grace for the aid of the Holy Spirit. I then commenced at the twentieth chapter of Mathew [Matthew], the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who is an householder &c.; in the midst of my discourse a number of Catholics interrupted me in a very rough and insulting manner. At length the gentlemen who had obtained the cabin for preaching, requested them to leave immediately, and I went through with my discourse. Some believed, among them a Methodist minister, who that night following was awakened by a singular dream, which I will mention:
He called the passengers around him the next morning and said I dreamed a dream last night and it troubles me. I thought I was in the midst of many people, and I lifted up my voice and cried repentance in a such a manner as I had never done before; and immediately I heard the wild beasts from the wilderness begin to roar and howl in a wonderful manner, and gather around me. I found myself in great danger. He had a feeling sense of his dream, and said, can any of you tell what it
means? I said to him perhaps you will realise [realize] it in a day to come.
We arrived at Troy on the first day of June. There the Methodist minister requested to be baptised [baptized], and I administered the ordinance on the same day. We left an appointment at his house (which is near the yellow meeting house in Stillwater, Saratoga co.) In three weeks we held several meetings there, and baptised [baptized] his wife and daughter, and ordained him an elder. If he is faithful he will realise [realize] his dream.
We travelled [traveled] through Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties, and formed an acquaintance with many people, and held many meetings and the spirit of the Lord attended our labors, and many believed. We had large congregations, having formed this circuit where we intended to labor the season. We then left our circuit and went to Vermont and New Hampshire, where we had much success among my friends whom I had not seen for near thirty years. We had not much time to stay from our circuit, therefore we were diligent in bearing testimony, and the Lord blessed us abundantly, and we left them mostly believing.
From there we went to Peterborough N. H. to the conference and their agreed with Brother Huston and Twiss to go to Claremont, where we had been laboring among my friends. We then took the parting hand with our friends and left them for the State of New York. In a few days after our departure we heard the dreadful news of the death of our beloved brethren, Joseph and Hyrum, which gave us feelings indescribable! We hardly knew what to do, or how to act, for a while. We at length resolved to visit all our acquaintances, bearing testimony to what we knew and verily believed; and then move on to the west, lifting up our voices by the way.
So we left appointments as we went to Warren county, to fill on our return; and in some towns and villages, we were introduced in to the most splendid meeting houses, and ringing of the bell at the hour of appointment; good order and treated with respect and requested to call, if we ever came that way.
So we took leave of our circuit for the west, visiting the churches by the way, extorting them to diligence and faithfulness, baptising [baptizing] many who desired to renew their covenants, and passed on through New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio to Kirtland; at which place I ;visited for the first time and held several meetings in the temple; and many dissenters came to hear the stranger. I gave them a history of my experience for twelve years in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Never had I more of the spirit than when I was in the house of the Lord. A sense of what Brother Joseph had passed through and the many who rebelled against him and had sought to destroy him, and lost the spirit, and became wicked men and withered away whom I had been acquainted with in Missouri, came to my view.-My feelings on this occasion were indescribable. When I was in conversation concerning the murder of our beloved brethren, I was astonished to see the spirit that was manifest in the people. Thousands of professors and ministers rejoiced to hear of the murder of our beloved brethren, manifesting a wicked spirit. I reasoned with many of them and said if Brother Joseph was a wicked man can you not see that the others are the basest of murderers? and have you not the same spirit?
When I reflect on the scenes that I have passed through this year, and realise [realize] the spirit that is in the world, as in the days of the Savior, I feel to mourn over the depravity of man; to see the wickedness of the people as in the days of Noah. Violence in the land! haters of their own blood! and increasing wickedness every year! murder becoming common! and but little notice taken of it! mobs becoming popular! the people not regarding the laws, but walking over them! When an excitement takes place in many of the towns and villages, the people do not think of the laws, but gather to gather as a mob to effect their purpose, for the time being.
When I reflect on these things I am constrained to say, has peace been taken from the earth? had the dreadful day arrived spoken of by the prophets? and do I live in the time of their literal fulfillment?
From Kirtland I went to Indiana, Dearborn county, my old place of residence. My neighbors received me cordially; they opened the Baptist meeting house on the Sabbath, which was crowded with people. I felt to call on the Lord in their behalf. I had liberty in speaking from the prophets and showing the literal gathering of the house of Israel, and their restoration to the lands of their fathers. In the evening in holding forth the Book of Mormon, the spirit of the Lord was there in great power. I could have held a protracted meeting, but I had a number of appointments to fill a distance from there. I therefore took the parting hand with my old neighbors. They gave me three dollars and said remember us and call again as soon as consistent, they owned me as a friend. I passed on to Franklin and Fayette counties, where I had good success among the people until the conference at Trenton, November 16,
and 17th, which was an interesting time; I then took leave of our brethren for Nauvoo.
I have found many good friends, this year and formed an acquaintance with many people and also many enemies, who were mockers and scoffers, as spoken of by the apostles; and many of them are ministers or teachers of the people, who say all is well, crying peace, and safety when the deistical, or many of them, are viewing the world on the verge of ruin, and dreading those things that are coming on the world, because of increasing violence, mobs and a disregard to the good laws framed by our honorable fathers of the revolution. O that blind guides and false teachers would repent and obey the everlasting gospel that God may turn away judgment and save the people is my prayer.
Not having any more room I shall be obliged to close by subscribing myself your affectionate brother in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.
Nauvoo, Dec. 27th, 1844.
In honor to the cause of God, a just sense of duty, and for the benefit of the saints (by request) I proceed to give a short narration, or sketch, of my mission to the east. According to counsel and direction of the twelve, in company with Elder Jesse W. Crosby, on the 30th of July, 1843, I left Nauvoo without purse or scrip, even to the value of one cent, determined to trust in the promises of the living God who has said by this you shall know my disciples; "they will feed you and clothe you and give you money; for I send you out to prove the world." In this he has verified his promise for in all our journey of seven thousand miles, and in the space of one year, four months and ten days, we have lacked nothing.
But before I left home I called my family together and by the prayer of faith and the laying on of hands for a blessing I committed them all into the hands of God for safety, until my return, which he has faithfully performed; and thanks and praise be to his most holy name.
We then proceeded to Chicago, preached a few times in Cook county; then to Jefferson county New York, where we commenced our labors, the Lord working with us in mighty power. Our labors increased and the work spread iu [in] various parts; for eight months the word being successful where it was sent, until we had raised up several new branches; ordained seven elders, and a number of priests, teachers, and deacons, and baptised [baptized] rising of one hundred and fifty. Many of the signs followed, confirming the word we had preached. During the time we held two conferences.
We now proceeded down the St. Lawrence; preached a few times in Montreal and Quebec; thence down the river St. Lawrence ninety five miles; then crossed over to St. John's river, two or three hundred miles within. Here we commenced preaching where the gospel trump had never been sounded. But the Lord had gone before us and shown some in visions that we were coming from the far west country; so that they knew us and the clothing we had on, and were ready to receive the word.
But the devil with all his forces, both priests and rulers arrayed all their artillery against us; and, to carry their diabolical purposes into effect, dispatched messengers to the Governor, with all manner of lies; such as that of breaking up all meetings of other denominations; and persuading people to leave the Province, which caused the Governor to give orders for three Justices of the Peace, to hold a court of inquiry. They collected all their forces: the devil's poor, and poor devils; both black and white, and out of all their testimony got one negro to swear that we preached contrary to the Bible, we not being permitted to make our defence [defense]. But being determined not to quit the field, we prepared ourselves with documents from Esquire Shelton and Judge Bazley, who had heard us preach. With these, and faith in God, we repaired to the capitol, before his Excellency the Governor to make our defence [defense]; where we were permitted to answer for ourselves after one or two hours deliberation; and also many questions from the Governor's wife, concerning our doctrine. Nothing being found against us worthy of death, bonds, or imprisonment, we again pursued our calling.
But the wicked were now more enraged than ever, and threatened, if we did not leave the country, we would be mobbed, which they soon carried into effect. In this I received a most liberal share, being left nearly dead on the ground; but yet, trusting in the Lord, I called on Brother Crosby to lay hands on me, and the next day traveled seventeen miles and preached according to appointment, and the word grew and prospered mightily.
We continued to preach in the day time and sleep in the woods in the night, and some times baptise [baptize] in the night, for fear of mobs.-We continued our labors until we had baptised [baptized] forty-seven; organized two branches; ordained two elders to preside over them and bid farewell to New Brunswick; praying the Lord for their welfare and prosperity.
Now one word of caution to the saints in New Brunswick, Jefferson county, and all the world:-Beware of Rigdonites, who may come to you and say they are prophets and apostles and are not; but are liars. They say "Pittsurg [Pittsburgh] is the place of gathering." Rigdon, since he was cut off from the church, has led some few apostates to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh]; and will lead them from there to the devil, if they do not repent. The Lord said the fields of the woods were the location of Zion. So said Joseph Smith; so say the Twelve, who now stand in authority to lead ;the church of the living God.
Your most humble servant and brother in the gospel.
For the Times and Seasons.
Written for the dedication of the Seventy's Hall, and dedicated to President BRIGHAM YOUNG.
BY JOHN TAYLOR.
The seer; -the seer:-Joseph the seer- The saints;-the saints; his only pride,
I'll sing of tae Prophet ever dear: For them he liv'd for them he died!
His equal now cannot be found,- Their joys were his;-their sorrows too;-
By searching the wide world around. He lov'd the saints;-he lov'd Nauvoo,
With Gods he soared, in the realm of day; Unchanged in death, with a Saviors love
And men he taught the heavenly way. He pleads their cause, in the courts above.
The earthly seer! the heavenly seer, The seer;-the seer-Joseph the seer!
I love to dwell on his mem'ry dear:- O, how I love his memory dear,
The chosen of God, and the friend of men, The just and wise, the pure and free,
He brought the priesthood back again, A father he was, and is to me,
He gazed on the past, on the present too;- Let fiends now rage in ;heir dark hour;-
And ope'd the heav'nly world to view. No matter, he is beyond their power.
Of noble seed-of heavenly birth, He's free;-he's free;-the Prophet's free!
He came to bless the sons of earth: He is where he will ever be,
With keys by the Almighty given, Beyond the reach of mobs and strife,
He opened the full rich stores of heaven, He rests unharm'd in endless life,
O'er the world that was wrapt in sable; night, His home's in the sky;-he dwells with the Gods,
Like the sun he spread his golden light. Far from the furious rage of mobs.
He strove,-O, how he strove to stay, He died; he died-for those he lov'd,
The stream of crime in its reckless way- He reigns;-he reigns in realms above,
With a mighty mind, and a noble aim He waits with the just who have gone before,
He urg'd the wayward to reclaim: To welcome the saints to Zions shore;
Mid the foaming billows of argry [angry] strife- Shout, shout ye saints-this boon is given,
He stood at the helm, of the ship of life. We'll meet our martyr'd seer in heaven.
The Times and Seasons, 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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