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VOL. VI. NO. 16.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. NOV. 1, 1845. [WHOLE NO. 124.
Minutes of the first General Conference, which was ever held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the House of the Lord in the City of Joseph, commencing on Monday October 6th 1845, ten o'clock forenoon.
Present-Elder Brigham Young President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; also Elders Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards, John Taylor, George A. Smith, and Amasa Lyman: Patriarchs John Smith and Isaac Morley: Presiding Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller: also the authorities of the church generally.
The conference was opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder P. P. Pratt.-Elder Richards then arose and read over some notices concerning lost property, concerts, &c. He then stated, that the President had waited from half past nine to near eleven o'clock, for the people to get together; he exhorted the brethren to be more punctual, as so much time lost could not be recalled, and we have a great amount of business, which must necessarily be attended to during conference. He next stated that General Hardin had requested us to make out a list of all the buildings belonging to our brethren which had been burned by our enemies, and also had requested that all those who have had their buildings or other property destroyed should make affidavit of the same before a Justice of the Peace, and have their affidavits ready to be forwarded to him at as early a season as possible.
President Brigham Young then arose and said; the first business that will come before this conference, will be, to present the authorities of the church, to ascertain whether they are in good standing.
Father John Smith, the President of the stake, then arose and presented the Twelve as the Presidents of the whole church; which was seconded and carried unanimously.
It was then moved, that Brigham Young be continued and sustained as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Heber C. Kimball be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles, seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved that Orson Hyde be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that P. P. Pratt be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles: seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Orson Pratt be continued and sustained as one the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved that William Smith be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded. Whereupon Elder Pratt arose and said, I have an objection to Brother William continuing in that office. I feel, as an individual, that I cannot, conscientiously, uphold and sustain Brother William as one of the Twelve Apostles, until he thinks different from what he does now. I have many reasons for this, but I will merely mention one or two, which must suffice for the present. In the first place, I have proof positive that he is an aspiring man; that he aspires to uproot and undermine the legal Presidency of the church, that he may occupy the place himself. This he has avowed openly in the east, which I can prove. I have been waiting in all long suffering, for an alteration in Brother William's course, but up to the present time, I have been disappointed. For these two reasons, I would plead for one, that we no longer sustain him in his office, till a proper investigation can be had, and he make satisfaction. I do this individually; I leave others to do as they please. The motion being seconded, a vote was then taken to sustain him, but was lost unanimously.
It was next moved, that John E. Page be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Willard Richards be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that George A. Smith be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved that Lyman Wight be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; whereupon Elder A. W. Babbit said: as Elder Pratt remarked, concerning William Smith, that he could not conscientiously vote to sustain him, so I say in regard to Lyman Wight, I cannot conscientiously give my vote in his favor. My reason is this: if there is a council in this church that ought to be united, and act in unison as one man, it is the council of the Twelve. If the head is sick, the whole body is afflicted. If I am rightly informed concerning Brother Wight's conduct, for the past year, he has not acted in unison with the Twelve, nor according to their counsel. The last year has been one of affliction, persecution and sorrow, when the adversary has continually sought to destroy and mutilate he church; and it has required all the faith, prayers and perseverance of the leaders, to save this people from the grasp of the destroyer. If the counsel of Brother Wright had been followed, this Temple would not have been built, nor the Baptismal Font erected. He has sought to draw away a part of the force, which we ought to have had to build this Temple. His teachings have been contrary to the counsel of the church, and his conduct calculated to destroy it. Under circumstances of this kind, I cannot conscientiously vote to continue him in his standing, until he retracts, and makes satisfaction. Brother Wight's course has been calculated to divide the church, and prevent those things being accomplished, which were commanded of God by the prophet Joseph.
Elder Kimball arose and said-It is well known, that Brother Wight's case was had before the conference last fall, and that he was dropt [dropped], and then again retained; that is, that we would let him be, and see what he would do, and what course he would take. He has been away ever since; and is with a small company somewhere; we cannot tell what he is doing; he may, in his own mind, be acting in concert with the rest, and he may be acting for the good of this people. It would be my mind, to let his case lay over for the present, until we can learn something from him.-Whereupon it was moved, that we let the case of Brother Lyman Wight lay over for the present, until we hear from him; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Amasa Lyman be continued and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously.
Elder Isaac Morley arose an said; he would next present William Smith as the Patriarch of the church; and moved that he be continued and sustained in that office; seconded and lost unanimously.
President B. Young then stated, that about three years ago, Elder Willard Richards was appointed by President Joseph Smith, as historian for the church, and general church reorder [recorder]. We have previously acted on his appointment to office, as recorder, but not as historian. He would therefore move, that we receive the appointment of Brother Joseph, and that we continue and sustain Elder Richards as historian for the church, and general church recorder; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Father John Smith be continued and sustained as President of this stake of Zion; and that Isaac Morley and Charles C. Rich be continued and sustained as his counsellors [counselors]; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Samuel Bent be continued and sustained in his office as President of the high council; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that George W. Harris, Alpheus Cutler, James Allred, Thomas Grover, Henry G. Sherwood, William Huntington sen, Lewis D. Wilson, Newel Knight, David Fullmer, Aaron Johnson, and Ezra T. Benson each be continued and sustained as members of the high council; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved that George Miller be continued and sustained as President of the high priests' quorum, and that William Snow and Noah Packard be continued as his counsellors [counselors]; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Joseph Young be continued and sustained in his office, as the Senior President of the first Quorum of the Seventies; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was next moved, that Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Zera Pulsipher, Daniel S. Miles, Jedediah M. Grant, each be continued and sustained as one of the seven Presidents over all the Seventies; seconded and carried unanimously.
Elder George A. Smith remarked that Roger Oorton [Orton] was one of the Old Camp, and was selected a year ago to be one of the seven Presidents of the Seventies; but he had never received his ordination, nor done any thing to magnify his calling. It is not to be expected that we shall wait year after year for men to come forward and fill their offices. Brother Orton was one of the Old Camp, and we love him on that ascount [account]; we always called him the "Big Major," and a first rate man: but he has not come forward since his appointment to magnify his calling.
Elder Joseph Young said; last spring I visited Roger Orton, and apprised him of his appointment. He agreed to come as early as convenient, and receive his ordination; and I gave him to understand, if he did not come and act in his office, he would be dropt [dropped]. Brother Orton has always sustained Brother Joseph and the church, but he has very little of the spirit: he has been in the church about twelve years, but never has been active since his discharge from the camp, that went up to Missouri in 1834. It was by the counsel of the Twelve that he was appointed one of the Presidents of the Seventies. I have no particular desire to plead for him, but if his case can be laid over, I think he can be saved in that office, but I will be subject to counsel. I have considerable feeling for him; he lost all his property in Missouri, and has since addicted himself to drinking whiskey; that seems to have ruined him, but he may be reclaimed.
President B. Young arose and said, he would preach one of Dow's short sermons,-"If you wont when you can, when you will you shan't." I say if men will not act and magnify their calling, let more honorable men be appointed. Roger Orton is keeping a public house at Augusta and has had sufficient time to come and prove himself a worthy man in his office, but he has not done it; and I say let a more honorable man take the crown. If he wont work now, when will he? It was then moved, that we drop him; seconded and carried unanimously.
Moved that Samuel Williams be continued and sustained as President of the elder's quorum, and Jesse Baker and Joshua Smith be continued and sustained as his counsellors [counselors]; seconded and carried unanimously.
Moved, that Newel K. Whitney be continued and sustained as the first Bishop of the church; and that George Miller be continued and sustained as his associate; seconded and carried unanimously.
Moved, that Stephen M. Farnsworth be continued and sustained as President of the priests' quorum; and that William Carmichael and - Betts be continued and sustained as his counsellors [counselors]; seconded and carried unanimously.
Moved, that Elisha Averett be continued and sustained as President of the teachers' quorum; as also his former counsellors [counselors]; seconded and carried unanimously.
President B. Young moved, that there be a quorum of deacons selected, and a President, over them, and that the presiding Bishops see to it, as soon as possible, and make report to this conference, before its close; seconded and carried unanimously.
Conference then adjourned till two o'clock P. M. Benediction by Elder G. A. Smith.
Two P. M.
The house was called to order by Eleer [Elder] Taylor; the choir sung the "Prodigal Son." Elder Taylor read a list of the sick, and offered up prayer; after which the choir sung another hymn;
Whereupon, Elder P. P. Pratt addressed the conference on the subject of our present situation and prospects. He referred to the great amount of expense and labor we have been at to purchase lands, build houses, the Temple &c.; we might ask, why as it that we have been at all this outlay and expense, and then are called to leave it? He would answer that the people of God always were required to make sacrifices, and if we have a sacrifice to make, he is in favor of its being something worthy of the people of God. We do not want to leave a desolate place, to be a reproach to us but something that will be a monument of our industry and virtue. Our houses, our farms, this Temple and all we leave will be a monument to those who may visit the place of our industry, diligence and virtue. There is no sacrifice required at the hands of the people of God but shall be rewarded to them an hundred fold, in time or eternity.
The Lord has another purpose to bring about and to fulfil [fulfill]. We know that the great work of God must all the while be on the increase and grow greater. The people must enlarge in numbers and extend their borders; they cannot always live in one city, nor in one county; they cannot always wear the yoke; Israel must be the head and not the tail. The Lord designs to lead us to a wider field of action, where there will be more room for the saints to grow and increase, and where there will no one to say we crowd them, and where we can enjoy the pure principles of liberty and equal rights.
When we settle a country where the air, the water, soil and timber is equally free to every settler without money or without price, the climate healthy, and the people free from unjust and vexatious lawsuits, mobocracy and oppression of every kind, we can become vastly more wealthy, have better possessions and improvements, and build a larger and better Temple in five years from this time than we now possess.
It has cost us more for sickness, defence [defense] against mobs, vexatious prosecutions, and to purchase lands in this place, than as much improvement will cost in another.
One small nursery may produce many thousands
of fruit trees, while they are small. But as they expand toward maturity, they must needs be transplanted, in order to have room to grow and produce the natural fruits. It is so with us. We want a country where we have room to expand, and to put in requisition all our energies and the enterprise and talents of a numerous, intelligent and increasing people.-In our natural state, ask yourselves if you could be brought to endure and enjoy a celestial law, without an experience of the kind we have passed through for the last fifteen years?
In short, this people are fast approaching that point which ancient prophets have long since pointed out as the destiny of the saints of the last days.
After many other spirited remarks touching similar points, he was succeeded by Elder George A. Smith, on the same subject. Elder Smith observed that a revelation was given in Missouri in regard to the saints consecrating their property which was not understood at the time; but they were soon brought to their understanding, for they were compelled to leave it.
He is glad of the prospect of leaving this county and seeking a place where we can enjoy the fruits of our labors and God himself be the sole proprietor of the elements.
Here is one principle in which he wants this whole people to unite. When we were to leave Missouri the saints entered into a covenant not to cease their exertions until every saint who wished to go was removed, which was done.
We are better off now than we were then, and he wants to see the same principle carried out now, that every man will give all to help to take the poor; and every honest industrious member who wants to go. He wants to see this influence extend from the West to the East sea. After which,
President B. Young moved, that we take all the saints with us to the extent of our ability, that is, our influence and property; seconded by Elder Kimball, and carried unanimously.-Elder B. Young continued; if you will be faithful to your covenant, I will now prophesy that the great God will shower down means upon this people, to accomplish it to the very letter. I thank God, that the time has come so much sooner than I expected, that that scripture is being fulfilled, "My people shall be willing in the day of my power" and I a most [almost] feel to thank our friends abroad for hastening it on now.
Elder P. P. Pratt made some remarks relative the brethren being all on a level when they left Missouri. He referred to the Whitmer family monopolizing timber; advised liberally with wood.
Elder H. C. Kimball moved, that every man who owned a wood lot should, on application, let the poor, the sick, and the needy who wanted wood, have it; and those who have teams should assist in hauling it to them; seconded and carried unanimously.
It was requested by President Young, that no man go into another's woods, without the consent of the owner; and then take it clean and be careful of the timber.
Benediction by W. W. Phelps, and adjourned until to-morrow at ten A. M.
TUESDAY, OCT. 7TH, 1845.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment a [at] 10 A. M. Meeting called to order by President of the stake. Choir sung a hymn. Prayer by Elder Phelps. Choir then sung another hymn.
Elder Heber C. Kimball then addressed the Conference. This is a hard place for any one to speak in, and there are many things still necessary to lay before this conference. For my part I am done preaching to this nation; at least for the present. I have been forth through the United States and Europe, in fact, I have spent my whole time at it, since I came into the Church. It is now all council for me.-We have a great many things to say to day; -and I, suppose we shall always have plenty to do. I presume many have got out of business; but we will now have work enough, to get ready to go to some other country; to get there, and to plough [plow] our fields when we get there. I have seen people crying, and weeping, and mourning, because they had nothing to do; but when we leave this place, you will never have cause to weep, for not having anything to do, from this time forth, and forever more, if you are faithful to your calling. I am glad the time of our Exodus is come; I have looked for it for years. It is necessary for us to be faithful and humble, and if we listen to counsel we shall prosper. And although we leave all our fine houses and farms here, how long do you think it will be before we shall be better off than we are now? I have no farm to leave; I never had that privilege.-Many of the brethren have farms; but there are many who have spent their whole time, in the service of the church, for fourteen or fifteen years, who never had a farm. When we get a new country, some of these old veterans will be looked after first; and I rejoice in it. We are now about coming to the apostolic religion; i.e., you will sell all, and come and lay it down at the Apostle's feet. But it has taken a good scourging for fifteen years to bring us to this
There may be individuals who will look at their pretty houses and gardens and say, 'it is hard to leave them;' but I tell you, when we start, you will put on your knapsacks, and follow after us. Before I was baptized, I believed we should come into an Apostolic religion. As for a Common Stock Business Religion, such as many preach, I do not believe in it. Every man will be a steward over his house and property and if he is an unfaithful steward, his stewardship will be given to another. I will prophecy in the name of Heber C. Kimball, that in five years, we will be as well again off as we are now.-Those brethren who have gone off and labored among the Gentiles, are not as well off as we are; some have eighty dollars, some an hundred, and some fifty dollars due them; and their 'Friends' have driven them away penniless, and they have had to flee for safety to Nauvoo.-Those who remained here, are better off.-Since we have had an invitation from our 'friends,' to leave the county, many have asked shall we go and labor for them? They may go, if they have a mind to; but I won't do it: I'll see them go the other way first.
I positively know men, that have gone to labor for those, who with uplifted hands, swore they would take President B. Young's life and my own. If it is your feeling to tarry here, and labor for each other to get away, manifest it. (clear vote) At the last conference, a vote was passed that the Gentiles were cut off; and now, why do you want to labor for them. Inasmuch as the Gentiles reject us, lo! we turn to the Jews.
Again; there is a constant running to the Twelve, and saying 'Can't we go in your company?' we calculate you are all going in the first company, both old and young, rich and poor; for there will be but one company.-Probably we will sometimes be the first, and then again the last, sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. Some say, ah! 'you are going ahead, and taking the band; but we will be with all of you.
We first made a selection of one hundred, and when we had done, we found we could not be satisfied without taking the whole; and so we finally concluded, we would take you all with us, and have but one company. There is no use in making selections, for you are all good; but there is still a chance for us all to be a great deal better. We have no partiality; we have a common interest, for the welfare of this whole people, and we feel to advocate your cause like a father, would advocate the cause of his children.
When men come in here to divide you, and when the mob came, did we flee? No! No! the hireling fleeth, but we felt like a Father, and if you had to die, we would die with you. We want to feed the sheep to nourish them; they have a tremendous journey to take; and when we see one that is weak and feeble, we will take it up, put it into a wagon, and take you all with us. We have had sorrow and could not sleep on your account: if we had no anxiety for you, we should have fled into the wilderness and left you.
We want to take you to a land, where a white man's foot never trod, nor a lion's whelps, nor the devil's; and there we can enjoy it, with no one to molest and make us afraid; and we will bid all the nations welcome, whether Pagans, Catholics, or Protestants. We are not accounted as white people, and we don't want to live among them. I had rather live with the buffalo in the wilderness: and I mean to go, if the Lord will let me, and spare my life. Let us become passive as clay in the hands of the potter: if we don't, we will be cut from the wheel and thrown back in the mill again, like the Fosters, Higbees, and others. They want to come into Nauvoo again; but we won't let them, until we have all the good clay out, and have made it into vessels of honor, to our heavenly Father: then they may come and be ground.
Elder Lyman next arose and remarked;-"President Young says, we did not calculate to be in a hurry. It would be a matter of gratification, if I could express my feelings; but I have so many of them that I can't do it.
There has been in the progress of this church, an ample manifestation of the various windings and dispositions of man. A person cannot fail to perceive it, when he will observe and reflect, and doubtless those who have reflected may be satisfied, that the course of this people is unalterably fixed. I am glad it is not controlled by any human being. We have contended with opposition when it appeared impossible for us to overcome, and yet we have triumphed; and this people are becoming great and numerous.
"Perhaps in the congregation before me, there is every variety of feeling, which can be found on the face of the earth: yet we find their feelings undergoing a change, and that this people are approximating to a Oneness;-the people are becoming one, and their interests one. When they first heard the Gospel, they hailed and cherished it with joy; and they have come up here to receive additional instruction: yet perhaps, they have made but a limited calculation of how far they would have to go, in obedience and sacrifices, and to how much persecution and suffering, they would be subject,
that they might come up out of the fire as gold seven times tried.
"It has been said, that after a time, the Lord will accomplish a certain something: That after men had endeavored to build up kingdoms, and seen them crumble to the dust and disappear; he had said, 'He would build up a kingdom, which should stand forever, and become a universal kingdom:' and moreover the prophet said, 'it should break in pieces every other kingdom. If any man had preached this, he would have been considered guilty of treason. But those whom the christian world, consider as better men than we are, have said it; men, whom they say were better, and had knowledge, power, and virtue, more than they will now admit, is lawful for us in this enlightened age to enjoy.
"It has been said, that we should leave this country next spring; if the Lord is willing and the people have no objections. (And we don't care much, whether they have or not; we calculate to go, about next spring.) And we calculate to go the same people we are now; preserving the same principles which have caused us to grow and expand, as we have done. This people have grown, until there is not room for them to grow, and now they need transplanting, where they can have more room: and however much the people may seem disposed to not go, the sails are set, the wind is fair, and we are bound to weather the point, whether we will or no; for we are not at the helm; and whine and complain as much as you please, you have got to weather the point. Brother Kimball says, the whiners will have to go behind! so if you want to go in the company of the Twelve, you must not whine. Some persons suppose, that when they had once lost their all, they had suffered enough: to hear them talk you would suppose that John the Revelator, when they tried to boil him in oil; or the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, seven times heated;-never suffered half as much, nor felt half so uncomfortable as they. They have to get rich, and be made poor, about twenty times over, before they will come straight. I expect the rich will have to be made poor, until the poor are made rich; and then there will be nobody poor. When the rich are rich; and the poor are rich; then there will be nobody rich and nobody poor; for all will be on a level.
God did not say, that this man, or that man, should build up the kingdom, that was to break in pieces all other kingdoms; but He said He would do it himself; and whenever this people were unwilling, to do as the Lord would have them, he has taken his rod and scourged them, until they were forced to do it. The Lord once said, he would make Kirtland a strong hold for a time; and he has done it. He said in Missouri he would sustain the saints for a time;-and he did it. And when we came here, the Lord said, that if the people of the State of Illinois would maintain us in our rights, they would be blessed; if not, we might find it to our advantage to leave them.
The names of Company No. 5 were then called over, with orders to meet after meeting, at the old stand.
Elder Taylor made some remarks in behalf of the suffering poor, in the north part of town; and called upon all, to come forward to aid the bishops in supplying these poor families.
Elder G. A. Smith said, there were many coming to get leaders of companies appointed; and remarked, you need not be in a hurry, for the Twelve will take care to have proper captains appointed, in due time; and all will move on like clock work. But we must not hurry business.
The Patriarch John Smith, appointed four bishops to stand at the door, to take a collection for the benefit of the poor.
The choir sung and the meeting was dismissed, until 2 o'clock P. M.
Benediction by G. A. Smith.
All single men who want to come into the 1st company or company of the Twelve, were notified to give in their names.
At 2 o'clock, President B. Young came to the stand, and dismissed the meeting until to-morrow at 10 o'clock A. M. This was done, on account of a body of armed men having suddenly entered the city. Not knowing but this was a move by the mob, the President requested all the brethren to go home and prepare themselves for any emergency. He however soon ascertained, that W. B. Warren, Esq., was at the head of the troops, and that they had come in on business.
The President then informed the people of this fact; and requested them to retire to their homes in peace; concluding his remarks with these words "Be ye also ready."
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 8, 1845.
Conference opened at the usual hour with singing and prayer.
Mohter [Mother] Lucy Smith, the aged and honored parent of Joseph Smith, having expressed a wish to say a few words to the congregation, she was invited upon the Stand. She spoke at considerable length, and in an audible manner, so as to be heard by a large portion of the vast assembly.
She commenced by saying that she was truly glad that the Lord had let her see so large a congregation. She had a great deal of advice
to give, but Brother Brigham Young had done the errand, he had fixed it completely. There were comparatively few in the assembly who were acquainted with her family. She was the mother of eleven children, seven of whom were boys. She raised them in the fear and love of God, and never was there a more obedient family. She warned parents that they were accountable for their children's conduct; advised them to give them books and work to keep them from idleness; warned all to be full of love, goodness and kindness, and never to do in secret, what they would not do in the presence of millions. She wished to know of the congregations, whether they considered her a mother in Israel-(upon which President B. Young said; all who consider Mother Smith as a mother in Israel, signify it by saying yes!-One universal "yes" rang throughout.) She remarked, that it was just eighteen years since Joseph Smith the prophet had become acquainted with the contents of the plates; and then, in a concise manner, related over the most prominent points in the early history of her family; their hardships, trials, privations, persecutions, sufferings, &c.; some parts of which melted those who heard her to tears, more especially the part relating to a scene in Missouri, when her beloved son Joseph was condemned to be shot in fifteen minutes, and she by prodigious efforts was enabled to press through the crowd to where he was and to give him her hand; but could not see his face: he took her hand and kissed it; she said, let me hear your voice once more my son; he said God bless you my dear mother! She gave notice that she had written her history, and wished it printed before we leave this place. She then mentioned a discourse delivered by Joseph, after his return from Washington, in which he said that he had done all that could be done on earth to obtain justice for their wrongs; but they were all, from the President to the Judge, determined not to grant justice. But, said he, keep good courage, these cases are recorded in heaven, and I am going to lay them before the highest court in heaven? Little, said she, did I then think he was so soon to leave us, to take the case up himself. And don't you think this case is now being tried? I feel as though God was vexing this nation a little, here and there, and I feel that the Lord will let Brother Brigham take the people away. Here, in this city, lay my dead; my husband and children; and if so be the rest of my children go with you, (and I would to God they may all go,) they will not go without me; and if I go, I want my bones brought back in case I die away, and deposited with my husband and children. (Mother Smith said many more good things, but the rest being inaudible to the reporters, they are lost.
President Brigham Young then arose and said he wanted to relate to the congregation the last closing remarks of Mother Smith: inasmuch as she could not be heard by all.
Mother Smith proposes a thing which rejoices my heart: she will go with us. I can answer for the authorities of the church; we want her and her children to go with us; and I pledge myself in behalf of the authorities of the church, that while we have any thing, they shall share with us. We have extended the helping hand to Mother Smith. She has the best carriage in the city and while she lives, shall ride in it when and where she pleases.
When William came here we furnished him a span of horses, and a carriage and a house, and Brother Kimball became responsible for the rent of it. He has run away in a time of trouble; but I suppose will come back when it is peace, and we mean to have him with us yet.
(Mother Smith here interrupted President Young, but inaudible to the reporters.) President Young continued; Mother Smith has been relating over the circumstances of her pecuniary life of late; she is perfectly satisfied, and all is right. I could have wished that the bishops would visit her more frequently; but they have done pretty well-and I say in the name of the Latter-day Saints, we will supply her wants; and I want the people to take any thing they have for her to her, and let her do with it as she pleases. I have never asked her to go for she had told me she would not; but now she has offered it. Mother Smith proposes that she will go with us, if we will promise to bring back her remains, in case of her death, and deposit them with her husband's.-Also Joseph once said, with outstretched arms, "If I fall in battle in Missouri, I want you to bring my bones back, and deposit them in that sepulchre [sepulcher]-I command you to do it in the name of the Lord." And I pledge myself if Mother Smith goes with us and I outlive her, I will do my best to bring her bones back again, and deposit them with her children, and I want to know if this people are willing to enter into a covenant to do the same. (Unanimous vote.)
President B. Young continued; we are determined also to use every means in our power to do all that Joseph told us. And we will petition Sister Emma, in the name of Israel's God, to let us deposit the remains of Joseph according as he commanded us. And if she will not consent to it, our garments are clear.-Then when he awakes in the morning of the resurrection, he shall talk with them, not with
me; the sin shall be upon her head, not ours.
Meeting was adjourned to two P. M.
Benediction by President B. Young.
Two P. M.
Conference met pursuant to adjournment.-Meeting called to order by Elder Joseph Young Choir sung "The spirit of God like a fire is burning." Prayer by Elder Taylor. Choir sung again.
Elder Taylor then arose and said; there is one piece of business which devolves upon me to bring before this conference; and that is the printing. As we have done preaching, so we have done printing to the people; and now let them alone and mind our own business, and let them print what they have a mind to. It has been thought best to publish the conference minutes, and let that finish the subject; but I have thought it would perhaps be better to continue the Times and Seasons until the volume completed. As to the Neighbor, it is more connected with temporal matters, news, &c., and we don't care so much about that. The world don't wish any news from us, and we don't wish to urge it upon them. I have read papers until I have become tired; for they are all villainy, corruption, deceit and abomination; and I shall be glad when we get to a place where we can be at peace. In regard to discontinuing the papers, I will do as I am counselled [counseled]. Some may consider that they will be injured by stopping the paper; but I will give four or five dollars worth of obligations for every one they can present against me. No man can say that I have asked pay for a paper, though hundreds here are owing me for it. I will abide consul, but am willing to publish the Times and Seasons until the end of the volume.
Elder Kimball moved, that we discontinue the Neighbor after one number; and that the Times and Seasons continue, from time to time, till the volume is closed; seconded and carried.
The next item of business is to appoint committees to sell houses, farms, lots, &c, that the can be referred to for sales.
Nauvoo.-Winslow Farr, Edward Hunter, Rufus Beach, A. W. Babbit, Joseph L. Haywood John Benbow, and Daniel Russell.
La Harpe.-Lyman Corey, John Clark, and John L. Bartolph.
Macedonia.-Wm. G. Perkins, Isaac Clark and Andrew H. Perkins.
Camp Creek.-L. A. Bingham.
Bear Creek.-Nelson Higgins, Samuel Shepherd and Daniel Allen.
Knowlton's Settlement.-Sidney A. Knowlton, Eleazer Brown and James Rawlins.
Highland Branch.-James Duncan, Wm. A. Duncan and John Loveless.
Montebello.-Eleazer Miller and Jesse Spurgin.
Yelrome.-Solomon Hancock and Horace Rawson.
In Iowa, every man is appointed to act as a committee of the whole for the sale of lands.
Elder Kimball said; there is yet another piece of business of great importance to all who have families; that is, to have some school books printed for the education of our children, which will not be according to the Gentile order.
Elder W. W. Phelps said; as a people we are fast approaching a desired end, which may literally be cllaed [called] a beginning. Thus far, we crnnot [cannot] be reproached with being backward in instruction. By revelation, in 1831, I was appointed to "do the work of printing, and of selecting and writing books for schools in this church, that little children might receive instruction" and since then I have received a further sanction. We are preparing to go out from among the people, where we can serve God in righteousness; and the first thing is, to teach our children; for they are as the Israel of old. It is our children who will take the kingdom and bear it off to all the world. The first commandment with promise to Israel was, "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee." We will instruct our children in the paths of righteousness; and we want that instruction compiled in a book.
Moved, that W. W. Phelps write some school books for the use of children; seconded and carried.
Elder Kimball said; the next item of business is, whether or not there shall be a general settlement with the Trustees in Trust, the Twelve, the Temple Committee, and all others, so that we may not go away indebted to the Lord, and I want to know if it is wisdom to take such a course or not. But if we go away in debt, let it be to each other.
President B. Young said; one object of this settlement with us is, some of the Latter-day Saints believe that the Twelve are supported out of the funds belonging to this house; and I am not disposed to go away under the idea that I am in debt to the Trustees, when I have put more into their hands, than I have taken out. Perhaps it will be a matter of curiosity to some how I get my living. It is not by stealing!-but by good luck, and the providence of God
and good men. Those men who have done the most, are the nearest square. I want the Twelve, and the Committee, and all the people to settle with the Trustees, and not go away in debt to the Lord; and then we will have abundance to take away the poor.
Elder Kimball moved, that the Twelve, the Temple Committee, and all others settle with the Trustees in Trust; and that the Trustees in Trust settle with the Presidency of the church; seconded and carried. Elder Kimball remarked, we shall now expect a settlement from all those who have the wherewith, or you need not expect an endowment in this house. President Joseph Smith said he would stand at the door with the books: you will not see him, but you will see his successors, who will carry ont [out] his designs.
Elder G. A. Smith said; the next item was of very great importance: there has been more powder and ball wasted within the last two weeks, than would supply all the people with meat for three months, if they were in a game country. What is the use of this waste? You cannot wake up in the night, but you hear them cracking away. You can hardly walk the streets, but sometimes a bullet will whistle over your head. Men say they are afraid their guns won't go off, it is wet; then I am in favor of getting something to draw them: I hope there will be no more firing. If there was a mob in sight, you have time enough to load your guns and fire on them. I want the powder and lead saved, so that when you get to your journey's end, you can sustain yourselves with food.-Save your powder, caps, and lead. I move that this conference discountenance all firing in the city, by any man, by night or by day, in every possible manner; seconded and carried.
Elder H. C. Kimball said; there are a good many complaints of late, and I am sorry to hear it, of some of the neighbors having had their cattle shot. Bro. John Benbow has had fifteen wounded. I am ashamed of a man who will do sueh [such] things. The man that will destroy his neighbor's property in that way, I will prophesy that the hand of God will be upon him until he makes restitution, and he will not prosper.
Moved, that all persons who have been guilty, or may be hereafter, of shooting cattle, shall be cut off from the church, unless they make restitution; seconded and carried.
Moved, that all persons, who will not take care of their unruly cattle, shall be cut off from the church; seconded and carried.
President Young said; I have a little corn, if it is destroyed it may all go before I will have revenge. I am for keeping orderly and obeying counsel. When we first (again) preached in the grove, I charged the brethren not to let their cattle get into the gardens of the widows and the sick; and if the widows shot them, I would stand between them and harm, and some one, of the Friday following, shot my only cow. I would have given five half eagles to bring her back again. she was reared by my wife, while I was on my mission to England, and was so gentle that my children could sit under her and milk her and play between her horns without fear of being hurt.-Take care of your cattle, and feed them with your corn stalks, cabbage, slops, &c., and he again charged the brethren not to touch any property which did not belong to them; even if it be only a rail. He said, in Quincy they have decided that we shall not have any more law suits. Judge Purple has agreed not to hold any more courts in this county: (though we hear he will. They are going to collect funds, as they say, to assist the poor to move out of Nauvoo. If they have a mind to bestow any thing, let them give it to the Trustees, to be dealt out by them. We don't know but they will yet do as they did in Missouri-take our own property, and sell or bestow it upon us again at an extortionate price, and call it a deed of charity. I will tell you what it will be-a stink offering.
Brother William Clayton then read a letter from Major Warren, respecting the arrest of one Smith, for felony, yesterday.
Moved, that this conference adjourn until the 6th of April next; seconded and carried.
WILLIAM CLAYTON, }Clerks of
THOMAS BULLOCK. }Conference.
TIMES AND SEASONS
CITY OF NAUVOO,
NOV. 1, 1845.
GREAT PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN ILLINOIS.
After we had began to realize the abundance of one of the most fruitful seasons, known for a long time, and while many hundreds of saints were laboring with excessive, and unwearied diligence to finish the Temple and rear the Nauvoo House, suddenly, in the forepart of September, the mob commenced burning the houses and grain of the saints in the south part of Hancock county. Though efforts were made by the Sheriff to stay the torch of the incendiary and parry off the deluge of arson, still
a "fire and sword" party continued the work of destruction for about a week, laying in ashes nearly two hundred buildings and much grain. Nor is this all: as it was in the sickly season, many feeble persons, thrown out into the scorching rays of the sun, or wet with the dampening dews of the evening, died, being persecuted to death in a CHRISTIAN land of law and order; and while they were fleeing and dying, the mob, embracing, doctors, lawyers, statesmen, Christians of various denominations, with the military from colonels down. were busily engaged in filching or plundering, taking furniture, cattle and grain. In the midst of this horrid revelry, having failed to procure aid among the "old citizens," the Sheriff summoned a sufficient posse to stay the "fire shower of ruin," but not until some of the offenders had paid for the aggression with their lives.
This, however, was not the end of the matter. Satan sits in the hearts of the people to rule for evil, and the surrounding counties began to fear that law, religion, and equal rights, in the hands of the Latter-day Saints, would feel after iniquity, or terrify their neighbors to larger acts of "reserved rights," and so they began to open a larger field of woe. To cut this matter short they urged the necessity, (to stop the effusion of blood,") to expel the church, or as they call them, the Mormons, from the United States, "peacably [peaceably] if they could, and forcibly if they must," unless they would transport themselves by next spring-Taking into consideration the great value of life, and the blessings of peace, a proposition, upon certain specified conditions was made to a committee of Quincy, and which it was supposed from the actions of conventions was accepted. But we are sorry to say, that the continued depredations of the mob and the acts of a few individuals, have greatly lessened the confidence of every friend of law, honor and humanity, in every thing promised by the committees and conventions, though we have already made great advances towards fitting for a move next spring.
A few troops stationed in the county, have not entirely kept the mob at bay: several buildings having been burnt in the month of October.
We shall, however, make every exertion on our part, as we have always done, to preserve the law and our engagements sacred, and leave the event with God, for he is sure.
It may not be amiss to say, that the continued abuses, persecutions, murders, and robberies practiced upon us, by a horde of land pirates with impunity in a christian republic, and land of liberty, (while the institutions of justice, have either been too weak to afford us protection or redress, or else they too have been a little remiss) have brought us to the solemn conclusion that our exit from the United States is the only alternative by which we can enjoy our share of the elements which our Heavenly Father created free for all.
We then can shake the dust from our garments, suffering wrong rather than do wrong, leaving this nation alone in her glory, while the residue of the world, points the finger of scorn, tiil [till] the indignations and consumption decreed, makes a full end.
In our patience we will possess our souls and work out a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, preparing, by withdrawing the power and priesthood from the Gentiles, for the great consolation of Israel, when the wilderness shall blossom tas [as] the rose, and Babylon fall like a millstone cast into the sea. The just shall live by faith; but the folly of fools, will perish with their bodies of corruption: then shall the righteous shine: Amen.
FIRST MEETING IN THE TEMPLE.
On Sunday the 5th day of October, through the indefatigable exertions, unceasing industry, and heaven blessed labors, in the midst of trials, tribulations, poverty, and worldly obstacles, solemnized, in some instances by death, about five thousand saints had the inexpressible joy and great gratification to meet for the first time in the House of the Lord in the city of Joseph. From mites and tithing, millions had risen up to the glory of God, as a Temple where the children of the last kingdom, could come together and praise the Lord.
It certainly afforded a holy satisfaction to think that since the 6th of April, 1841, when the first stone was laid, amidst the most straitened circumstances, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had witnessed their 'bread cast upon waters,' or more properly, their obedience to the commandments of the Lord, appear in the tangible form of a Temple, entirely enclosed, windows in, with temporary floors, pulpits, and seats to accommodate so many persons preparatory to a General Conference: no General Conference having been held for three years past, according to the declaration of our martyred prophet:
"There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the font of the Lord's House; and the church shall not hold another general conference, until they can meet in said house. FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD!"
President Young opened the services of the day in a dedicatory prayer, presenting the Temple, thus far completed, as a monument of the
saints' liberality, fidelity, and faith,-concluding, 'Lord, we dedicate this house, and ourselves unto thee.' The day was occupied most agreeably in hearing instructions and teachings, and offering up the gratitude of honest hearts, for so great a privilege, as worshipping God, within instead of without an edifice, whose beauty and workmanship will compare with any house of worship in America, and whose motto is: "Holiness to the Lord."
To the brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered abroad throughout the United States of America.
The following circular is hereby sent, greeting:
You will perceive from the foregoing interesting extracts from the minutes of the General Conference, just held in the Temple in this place, not only the unaparallelled [unparalleled] union of the great body of the Saints convened, but also that a crisis of extraordinary and thrilling interest has arrived. The exodus of the Nation of the only true Israel from these U. S. to a far distant region of the West, where bigotry, intolerance and insatiable oppression will have lost its power over them, forms a new epoch, not only in the history of the church, but of this nation. And we hereby timely advertise you to consider well, as the spirit may give you understanding, the various and momentous bearings of this great movement, and hear what the spirit saith unto you by this our epistle.-Jesus Christ was delivered up into the hands of the Jewish nation to save or condemn them-to be well or mal-treated by them; according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. And regard not that event in the light of a catastraphe [catastrophe] wholly unlooked for. The spirit of prophecy has long since portrayed in the Book of Mormon, what might be the conduct of this nation towards the Israel of the last days. The same spirit of prophecy that dwelt richly in the bosom of Joseph has time and again notified the Counsellors [Counselors] of this church, of emergencies that might arise of which this removal is one: and one too, in which all the Latter Day Saints throughout the length and bredth [breadth] of all the U. S., should have a thrilling and deliberate interest. The same evil that was premeditated against Mordecai awaited equally all the families of his nation. If the authorities of this church cannot abide in peace within the pale of this nation, neither can those who implicitly hearken to their wholesome counsel. A word to the wise is sufficient. You all know and have doubtless felt for years the necessity of a removal provided the Government should not be sufficiently protected to allow us to worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences, and of the omnipotent voice of eternal truth. Two cannot walk together except they be agreed. Jacob must be expatriated while Esau held dominion. It was wisdom for the child of promise to go far away from him that thirsted for blood. Even the heir of universal kingdoms fled precipitately into a distant country until they that sought to murder were dead. The ranklings of violence and intolerence [intolerance] and religious and political strife that have long been waking up in the bosom of this nation, together with the occasional scintillations of settled veageance [vengeance], and blood-guiltiness cannot long be supressed [suppressed]. And deplorable is the condition of any people that is constrained to be the butt of such discordant and revolutionary materials. The direful eruption must take place. It requires not the spirit of prophecy to foresee it. Every sensible man in the nation has felt and perhaps expressed his melancholy fears of the dreadful vortex into which partizan [partisan] ambition, contempt of the poor, and trampling down the just as things of nought [naught], were fast leading the nation. We therefore write unto you, beloved brethren, as wise men that will foresee the evil and hide yourselves until the indignation be overpast.-Concerning those who have more immediately instigated our removal by shedding the blood of our prophet and patriarch, and burning the habitations of scores of families in the midst of the most desolating sickness over known in the western valley; and who oblige us to watch for our lives night and day-we have nothing to say. We have told such tales to our father the President, and to all the high-minded Governors, until we are weary of it. We look far beyond those by whom offences [offenses] come, and discover a merciful design in our heavenly Father towards all such as patiently endure these afflictions until he advises them that the day of their deliverance has come. It is our design to remove all the Saints as early next spring as the first appearance of thrifty vegitation [vegetation]. In the mean time the utmost diligence of all the brethren at this place and abroad will be requisite for our removal, and to complete the unfinished part of the Lord's house, preparatery [preparatory] to dedication by the next general conference. The font and other parts of the Temple will be in readiness in a few days to commence the administration of holy ordinances of endowment, for which the faithful have long diligently labored and fervently prayed, desiring above all things to see the beauty of the Lord and enquire [inquire] in his holy Temple. We therefore invited the saints abroad generally so
to arrange their affairs as to come with their families in sufficient time to receive their endowments, and aid in giving the last finish to the house of the Lord, previous to the great imigration immigration] of the Church in the spring. A little additional help in the heat of the day from those abroad, to those here, who have been often driven and robbed will sweeten the interchanges of fellowship, and so far fulfil [fulfill] the law of Christ as to bear one another's burthens [burdens].-The sacrifice of property that will probably accrue from a virtually coerced sale in a given short time together with the exhaustion of available means, that has arisen form an extensive improvement of farms, and the erection of costly public and private edifices together with persecutions and abundant labors of elders in preaching the gospel to the nations and also in self-defence [defense] from traitors and foes, hypocrites and knaves are things that will suggest themselves to all the thoughtful humane and philanthropic. And we are confident in our Lord Jesus Christ that the balm and cordial adequate to the present crisis of affairs will come from the saints abroad to the utmost of their ability. And you cannot furnish it better, than to come up unitedly to the counsel of our epistle, promptly, deligently [diligently] and to the letter. Therefore dispose of your properties and inheritances, and interests for available means: such as money, wagons, oxen, cows, mules, and a few good horses adapted to journeying and scanty feed. Also for durable fabrics suitable for apparel and tents; and some other necessary articles of merchandise. Wake up, wake up dear brethren, we exhort you, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and from Canada to Florida, to the present glorious emergency in which the God of heaven has placed you, to prove your faith by your works, preparatory to a rich endowment in the Temple of the Lord, and the obtaining of promises and deliverances, and glories for yourselves and your children and your dead. And we are well pursuaded [persuaded] you will do these things though we thus stir up your pure minds to remembrance. In doing so the blessings of many, ready to perish like silent dew upon the grass, and the approbation of generations to come, and the hallowed joys of eternal life will rest upon you. And we cannot but assure you in conclusion of our most joyful confidence, touching your union and implicit obedience to the counsel of the Great God, through the Presidency of the saints. With these assurances and hopes concerning you, we bless you and supplicate the wisdom and furtherance of the Great Head of the church upon your designs and efforts.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres't.
WILLARD RICHARDS, CLERK.
P. S. Let all wagons that are hereafter built be constructed to the track of five feet width from centre [center] to centre [center]. Families may properly travel to this place during winter in their wagons.
There are said to be many good locations for settlements of the Pacific, especially at Vancouver's Island, near the mouth of Columbia.
Elder William Smith having been cut off from the Quorum of the Twelve for apostacy [apostasy], on the Sunday following, several letters and a pamphlet having been read, showing he had turned away from the truth; on motion, it was unanimously resolved by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the said William Smith be cut off from said church, and left in the hands of God.
W. RICHARDS, Cl'k.
Nauvoo, Oct. 12th, 1845.
NEWS FROM OUR MISSION IN THE PACIFIC.
Island of Toobouai, Society Group, }
February 20, 1845. }
ELDER B. YOUNG -VERY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:-I wrote you a long letter while on the passage and closed it at this place, and gave it to brother Grouard, requesting him to forward it from Tahiti. But he heard me read the letter, and he made objections to some of it, for I had expressed my feelings pretty warmly respecting some of the officers and passengers of the ship. I told him if he had a mind to copy the letter and leave out those hard places which he objected to, he might, but send me the original by the first opportunity. I have received a visit form him within a few weeks; while here I asked him about the letter. He told me he had written you a letter in his own name, but had said nothing about mine, nor did he bring it to me. What his objects were in so doing, are best known to himself. But as I have mentioned in several letters that I had written to you, I thought it proper to give this explanation, that you might know the reason you had not received it.
When I came here, I found four Americans in company about to commence building a vessel. They were then gathering materials from the wreck of a French ship, that had been cast away here a few months before. They soon after employed three foreigners to help them; two Americans and one Scotchman. To these
I commenced preaching, and in a few weeks I baptized six of them, and the seventh requested our prayers. But as he has been an old resident among these islands, he at last boldly confessed that he loved women and rum too well to give them up yet, and he would run the risk a little longer; though he does and always has, treated me with much kindness and generosity. They have got along very well with their vessel; her frame is all done and ready for planking, and they have got above half of them sawn [sawed], and will soon accomplish the other half.
She is built of tamana wood: this is a species of mahogany, and is very durable. She is modelled [modeled] for a staunch fast sailor of about one hundred tons burthen [burden]. Their skill in ship building has by far surpassed my expectations. They are anxious to know what you would advise about her; whether to sell her after we get to Columbia river, (for we expect to go home that way; several of them have native wives that belong to the church, and they all wish to go to Nauvoo, and we think that will be the nearest and best way home.) or keep her in the church to aid the spread of the gospel in the Pacific, and the gathering of the saints from among these islands.
The Lord has greatly blessed my feeble efforts to spread the gospel. I have baptized fifty-seven persons on this island, and they are all here now but one; he went to Tahiti.-Among them are the queen, who is heiress to the crown, a deputy king and his wife and daughter, a girl about fifteen, the head chief and his wife, these are adopted parents to the queen, and several of the subordinate chiefs: so you see the reins of government are within the church, and it has blundered me into a very awkward position, for if your will allow me to speak jestingly, I am prime minister of the island. My counsel is sought for in most law cases, though it is my endeavor to keep clear of them as much as possible. But there is a pack of outlaws of both sexes that make much disturbance, and when I am on an opposite side of the island, they will come there sometimes at midnight and wake me to know what to do.-But as the Mormon influence on this island is already exciting the jealousy of some Mormon eating ship masters from the United States, I think it wisdom to keep clear of their laws as much as possible; at any rate I think I have nothing to do with them, and I often tell them I did not come here to make laws or to see them executed, but to preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and when I had done that I had discharged my duty, and those that come into the church will have to be ruled by the laws of the church, and that is the end of the matter: but I am not allowed to rest here, and so I have to do the best I can. But a little advice from you on all of these subjects, I can assure you, would be very acceptable.
Will it move a feeling of compassion for us when I tell you that neither of us have received a word from any of our friends in America since we left there! Surely, can it be that we are forgotten by you all? We did every thing, I thought, that we could do before we left New Bedford, to have the brethren there forward letters to us, and we have been away nearly a year and a half, and not a word yet, and ship after ship has been here direct from there, and not a word from any body but Mormon eaters, and they have news enough for us; such as Joe Smith is dead, and Daniel Butler has denied the faith and gone back to New Bedford, and the church is all broken up and going to the devil. But all the satisfaction such fellows get from me is, that if one half of the church is shot, and the other half have denied the faith, I know the work is true, and by the help of God I am determined to make all the noise I can about it, and spread this gospel to the ends of the earth, the Lord giving me time and strength to do it.
Though, by the by, I am very happy to say that not all that visit here are of this cast; there are some noble exceptions. While Bro. Grouard was here, we were visited by a ship called the Caroline, Captain Daniel McKenzie, of New Bedford; he was twenty-eight days from the Sandwich Islands; while there he was much at Dr. Winslow's, one of our fellow passengers on board the Timoleon; they had received a letter from me a few days before: in it I had given a sketch of my success here, and also spoke of the English missionaries; their visit here, my bearing testimony to them of the truth of this work, &c., &c.
He had read the letter, and hearing my name (as he said) often mentioned by the doctor and his wife, it had created an anxiety in his mind to visit this place. I found him to be the most agreeable, intelligent, and interesting ship master that I was ever acquainted with. He staid [stayed] several days, and said he should have been glad to have staid [stayed] a month. He is a religious man; we investigated the latter day considerably; he was much pleased with it, said it was the most like the gospel of Christ of any creed he had heard of yet, and he was determined on investigating the matter more fully. I let him have the last Book of Mormon I had to spare, the last Voice of Warning, and the last O. Pratt's pamphlet. I am never applied to for a Book of Mormon, but my indignation is kindled
against those good brethren in Philadelphia that bought Brother Hanks' books from him, and I believe our good Brother Grant was at the head of it.
Here we are now, at this remote corner of the earth, without any books, and ships sailing to almost every place, are calling on us for them. I shall never forget the disadvantage that unkind act has been to us. And perhaps they will try to justify themselves by saying they were trying to help us along. Will any man that is a Mormon pretend to say he is helping us along by digging the eyes out of our heads? But I hope those that come out to relieve us will be provided with books, and that they will fall in with no pirates on the way. And, by the by, when are we to be relieved? by the way we get news, it seems that we are forgotten by all in America; and if that is the case and no elder is sent, am I bound to stay on this little island for life? If I get no news from home till the vessel is done, I take it for a sign that my mission is up, and that I am at liberty to go away in her, and scramble up what I can to go with me. I know that Brother Rogers is head of the mission, and that I am to obey him; but I have not had a letter from him in six months: but I have often told the people that there would an elder come to take my place, and they are depending on my word, and I do not like to disappoint them.-They often ask if you will send a man that they like better. They would like a friendly, candid, virtuous man; bad as they are, they will reject any thing like licentiousness in the conduct of an elder-such an one they would soon banish from the island. It is but a small part towards making saints of them to get them no farther than to barely baptize them. They are so established in their old sinful practices, that like the children of Israel that went out of the land of Egypt, they that were twenty years old and upwards never reached the promised land, (two excepted). But still, I know that faith and patience work wonders, and I am not yet discouraged.
Perhaps you might ask how I get along in the language? I would answer, that I can explain almost any passage of scripture after a fashion; but their language is so deficient, and the translation of the Bible is so imperfect, that it is hard to make them understand the plan of salvation. I honestly believe that all that has been done by the English missionaries, has been done, not with an eye single to the glory of God, but with an eye single to the lining of their own pockets. They have not less than three editions of the Tahitian Bible and Testament, and now they are gone home for the fourth. The people on this island have to take the first edition (which they call the best) to translate the last by, or they cannot understand it; and every new edition they raise on the price; the last are two dollars apiece.-What knowledge we have obtained of the language is by hard study, and not by the "gift of tongues." And I can tell you, that those that are sent to people to whom they can preach in their own language, got rid of a job that we have to contend with, that I can assure you is by no means an agreeable one. But I feel to thank the Lord, for we have been helped-and we are getting along pretty well. But I think elders that are sent to preach where they have to acquire the language first, should be young men, for they generally learn easier than those that are past the meridian of life. I think that if I ever again get where I can travel and preach in the English language, I shall know how to prize such privileges.
These islands are a large field of labor: there are also some groups of islands to the eastward of those, that can read the Tahitian Bible; and where the English missionaries are not located they will readily receive an elder, and if the French held possession here it is pretty sure that the English will all leave, as a portion have already; and then the door will be left open to all the islands. As I suppose you have frequent communication from Brothers Rogers and Grouard, I need say no more on this subject.
As you have been on a foreign mission yourself, I presume you know how to feel for us; but I expect all communication was not cut off from you as it has been from us, though you were in a foreign land. I feel very anxious to receive letters from you; you may direct to the care of the American Consul at Tahiti, and they will be forwarded to me. I feel very anxious to know whether my family are yet in the land of the living; I have not heard a word from them since September 1843. Please tell them they are remembered before the throne of Grace from day to day, and I trust I am not forgotten by them. One of the greatest sources of comfort I have in this my lonely situation, is the assurance that my name is had in remembrance in their prayers from day to day. Tell them to cheer up and be happy in this my protracted stay, and remember that if we are faithful unto the end, the day is at hand when these long separations will be at an end.-"Though it tarry, it will come." I daily feel the need of the prayers of the saints, and I hope my wife will not be unmindful as she meets with those praying circles, to stir them
up by way of remembrance in our behalf. I hope she will be steadfast in the faith, and learn our children so to be, till we shall meet again. I wish to be remembered to them with a husband's and father's affections, also to Bro. P. B. Lewis: tell him I hope he has not bestowed his money on us in vain; and this I say to all that put forth the helping hand toward us, may the Lord add his blessings to them all.-I wish to be remembered with brotherly affection to all that inquire after me.
As I have written a long letter to Brother Jonathan Crosby, which I shall send in company with this, I need not go into farther particulars, and if he and his wife should be to the east when the letter arrives, tell my wife she may have the privilege of taking it out of the Post office, if she wishes. I have written three letters from this place to her, and one each to Brothers W. Richards and W. W. Phelps.
There is a whale ship here from New Zealand, bound to Tahiti; she leaves to-morrow-I shall send my letters there, and they will be forwarded from there to America. So no more at present-As ever, I remain your friend and brother in Christ,
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
This day, also, the brethren in Clay county, Missouri, wrote as follows:
"Liberty, Feb. 19th, 1834.
To the Hon. John F. Ryland, judge of the fifth circuit, Missouri.
SIR: -Learning that a court of enquiry [inquiry] is to be held in Jackson county, at the next regular term of the circuit court for that county, or term of the circuit court for that county, or that some kind of legal proceedings, is to be commenced for the purpose of obtaining the facts, as far as can be, or bringing to punishment the guilty in that county:
We, therefore, pray your honor to avail yourself of every means in your power to execute the law and make it honorable; and believing that the testimony of some of the members of our church will be important, and deeming it unsafe to risk our persons in that county without a guard, we request that the order from the Executive, already transmitted, may be put in force.
EDWARD PARTRIDGE, W. W. PHELPS,
A. S. GILBERT, JOHN CORRILL,
Another request similar to the above was sent, same date, to Amos Reese, Circuit Attorney.
They also wrote the Judge Advocate, as follows:
Liberty, Feb. 19th, 1834.
George Woodward, Judge Advocate, in the case of the State of Missouri, vs. Col. Thomas Pitcher.
SIR:-The undersigned request of you, if it be consistent with custom and law, an official copy of the proceedings recorded by you, in the above stated case, for the purpose of preservation, as an important link in the history of our unfortunate society.
W. W. PHELPS, EDWARD PARTRIDGE
ALGERNON S. GILBERT.
Kirtland, February 20th, 1834.
The high council met this evening to determine concerning the elders going out to preach, &c. The president opened the council by prayer.
At a church meeting held in Pennsylvania, Erie county, and Springfield township, by Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson, high priests: some of the members of that church refused to partake of the sacrament, because the elder administering it did not observe the words of wisdom to obey them. Elder Johnson argued that they were justified in so doing, because the elder was in transgression. Elder Pratt argued that the church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an elder, so long as he retained his office or license. Voted that six counsellors [counselors] should speak upon the subject.
The council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the word of wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding an office in the church, after having it sufficiently taught him?
Counsellors [Counselors], Samuel H. Smith, Luke Johnson, John S. Carter, Sylvester Smith, John Johnson, and Orson Hyde, were called to speak upon the case then before the council. After the counsellors [counselors] had spoken, the president proceeded to give a decision:
That no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office, after having the words of wisdom properly taught to him, and he the official member neglecting to comply with or obey them; which decision the council confirmed by vote.
The president then asked if there were any elders present, who would go to Canada, and preach the gospel to that people; for they have written a number of letters for help. And the whole council felt as though the spirit required the elders to go there. It was, therefore, decided by the council that Lyman Johnson
and Milton Holmes should travel together into Canada. And also, that Zebidee Coltrin and Henry Harriman travel together, if they can arrange their affairs at home so as to be liberated.
It was also decided that Elder Oliver Granger should travel eastward as soon as his circumstances will permit, and that he should travel alone on account of his age; it was also decided that Elder Martin Harrs [Harris], should travel alone whenever he travels; that Elders John S. Carter and Jesse Smith travel east together as soon as they can. The council also decided that Elder Brigham Young should travel alone it being his own choice, decided also that James Durfee and Edward Marvin, should travel together eastward; also, that Sidney Rigdon and John P. Green, go to Strongsville: also, that Orson Pratt and Harrison Sagers travel together for the time being; and that there should be a general conference held in Saco, in the state of Maine, on the 13th day of June, 1834.
It was furthermore voted, that Elder Orson Hyde accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt, go east to obtain donations for Zion, and means to redeem the farm on which the house of the Lord stands.
The church and council then prayed with uplifted hands that they might be prospered in their mission.
OLIVER COWDERY, Clerks.
I Abigail Leonard, depose and say that on the night of the 20th of February, 1834, in the county of Jackson, and state of Missouri, a company of men, armed with whips and guns, about fifty or sixty in number, came to the house of my husband; among them was John Youngs, Mr. Yocum, Mr. Cantrell, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Noland. Five of the number entered the house, among them was John Youngs. They ordered my husband to leave the house, threatening to shoot him if he did not. He not complying with their desires, one of the five took a chair and struck him upon the head, knocking him down, and then dragging him out of the house; I in the mean time, begging of them to spare his life, when one of the number called to the others telling them to take me into the house, for I would "overpower every devil of them." Three of the company then approached me, and presenting their guns, declared with an oath, if I did not go in, they would blow me through. While this was transpiring Mr. Patterson jumped upon my husband with his heels; my husband then got up, they stripped his clothes all from him excepting his pantaloons, then five or six attacked him with whips and gunsticks, and whipped him till he could not stand but fell to the ground. I then went to them, and took their whips from them; I then called for Mrs. Bruce who lived in the same house with us, to come out and help me to carry my husband into the house. When carried in he was very much lacerated and bruised, and unable to lie upon a bed, and was also unable to work for a number of months. Also, at the same time and place, Mr. Josiah Sumner was taken from the house and came in very bloody and bruised from whipping.
(Signed,) ABIGAIL LEONARD.
I received the following.
Revelation, given, February 24, 1834.
Verily I say unto you my friends, behold I will give unto you a revelation and commandment, that you may know how to act in the discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and redemption of your brethren, who have been scattered from the land of Zion; being driven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies; on whom I will pour out my wrath without measure in mine own time, for I have suffered them thus far, that they might fill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full; and that those who call themselves after my name might be chastened for a little season with a sore and grievous chastisement, because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.
But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree, which my people shall realize inasmuch as they hearken from this hour, unto the counsel, which I the Lord their God give unto them.
To be continued.
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