Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Vol .VI. No. 3.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. Feb 15, 1845 [Whole No. 111.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The same day we wrote to Brother W. W. Phelps, and others in Zion, from Kirtland as follows:
We have received your last, containing a number of questions which you desire us to answer; this we do the more readily, as we desire with all our hearts, the prosperity of Zion, and the peace of her inhabitants, for we have as great an interest in the welfare of Zion, as you can have:
First, as respects getting the Book of Commandments bound, we think that it is not necessary. They will be sold well without binding, and there is no book binder to be had as we know of, nor are there materials to be had for binding, without keeping the book too long from circulation. With regard to the Books of Mormon, which are in the hands of Brother Burket, we say to you get them from Brother Burket, give him a receipt for them in the name of the literary firm. Let Brother Gilbert pay Brother Chapin his money.
We have not found the Book of Jasher, nor any of the other lost books mentioned in the Bible as yet; nor will we obtain them at present. Respecting the Apocrypha, the Lord said to us, that there are many things in it which were true, and there were many things in it that were are not true, and to those who desire it, it should be given by the spirit to know the true from the false. We have received some revelations, within a short time back, which you will obtain in due time; as soon as we can get time, we will review the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, after which they will be forwarded to you.
We commend the plan highly, of your choosing a teacher to instruct the high priests, that they may be able to silence gainsayers. Concerning bishops, we recommend the following: let Brother Isaac Morley be ordained second bishop in Zion, and let Brother John Corrill be ordained third. Let Brother Edward Partridge choose as counsellors [counselors] in their place, Brother Parley P. Pratt, and Brother Titus Billings, ordaining Brother Billings to the high priesthood. Let Brother Morley choose for his counsellors [counselors], Brother Christian Whitmer, whom ordain to the high priesthood, and Bro. Newel Knights. Let Brother Corrill choose Brother Daniel Stanton, and Brother Hezekiah Peck for his counsellors [counselors]: let Brother Hezekiah, also, be ordained to the high priesthood.
Zombre has been received as a member of the firm by commandment, and has just come to Kirtland to live; as soon as we get a power of attorney signed agreeably to law, for Alam, we will forward it to him, and will immediately expect one from that part of the firm to Ahashdah, signed in the same manner. We would again say to Alam, be sure to get a form according to law, for securing a gift. We have found by examining the law, that a gift cannot be retained without this.
The truth triumphs gloriously in the east, multitudes are embracing it. I Sidney, who writes this letter, in behalf of the presidency, had the privilege of seeing my aged mother baptised [baptized] into the faith of the gospel, a few weeks since, at the advance age of seventy five. She now resides with me.
We send by this mail, a draft of the city of Zion, with explanations, and a draft of the house to be built immediately, in Zion, for the presidency, as well as all purposes of religion and instruction.
Kirtland, the stake of Zion is strengthening continually. When the enemies look at her, they wag their heads and march along. We anticipate the day when the enemies will have fled away and be far from us. You will remember that the power of agency must be signed by the wives as well as the husbands, and the wives must be examined separate and apart from the husbands, the same as signing a deed, and a specification to that effect inserted at the bottom, by the justice before whom such acknowledgment is made, otherwise the power will be of none effect.
Clarissa Batchelor, of Boston, wants her paper discontinued, because she has gone from the place, and she has turned from the faith.-Send a paper to Joshua Bailey, of Andover, Vt. Should you not understand the explanations sent with the drafts, you will inform us, so as you may have a proper understanding, for it is meet that all things should be done according to the pattern.
The following errors we have found in the commandments, as printed: fortieth chapter, tenth verse, third line, instead of coruptable [corruptible], put corrupted. Fourteenth verse of the same chapter, fifth line, instead of respector to persons, put respector of persons. Twenty first verse, second line of the same chapter, instead
of respector to, put respector of. Forty-fourth chapter, twelfth verse, last line, instead of hands, put heads.
Brother Edward Partridge, sir, I proceed to answer your questions, concerning the consecration of property: First, it is not right to condescend to very great particulars in taking inventories. The fact is this, a man is bound by the law of the church, to consecrate to the bishop, before he can be considered a legal heir to the kingdom of Zion; and this, too, without constraint; and unless he does this, he cannot be acknowledged before the Lord, on the church book: therefore, to condescend to particulars, I will tell you that every man must be his own judge, how much he should receive, and how much he should suffer to remain in the hands of the bishop. I speak of those who consecrate more than they need for the support of themselves and their families.
The matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties; for, to give the bishop power to say how much every man shall have, and he be obliged to comply with the bishop's judgment, is giving to the bishop more power than a king has; and, upon the other hand, to let every man say how much he needs, and the bishop be obliged to comply with his judgment, is to throw Zion into confusion, and make a slave of the bishops. The fact is, there must be a balance or equilibrium of power, between the bishop and the people; and thus harmony and good will, be preserved among you.
Therefore, those persons consecrating property to the bishop in Zion, and then receiving an inheritance back, must shew [show] reasonlly [reasonably] to the bishop that he wants as much as he claims. But in case the two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the bishop is to have nothing to do about receiving their consecrations; and the case must be laid before a council of twelve high priests; the bishop not being one of the council, but he is to lay the case before them.
Say to Brother Gilbert, that we have no means in our power, to assist him in a pecuniary point, as we know not the hour when we shall be sued for debts, which we have contracted ourselves in New York. Say to him that he must exert himself to the utmost to obtain means himself, to replenish his store, for it must be replenished, and it is his duty to attend to it.
We are not a little surprised to hear that some of our letters of a public nature, which we sent for the good of Zion, have been kept back from the bishop. This is conduct which we highly disapprobate.
Answers to queries in Brother Phelps' letter of June 4th: First, in relation to the poor.-When the bishops are appointed according to our recommendation, it will devolve upon them to see to the poor, according to the laws of the church. In regard to the printing of the New Translation; it cannot be done until we can attend to it ourselves, and this we will do as soon as the Lord permits.
As to Shederlaomach, all members of the united firm, are considered one. The order of the literary firm is a matter of stewardship, which is of the greatest importance; and the mercantile establishment God commanded to be devoted to the support thereof, and God will bring every transgression into judgment.
Say to the brothers, Hulets, and to all others that the Lord never authorised [authorized] them, to say, that the devil, nor his angels, nor the sons of perdition should ever be restored, for their state of destiny was not revealed to man, is not revealed, nor ever shall be revealed, save to those who are made partakers thereof: consequently those who teach this doctrine have not received it of the spirit of the Lord. Truly Brother Oliver declared it to be the doctrine of devils. We, therefore, command that this doctrine be taught no more in Zion. We sanction the decision of the bishop and his council, in relation to this doctrine's being a bar of communion.
The number of disciples in Kirtland is about one hundred and fifty. We have commenced building the house of the Lord, in this place, and it goes on rapidly. Good news from the east and south, of the success of the laborers is often saluting our ears. A general time of health among us; families all well; and day and night we pray for the salvation of Zion.
We deliver Brother Ziba Peterson, over the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord that he may learn not to transgress the commandments of God. We conclude our letter by the usual salutation, in token of the new and everlasting covenant. We hasten to close because the mail is just going.
JOSEPH SMITH jr.
F. G. WILLIAMS.
P. S. We feel gratified with the way which Brother William W. Phelps is conducting the Star at present, we hope he will render it more and more interesting. In relation to the size of the bishorpick [bishopric]: when Zion is once properly regulated there will be a bishop to each square of the size of the one we send you with this; but at present it must be done according to wisdom. It is needful, brethren, that you should be all of one heart and of one mind, in doing the will of the Lord. There should exist the greatest
freedom and familiarity among the rulers in Zion. We were exceeding sorry to hear the complaint that was made in Brother Edward's letter, that the letters attending the olive leaf had been kept from him, as it is meet that he should know all things in relation to Zion, as the Lord has appointed him to be a judge in Zion. We hope, dear brethren, that the like circumstance will not take place again. When we direct letters to Zion, to any of the high priests, which pertains to the regulation thereof, we always design that they should be laid before the bishop, so as to enable him to perform his duty.-We say so much hoping it will be received in kindness; and our brethren will be careful of each others feelings, and walk in love, honoring one another more than themselves, as is required of the Lord.
Yours as ever.
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
Brother John Smith:
We have just received your letter, of the 8th of June, which seems to have been written in a spirit of justification on your part. You will recollect that previous to your leaving this place, you were tried before the bishop's court, which found you guilty of misdemeanor, and decided that you should no longer retain your authority in the church; all of which, we, as presidents of the high priesthood, sanction. You name something in your letter that took place at Brother Olney's, in Shalersville, on the 27th and 28th of August, which we perfectly recollect, and had you made such a confession as you was required to, at Chippeway, all things would have worked together for your good, and as I told you; but you did not manifest that degree of humility to the brethren, that was required, but remained obstinate; for that reason God withdrew his spirit from you, and left you in darkness. In your letter you say many hard things against the brethren, especially, Father Smith, Brother Reynolds Cahoon, and Bishop Whitney, &c., all of which we highly disapprove. It seems, also, that your son Eden, is confederate with you, and needs to be reproved, together with yourself, in all humility before the Lord, or you must expect to be dealt with according to the laws of the church. We say you are no more than a private member in the church.
JOSEPH SMITH jr.
F. G. WILLIAMS,
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
To the Brethren in Zion:
We received your letter of June 7th; one from Brothers William and Oliver; one from Brother David Whitmer, and one from Brother S. Gilbert, for which we are thankful to our Heavenly Father to hear of your welfare, as well as the prosperity of Zion. Having received your letters in the mail of today, we hasten to answer to go with to-morrow's mail.
We are exceedingly fatigued owing to a great press of business. We this day finished the translating of the scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father, and sat immediately down to answer your letters. We rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arrival of Sister Vienna and Brother William, and thank our Heavenly Father that their lives have been spared them till their arrival. The health of the brethren and sisters in Kirtland is good at present, no case of sickness known to us. Brother Kinsbury's wife is declining fast, and cannot continue much longer, but will soon be in the paradise of God.
We are engaged in writing a letter to Eugene, respecting the two Smiths, as we have received two from them; one from John Smith, the other from the elder of the church. As to the gift of tongues, all we can say is, that in this place, we have received it as the ancients did, we wish you, however, to be careful, lest in this you be deceived. Guard against evils which may arise from any accounts given of women, or otherwise; be careful in all things lest any root of bitterness spring up among you and thereby many be defiled. Satan will no doubt trouble you about the gift of tongues, unless you are careful; you cannot watch him too close, nor pray too much; may the Lord give you wisdom in all things. In a letter mailed last week, you will doubtless, before you receive this, have obtained information about the New Translation. Consign the box of the Books of Commandments, to N. K. Whitney & Co., Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio; care of Kelly & Walworth, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
I Sidney write this in great haste, in answer to yours to Brother Joseph, as I am going off immediately, in company with Brother Frederick, to proclaim the gospel, we think of starting to-morrow. Having finished the translation of the bible, a few hours since, and needing some recreation, we know of no way we can spend our time more to divine acceptance, than endeavoring to build up his Zion, in these last days, as we are not willing to idle any time away, which can be spent to useful purposes. Doors are open continually for proclaiming; the spirit of bitterness among the people is fast subsiding, and a spirit of enquiry [inquiry] is taking its place. I proclaimed last Sunday at Chardon, our county seat; I had the courthouse;
there was a general turn out, good attention, and a pressing invitation for more meetings, which will be granted if the Lord will, when we return from this tour.
Brother Joseph is going to take a tour with Brother George James, of Brownhelm, as soon as Brother George comes to this place. We hope, our brethren, that the greatest freedom and frankness will exist between you and the bishop, not with-holding from each other, any information from us, but communicate with the greatest freedom, lest you should produce evils of a serious character, and the Lord becomes offended, for know assuredly, if we, by our wickedness, bring evil on our own heads, the Lord will let us bear it till we get weary and hate iniquity. Brother Frederick wants you to say to Brother Burk, that the man from whom he expected to get the mill stones, has run off, so he will not be able to get them; but Brother Burk can get them at St. Louis, of the same man's make.
We conclude by giving our heartiest approbation to every measure, calculated for the spread of the truth, in these last days; and our strongest desires, and sincerest prayers for the prosperity of Zion. Say to all the brethren and sisters in Zion, that they have our hearts, our best wishes, and the strongest desires of our spirits, for their welfare, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And we salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus: Amen.
JOSEPH SMITH jr.,
F. G. WILLIAMS.
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
To the Church at Eugene:
It is truly painful to be under the necessity of writing on a subject which engages our attention at this time, viz: the case of John Smith, and Eden Smith his son. We have just received a letter from you concerning their standing in the church. We do not hold them in fellowship. We would inform you that John Smith has been dealt with, and his authority taken from him; and you are required not to receive his teachings, but to treat him as a transgressor, until he repents and humbles himself before the Lord, to the entire satisfaction of the church, and also, you have authority to call a conference, and sit in judgment on Eden's case, and deal with him as the law directs.
We feel to rebuke the elders of that branch of the church of Christ, for not magnifying their office, and letting the transgressor go unpunished. We, therefore, enjoin upon you, to be watchful on your part, and search out iniquity, and put it down wherever it may be found. You will see by this, brethren, that you have authority to sit in council on the Smiths; and, if found guilty, to deal with them accordingly. We have this day directed a letter to John Smith, thereby making known to him our disapprobation of the course he has pursued.-We commend you to God and his grace, ever praying he will keep and preserve you blameless till he comes.
JOSEPH SMITH jr.,
F. G. WILLIAMS.
Postscript by Bishop Whitney, same date:
Yours of the 3rd of June, came safe to hand the last mail, and John Smith's, which was directed to Brother Joseph. Now, my brethren, on this sheet you have Brother Joseph's sanction to my proceedings, and the letter I last wrote you, and you will govern yourselves accordingly, for you have full power and authority to call the two Brother Smith's to an account for their conduct; and, unless they repent and make satisfaction, not only to your branch of the church, but also to this branch, they must be cut off from the body; for, under existing circumstances, we have no fellowship with them. Brother John Smith's authority, as an officer in the church, was taken from him before he left, and he ought to have given up his license; but he went away without doing so, and it seems he has made use of it to impose upon you; as to the two sisters, you spoke of in your last; if there is no testimony on either side, all you can do is to forbid them to partake of the sacrament unworthily; and pray much, and God will bring all things to light.
N. K. WHITNEY, Bishop.
Extracts from H. C. Kimball's Journal.
In the morning I went to the river in company with Brother Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others, as we had it in contemplation to proceed that morning to Liberty, Clay county; but we could not continue our journey as there was no way to cross the river. It was then overflowing its banks, and we have seen the river since and proved that it was full forty feet from the top of the banks to the bottom of the river. Previous to this rain falling, it was no more than anle [ankle] deep. Such a time never was known by us before; still, we felt calm all night and the Lord was with us.-The water was ancle [ankle] deep to us all night so we could not sleep.
At this place, W. W. Phelps, S. W. Denton, John Corrill, with many others from Liberty joined us, from whom we received much information concerning the situation of the brethren who had been driven from Jackson county, and the fixed determination of our enemies to drive or exterminate them from that county.
The next day when we moved into the country we saw that the hail had destroyed the crops and we saw that it had come in some directions within a mile, and in other directions within half a mile of our camp. After passing a short distance the ground was literally covered with branches of the trees which had been cut off by the hail. We went a distance of five miles on a prairie to get food for our horses, and also to get provisions for ourselves; and to get into some secure place, where we could defend ourselves from the rage of the enemy. We stayed here three or four days until the rage of the people was allayed.
On the 21st, Colonel Searcy and two other leading men from Ray county, came to see us, desiring to know what our intentions were; for said he, "I see that there is an Almighty power that protects this people, for I started from Richmond, Ray county, with a company of armed men having a fixed determination to destroy you, but was kept back by the storm and was not able to reach you." When he came into the camp he was seized with such a trembling, that he was obliged to sit down in order to compose himself. When he desired to know what our intentions were, Brother Joseph arose and began to speak and the power of God rested upon him. He gave a relation of the sufferings of our people in Jackson county, and also of all our persecutions and what we had suffered by our enemies for our religion; and that we had come one thousand miles to assist our brethren, to bring them clothing, and to reinstate them upon their own lands; that we had no intentions to molest or injure any people, but only to administer to the wants of our afflicted brethren; and that the evil reports, which were circulated about us were false, and were circulated by our enemies to get us destroyed.
After he had got through and had spoke quite lengthy, the power of which melted them into compassion, they arose and offered him their hands, and said they would use their influence to allay the excitement which everywhere prevailed against us. They accordingly went forth and rode day and night to pacify the people; and they wept because they saw we were a poor afflicted people, and our intentions were pure. The next day the Sheriff of that county, named Gilliam, came to deliver a short address to us. We formed into companies and marched into a grove a little distance from the camp and there formed ourselves into a circle, and sat down upon the ground. Previous to Mr. Gilliams address, he (Gilliam) said, "I have heard much concerning Joseph, and I have been informed that he is in your camp, if he is here I would like to see him." Brother Joseph arose and said, I am the man. This was the first time he was made known during the journey. Mr. Gilliam then arose and gave us some instructions concerning the manners and customs of the people, their dispositions, &c., and what course we should take in order to gain their favor and protection.
On the Sabbath day while we were in this place, being in want of salt, I took it upon me to go to some of the inhabitants and get some; Brother Smalling took his rifle and went along with me. After passing through a path enclosed by hazel bushes, about two miles from the camp, I discovered a deer a little distance ahead of us standing across the path; I made motions to Brother Smalling, and he, drawing up his rifle over my shoulder, which served for a rest, fired and hit the deer just behind the shoulder, it ran a few rods and fell. We cut a pole and fastening it on the pole, got it on our shoulders and carried it along to the camp. When we got to the camp we dressed it and divided it among the different companies, and had an excellent feast.
Here Brother Thayre was taken sick with the cholera, and also Brother Hayes. We left them there, and also Brother Hancock who had been taken with the cholera during the storm. Bro. Joseph called the camp together, and told us that in consequence of the disobedience of some who had not been willing to listen to his words, but had been rebellious, God had decreed that sickness should come upon us, and we should die like sheep with the rot; and said he, "I am sorry, but I cannot help it." When he spake these things it pierced me like a dart, having a testimony that so it would be. In the afternoon of this day, we began to receive the revelation known as the "Fishing River revelation."
On Monday we held a council as follows:
Clay County, Mo., June 23, 1834.
A council of high priests met according to a revelation received the previous day, to choose some of the first elders to receive their endowment; being appointed by the voice of the spirit, through Joseph Smith jr., president of the church.
They proceeded: Edward Partridge is called and chosen, and is to go to Kirtland and receive his endowment with power from on high, and also, stand in his office as bishop to purchase land in Missouri.
W. W. Phelps is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment with power from on high; and help carry on the printing establishment till Zion is redeemed.
Isaac Morley is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment with power from on high in Kirtland; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house, and preach the gospel. John Corrill the same as Isaac Morley.
John Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on hlgh [high]; and continue in his office.
David Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high; and stand in the office appointed unto him.
A. S. Gilbert is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment from on high in Kirtland; and to assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house; and to proclaim the everlasting gospel till Zion is redeemed. He said in his heart he could not do it, and died in about three days.
Peter Whitmer is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high, and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house; and proclaim the gospel.
Simeon Carter is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland, with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house; and proclaim the everlasting gospel.
Newel Knight is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house; and preach the gospel.
Thomas B. Marsh is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and his office will be made known hereafter.
Lyman Wight is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; to return to Zion, and his office shall be appointed to him hereafter.
Parley P. Pratt is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house; and proclaim the gospel.
Christian Whitmer is called and chosen and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house: and proclaim the gospel.
Solomon Hancock is called and chosen, and it is appointed unto him to receive his endowment in Kirtland with power from on high; and assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord's house, and proclaim the everlasting gospel.
F. G. WILLIAMS, Clerk.
(To be continued.)
Minutes of a Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, held in the town of Oakland, Oakland County, Michigan, on the 24th and 25th of Jan., 1845.
Conference met according to appointment; called to order by Elder G. Savage; some remarks by Lyman Stoddard. Elder G. Savage called to the chair; Elder Wm. Van Every Clerk; singing, and prayer by Elder Wm. Van Every.
The number of different quorums were then called for, one high priest, four seventies, ten elders, two priests, and one teacher: Then preaching by Elder J. M. Wait, followed by Wm. Van Every. Benediction by Elder D. Hickey.
Adjourned until to morrow at 10 o'clock, A. M.
Saturday 10 o'clock A. M., conference met according to appointment. Some instructions to the young elders by the president. Singing and prayer by Elder O. Jeffords.
The different branches was then represented.
Waterford branch by Brother Green, ten members, one teacher.
Franklin branch, by Elder J. M. Wait, twenty nine members, four elders, two priests, and one teacher.
Southfield branch, by J. M. Wait, six members, one elder, one priest.
Superior branch by O. Jeffords, twelve members.
Brownstown branch, by G. Savage, sixteen members, one priest.
Pine Run branch, by G. Savage, eleven members, two elders, one priest, and one teacher.
Washington branch, by Elder Goff, ten members, two elders, and one priest.
Pleasant Valley branch, by B. Searls, thirty one members, four elders, one priest, one teacher, and one deacon.
Cedar branch, by J. M. Wait, twelve members, one elder, and one teacher.
Livonia branch, by L. Stoddard, thirteen members, one priest, one teacher, and one deacon.
Redford branch, by L. N. Kendall, ten members, one deacon.
Avon branch, by D. Hickey, eleven members, one elder, and one priest.
Lapeer branch, by D. Hickey, twelve members, three elders.
St. Clair branch, by Elder P. Van Every; and about forty scattering members, not represented in the above.
Walter Ostrander and Conley Bates, were then nominated for elders. Robert Green and George Mercer priests, and John Green teacher.
Elders J. M. Wait and Samuel Goodenough were appointed on a mission to Ingram county.
Elder Dow Hickey was then appointed to preside over Macomb County. Elder G. Savage to visit the principal villages in this part of the country. Adjourned for one hour. Benediction by Elder Marvin.
Conference met according to appointment.-Singing, and prayer by D. Hickey. Preaching by Elder Stoddard, from the third chapter of Malachi; setting forth the necessity of bringing in their tithes into the store house, for the building of the temple, in order to receive their washings, anointings, and other blessings, that would attend them, if they obeyed the word of the Lord. He was followed by the president setting forth in a measure, the order of the resurrection; the manner in which the saints would be brought out of their graves. Singing and prayer by the president. Adjourned until 7 o'clock P. M.
Met according to appointment; after the usual solemnities, Elder O. Jeffords delivered a discourse from the second chapter of Daniel, and was followed by the president and others.
The different officers were then ordained.-Elder A. P. Murray's ordination was then confirmed in order that he might receive his license from this conference. Adjourned until to-morrow at 10 o'clock A. M.
Met according to appointment. Singing and prayer. The president then delivered a discourse from first Peter, twentieth verse, setting forth the evil that was brought into the world by reason of comments on the bible, in laying aside the true order of God; being taught by the precepts of men. Adjourned for one hour.
Met according to appointment; the same subject continued by the president.
Motioned and seconded, that this conference uphold the Twelve and Brother Hawes who is sent to preside over this state.
Motioned and seconded, that the next conference be held in Pleasant Valley, town of Brighton, Livingston county, on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in May next.
Also, that the minutes of this conference be forwarded to Nauvoo, and New York, for publication in the Times and Seasons, and Prophet.
G. SAVAGE, President.
Wm. Van Every, Clerk.
P. S. Elder Dow Hickey addressed the people in the evening, on the first principles of the gospel; when liberty was given for others, and many of the brethren and sisters bore testimony to the truth, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and some of the gifts were manifested in power; when two aged fathers arose and said they were convinced of the truth, and like the jailor [jailer] and his household, did not wait until morning, but were baptised [baptized] straitway. An invitation was given at the water when a young lady went forward, and many more are believing.
At a Conference of a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, held at St. Louis, February 10, 1845, in the Franklin Hall. Elder James Riley, Chairman, and John Needham Clerk, the following business was transacted.
Meeting opened with prayer; singing. Representation: four high priests; eighteen seventies; twenty-five elders; fifteen priests; six teachers; six deacons, and three hundred and twenty members.
The chairman addressed the meeting to a great length, upon many important matters concerning the church, whereupon it was unanimously
Resolved, that we view with mingled emotions of grief and surprise, the proceedings of the highest court in the State of Illinois, in taking away the chartered rights of Nauvoo.-If they were granted wrong: they were taken wrong; but be strong, the day will come when you can triumph; "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
Resolved, that although surrounded by apostates from the church, who exhibit no better spirit than the murderers of the prophet and patriarch, yet we feel perfectly safe in the midst of an enlightened people, who alike know how to appreciate political liberty and religious freedom; and who have too much respect for the sanctity of constitutional rights, to trample upon the laws and the rights of others.
Resolved, that we will use every exertion in our power, to uphold and sustain the "Twelve" as the present head; and, also, as a small auxiliary to use a unity of effort to help rear and finish the temple of God.
Resolved, that we recommend to the brethren to patronize the Times and Seasons, and Neighbor, printed at Nauvoo, as the most virtuous publications of the western country, and the only ones that support the true cause of righteousness.
Resolved, that we feel to reciprocate the goodly feelings and pleasure, as published by Elder Hyde concerning his late visit to this city.
Elder Williams represented a branch of the church at Bellville [Belleville], Ill., consisting of six members, among whom was the lady of Dr. Goforth. The Doctor was present.
A resolution, acknowledging the faithfulness and tendering their thanks, faith, and prayers to the presiding Elder (Riley) was next passed.
The late epistle of the Twelve and its instructions, was adopted by acclamation.
Adjourned till six o'clock, P. M.
Met pursuant to adjournment; opened with singing and prayer. Those baptized during intermission were confirmed, and the Lord's supper administered. A sermon was next delivered. After passing a vote requesting the publication of these minutes in the Times and Seasons, the conference adjourned till the second Sunday in May next.
JAMES RILEY, Chairman.
John Needham, Clerk.
From the N. Y. Prophet.
Pursuant to public notice, a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was held at Norwalk, Conn., January 1st and 2nd, 1845.
Elder Lane was appointed president, and Elder Appleby of New Jersey, secretary.
Official members present-two high priests, two elders of the quorum of the seventies, three elders, one priest, one teacher, and one deacon. The Norwalk branch consists of twenty six members, including officers, (one member having been cut off since last conference,) all in good standing.
Conference opened at two o'clock, P. M., by singing a hymn, and prayer by the Secretary.
The president addressed the conference on the order of the kingdom of God, and what is enjoined upon the saints to assist in rolling on the same-settling difficulties one with another-followed by Elder Appleby on the same-and of traveling elders ordaining elders suddenly, &c. Adjourned.
Met in the evening at 6 o'clock-opened by singing and prayer by the president.
Elder Appleby delivered a discourse from Rev. 14:6,7.
Adjourned to meet on the morrow at 11 o'clock, A. M.
Thursday, 2nd inst.-Met-opened by singing and prayer by the president, followed by a spirited discourse, directed to the sisters, to form themselves into a sewing society. Also, by Elder Appleby on organizing a society to pay so much per week, for the building of the temple at Nauvoo.
Resolved, that the sisters of this branch organize themselves into a sewing society, to furnish worthy traveling elders with such clothing as they need; and that Sister Capstick be the president, Sister Hand vice president of said society; and that the brethren of said branch assist the sisters in their laudable and praise-worthy undertaking, by applying one shilling per week in purchasing materials for the sisters to make up into clothing, and that Brother Josephs be secretary of said society.
Resolved, that the sisters of this branch give so much per week, according to the proposition made at last April conference in Nauvoo, by our much lamented and martyred patriarch, Hyrum Smith, in aiding the completion of the temple of Joseph's God.
Resolved, that we uphold the Twelve' by our faith and prayers, as the leaders of this church, and that we recognize them as such-men placed at the head (since the prophet and patriarch have been taken away) to conduct the affairs of God's kingdom here below; and we pray God the Eternal Father that they may be kept from all their enemies, and fulfil [fulfill] the work God has given them to do.
Adjourned until two o'clock P. M.
Two o'clock, P. M. Conference met.
The president addressed the conference on the subject of prophecy. In the evening, Elder Appleby delivered a discourse on the first and second resurrection.
Conference adjourned sine die .
SELAH LANE, Pres't.
W. I. Appleby, Sec'y.
Notice is hereby given, that Elder James Braden was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a special conference of elders of said church, assembled in Freedom Branch, Adams county, Ill., on the 19th day of January, 1845. His license was demanded, but he refused to give it up.
JACOB MYERS, P. E.
Warren Foote, Clerk.
Freedom branch, Adams Co., Ill., Feb. 4, 1845.
"The Chinese have few social meetings among themselves; and even the young people never assemble together for the purpose of athletic exercises, or exhilerating [exhilarating] amusements."
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
FEBRUARY 15, 1845.
THE LIVING GOD.
There is no subject, among men, that engrosses so much time and attention, and, at the same time, is so little understood, as the being, knowledge, substance, attributes, and disposition of the living God. In the first place, christians and believers in christianity, with a few exceptions, believe in one God; or perhaps we should say, in their own language, that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, are one God. But to be obedient unto the truth, we will not thus transgress upon reason, sense and revelation.
It will then be necessary to treat the subject of the 'Living God,' in contra-distinction to a dead God, or, one that has, 'no body, parts, or passions,' and perhaps, it may be well enough to say at the out set, that Mormonism embraces a plurality of Gods, as the apostle said, there were 'Gods many and Lords many.' In doing which, we shall not deny the scripture that has been set apart for this world, and allows one God; even Jesus Christ, the very eternal Father of this earth; and if Paul tells the truth,-'by him the worlds were made.'
It was probably alluded to by Moses, when the children of Israel were working out their salvation with fear and trembling in the wilderness, at the time that he spake these words: [Dieut [Deut.] v: 23-26.] "and it came to pass when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders. And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory, and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?"
The facts embraced in the foregoing verses, destroy the belief of all christendom without remedy. The divines, or in deference, we will say the 'learned clergy,' publish to all people, that 'no man hath seen God, at any time; that no man can see God and live; and that John the Evangelist said: [St. John vi: 46.] "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."
Again, Moses in the before mentioned quotation uses our text, the 'living God;' and who will undertake to say that he meant any other person than Jesus Christ, the holy one of Israel? 'Before Abraham was, I am.' 'Oh,' say the learned world, 'the scripture is a mystical matter, we must let it remain, till some commentator fathoms the mystery.' In all probability that meant Christ, for there is but one God.
It has been said that troubles never come single, and mysteries, in like manner, rarely meet us one at a time. In Matthew we learn: [Mat. xvi: 13-16.] "When Jesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Now, two facts, making two worldly mysteries, meet the mind in the foregoing passages. Jesus says he is the 'Son of man,' and Peter says, he is the 'Son of the living God.' O, ye great men, and wise men, and ye who wear the sacerdotal robes, how can Jesus have two fathers; or how can the scriptures be true without he has two? Again, how could Moses use the term 'living God,' as the Holy one of Israel, and Peter declare that Christ was the Son of the 'Living God?' This makes two 'Living Gods,' because the Savior never once said that he begat himself, or came into the world of his own accord, or upon his own business; but upon the contrary, He came to do the will of his father who sent him.
What shall we say then, to make Moses', Jesus' and Peter's words true? We will say that Jesus Christ had a father and mother of his Spirit, and a father and mother of his flesh; and so have all of his brethren and sisters: and that is one reason why he said, 'ye are Gods;' or that Isaiah prophesied: [Isa. XLI: 23.] 'Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are Gods; yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.' In fact, 'the Gods,' in old times, was common intelligence. Satan, in his first sectarian sermon to Adam and Eve, told them, if they would eat of the forbidden fruit, they should become as 'the Gods,' knowing good and evil.
This is not all: the first line of Genesis, purely translated from the original, excluding the
first Baith (which was added by the Jews,) would read:-Rosheit (the head) baurau, (brought forth,) Eloheim (the Gods) ate (with) hah-shau-mahyiem (the heavens) veh-ate, (and with) hauaurates, (the earth.) In simple English. The Head brought forth the Gods, with the heavens and with the earth. The 'Head' must have meant the 'living God,' or Head God: Christ is our head. The term 'Eloheim,' plural of Elohah, or ale, is used alike in the first chapter of Genesis, for the creation, and the quotation of Satan. In the second chapter, and fourth verse, we have this remarkable history: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were brought forth; in the day that the Lord of the Gods made earth and heavens." The Hebrew reads so.
Truly Jesus Christ created the worlds, and is Lord of Lords, and as the Psalmist said: 'Judges among the Gods.' Then Moses might have said with propriety, he is the 'living God,' and Christ, speaking of the flesh could say:-I am the son of man; and Peter enlightened by the Holy Ghost;-Thou art the Son of the living God, meaning our Father in heaven, who is the Father of all spirits, and who with Jesus Christ, his first begotten son, and the Holy Ghost, are one in power, one in dominion, and one in glory, constituting the first presidency of this system, and this eternity. But they are as much three distinct persons as the sun, moon, and earth are three different bodies.
And again the 'twelve kingdoms' which are under the above mentioned presidency of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are governed by the same rules, and destined to the same honor; [Book D. C., page 135 [par. 13.] For "Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field, to dig in the field; and he said unto the first, go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance: and he said unto the second, go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance; and also unto the third saying, I will visit you; and unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth."
Without going into the full investigation of the history and excellency of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in this article, let us reflect that Jesus Christ, as Lord of Lords, and king of kings, must have a noble race in the heavens, or upon the earth, or else he can never BE as great in power, dominion, might, and authority as the scriptures declare. But hear; the mystery is solved. John says: [Rev. XIV: 1.] 'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.'
'Their Father's name,' bless me! that is GOD! Well done for Mormonism; one hundred and forty four thousand GODS, among the tribes of Israel, and, two living Gods and the Holy Ghost, for this world! Such knowledge is too wonderful for men, unless they possess the spirit of Gods. It unravels the little mysteries, which like a fog, hides the serene atmosphere of heaven, and looks from world to world; from system to system; from universe to universe; and from eternity to eternity, where, in each, and all, there is a presidency of Gods, and Gods many, and Lords many; and from time to time, or from eternity to eternity, Jesus Christ shall bring in another world regulated and saved as this will be when he delivers it up to the Father; and God becomes all in all. 'And,' as John the Revelator said: [XXII: 3, 4.] 'there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.'
'His name in their foreheads', undoubtedly means 'God' on the front of their crowns; for, when all things are created new, in the celestial kingdom, the servants of God, the innumerable multitude, are crowned, and, are perfect men and women in the Lord, one in glory, one in knowledge, and one in image: they are like Christ, and he is like God: then, O, then, they are all 'Living Gods,' having passed from Death unto Life, and possess the power of eternal lives!
Since Elder Pratt took the oversight of affairs in the eastern states, the "Prophet" has improved somewhat: as pictorality) is among the fashions of the day, it ranks with "pictorials" or as it should be, PICTURELS; and we hope the improvement will continue. The elders abroad, can improve Mormon papers by obtaining and forwarding subscribers and means, to the Times and Seasons, and Neighbor, at Nauvoo, and the Prophet at New York.
Who knows how many thousands may be enlightened by reading one sound doctrinal paper, where popularity might deter them from hearing the truth? It was one of the "Evening and Morning Stars" that first whispered Mormonism into the hearts of a few in the kingdom of Great Britain; and it may be that other kingdoms will hear the same glad tidings through these flying chariots of thought.
Having, however, touched the subject in another article, we conclude by saying, that
union, integrity, and exertion, where faith, virtue, and charity have any influence on man, subdue the folly of nations, and light up love among millions.
Last week we received an order from Elder Reed, our agent in St. Louis, for fifty copies of the "Times and Seasons," and fifty copies of the "Neighbor," together with a statement that it was expected the list would shortly be increased. We are pleased to see a spirit of this kind being awakened among some of the branches. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" We have often heard reflections cast upon St. Louis:-They have been denominated by some, "half-breeds," Apostates," &c.; we would wish to correct this error, and state, that although many apostates have gone to St. Louis, they are not those that compose the church; many of our best brethren have gone there, according to counsel, to obtain employment. They have in all times of trouble been ready to stand by us, and to lend a helping hand, both personal and pecuniary. For an account of the situation of the church in Saint Louis, we would refer our readers to a communication of Elder Hyde, published in the Neighbor, and in the Times and Seasons; and in their activity and liberality in supporting the press, they have shown a zeal in defending truth, which it would be well for many of our branches to imitate.
We are not fond of casting reflections upon the brethren, and we are averse to saying anything about ourselves; but while upon this subject, we would state that there is the most deplorable negligence manifested by many of our elders in sustaining the press; it would seem that it was merely a cats-paw which could be used for their own private convenience, without having any reference to the great object for which it was instituted.
We last week published a statement made by President Brigham Young in answer to some remarks made in the "Prophet," wherein he assigns as a reason for there not being more subscribers, that the post offices deal fraudulently with us, and keep the papers from the subscribers; this to a certain extent is true, in some peculiar locations; but that it is not general we know assuredly, from the returns we receive from our agents and correspondents.-As we stated in the last Times, means are being used to prevent these frauds and to place the carriage of papers on a more sure footing; in the mean time we would state that if the subscribers will send us word about their delinquencies, we have made arrangements with our Post-master here, to enquire [inquire] into the difficulty; and by writing to him the delinquent Post-masters can be found out and treated according to law.
We think the elders should not be discouraged at these things, if so, we may stop our press and do without any medium of communication. We know that we have fulfilled our engagement's always faithfully, and while we are engaged in promulgating the principles of truth, defending the cause of righteousness, and sustaining correct principles, we think it but just, fair, and honorable, and as little as the elders can do, to lend a helping hand in rolling forth the work of the Lord; by assisting us in our laudable endeavors; the press will often do more to sustain correct principles than preaching, because it is a regular visitor. Our enemies are busily engaged in trying to destroy us, let us not be behind them in trying to sustain ourselves. If the different branches abroad would follow the example of St. Louis, in sustaining the Nauvoo papers and the Prophet, all might prosper; the press be placed in easy circumstances, and free from embarrassment, and nobody be injured; but, all mutually benefitted [benefited].
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
The Church of England seems to be in exceeding tribulation. A letter from the Bishop of Exeter, on the 11th of November last, addressed to the clergy of his diocese on the subject of the observance of the rubric, has caused a great sensation. Among other heterodoxies we see stated, that some of the English Divines, in repeating the creed, use the word blessed when they repeat the phrase 'born of the Virgin Mary,' and an arch deacon, Wilberforce, has said that the use of the material cross is proper. This, says this divine, as well as a publication called the Ecclesiologist, 'is the true protection of Christians. They are never so safe as under it. The graves in a church yard and the cottages in a village, cluster around it in security.' Mr. Ward. of Baliol College, Oxford, has recently published a tract called the Ideal of a Christian Church. In this, he says boldly 'in subscribing to the articles, I renounce no one Roman doctrine.' Mr. Ward was summoned before the authorities of Oxford to explain his meaning. His defence [defense] was that his name was not on the title page of the work. -Gazette.
So the church militant, in addition to the breach of Puseyism, begins to show signs of woe. We have heard, by the bye, that some wise clergymen of the said church, petitioned
his holiness the Pope, for an ordination under his gracious hand, but the 'head of catholicity [Catholicism],' informed him that he must renounce his heresy first. Now, the substance, or more properly the want of substance, in the sectarian world is, that God is not in all their ways, and so every man goes his own way.
The present christian world exists and continues by division. The MYSTERY of Babylon the great, is mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, and it needs no prophetic vision, to unravel such mysteries. The old church is the mother, and the protestants are the lewd daughters. Alas! alas! what doctrine, what principle, or what scheme, in all christendom, has produced the apostolic union? What prayers, what devotion, or what faith, 'since the fathers have fallen asleep,' has opened the heavens; has brought men into the presence of God; and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to an innumerable company of angels? The answer is, not any:-'There is none in all christendom that doeth good; no, not one. To be sure they love the uppermost rooms at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues. They wear soft raiment, and gold chains, but the prayers of the poor, steeped in tears, are bottled up in heaven, as a testimony against them, and they cannot escape the due demerits of their hypocrisy.
All kingdoms but Daniel's set up in the last days, must break to pieces. So success to the divisions of christians: they will help hasten the latter-day glory. God and Mormonism forever!
RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.
"A meeting has been called in the Hanover Rooms, in London, for the purpose of recommending the foundation of a society to promote the restoration of tho [the] Jews to Palestine.
'It is proposed to accomplish this object by inducing the British Government to take the Jews in Palestine under their special protection, to negotiate with the Porte for the independence of that country under the protection of England.
'Thus it is, we can witness the hand of the Mighty God of Jacob, moving on his glorious work of restitution, and fulfilling the words of his anointed, and answering the prayers of his saints in mighty deed. Let us struggle on, the world will yet be compelled to acknowledge the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph.'
N. Y. Prophet.
The latter day glory and gathering must go on; for as the scripture saith: [Isa. xi: 13.] 'The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.'
Again, let it be understood, by all nations, kindreds, tongues and people that Joel said, that, 'in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, there shall be deliverance, and in the remnant whom the Lord thy God shall call.' Israel is the elect: and so all Israel must be saved.
SIGNS IN THE OLD WORLD.
The symptoms of disquietude, division, and jealousy, are beginning to manifest themselves among the people of the old world, as well as in the United States. The annexed sketch, taken from the 'Edinburg Weekly Register,' is not the only sign that appears in the east as a harbinger of the utter abolishment of religious and political compacts. Such events are in strict accordance with Mormon belief, Mormon philosophy, Mormon prophecy, and eternal truth. The world waxes old as a garment, moth-eaten, and the moment it is moved for examination, that instant it begins to fall to pieces.-The leaven in the world, now working in the hearts of the children of men, will ferment, and continue to ferment, until the kingdoms of the whole earth, pass off as the dream of a night vision. God's will be done, and man freed from the bondage of men. So hear what the Register says:-
THE SWISS FACTIONS.
The population of Switzerland is about two million, of which two-fifths only adhere to the Roman Catholic religion. Three languages are spoken in the Cantonal Confederation-French, German, and Italian; and this, of itself, is sufficient to prevent any close amalgamation. Add to this, the struggles between the aristocratic and democratic parties; the prejudices existing, and embittered by recent contests between the cantons of the mountains and those of the plain; the sectional jealousies and religious animosities that prevail among small communities packed so closely together; and we have the key to the incessant struggles by which the peace of the twenty-two cantons, forming the Helvetic Confederation, has been so continuously and grievously disturbed. Independently of this misfortune, there is another danger to be apprehended-lest France, Savoy, and Austria, should get tired of watching such unquiet neighbours [neighbors], and determine on preserving the peace by adding convenient portions of the Swiss territory to their own, and thus destroy a restless nationality, which is a source of annoyance and apprehension to the contiguous governments.
It is well known that the lower cantons are
imbued with liberal notions, and that those of the mountains are the strongholds of the aristocracy and of Papal supremacy. The government of the wealthy and populous canton of Lucerne has lately thought proper to recall the Jesuits, and to appoint them to posts connected with popular education. This gave umbrage to many, who rose in arms against the authorities, but were worsted in the conflict. The government maintains its armed position, lest its refractory citizens should be assisted by their liberal friends of the other cantons; and has demanded the military intervention of the neighbouring [neighboring] members of the confederation; but some of the liberal cantons utter ominous murmurs of an inclination to take part against the government of Lucerne, in which event there could not fail to be a civil war; while there is no doubt that France, Austria, and Savoy would not pretermit so favorable an opportunity of settling the difficulty at the expense of the nationality and integrity of the Swiss Confederation. Thus stand matters at present.
The principle at issue is an important one also: being no less than whether the Jesuits are to have the absolute control over the minds of the rising generation, and to fashion them in a form inimical to the progress of liberty and enlightened religion. Freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, and the real freedom of education, are the points in dispute; and it seems, at the present day, looking to what is going on in England and many other parts of Europe and America, that there is an urgent and palpable necessity stoutly to defend and uphold the maxim, that the clergy should enjoy no privilege or jurisdiction beyond the Church; and that a priest out of the Church is neither more nor less than an ordinary citizen. The Roman Catholic clergy in France, Switzerland, and America, complains of persecution, because it is restrained from persecuting; and exclaims against tyranny and oppression, because it cannot grasp a monopoly. Let it cry aloud; but be it our part to withstand and controvert the insidious and hypocritical arguments, by means of which it is again endeavoring to prevert [pervert] to its own profit unreflecting minds and disturbed consciences. The day of St. Bartholomew, the Massacre of 1641, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Dragonnades, and the scandals and bankruptcy of the Jesuits, would seem to oppose an insuperable barrier to the re-entry of the Roman Catholic Church as a body into political concerns; but should these disgraceful and sanguinary recollections prove insufficient as a warning and an example, we may add to them the case of Switzerland, which the Jesuits are now seeking by fire and sword to divide into two hostile camps of Protestants and Catholics; while they oppose themselves to every reform of the aristocratical compact of 1815, in the hope of sheltering their religious tyranny under the protection of a temporal despotism.
FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN.
THE WORK COMMENCED AT
TAHITA AND TOOBOUI.
Tahita, August 15, 1844.
DEAR BROTHER YOUNG:-
An opportunity having presented itself of sending letters to America, and believing, also, you would like to know how the work of the Lord prospers in this distant land, we thought we would address a few lines to you, giving an account of our prosperity, and also a brief sketch of the political state of affairs here.
To do this, it is necessary to go back to the time we first made the island of Tooboui, which is a small island about three hundred miles South of this. The circumstance of our making that island was one quite unexpected, and one which the captain had tried to avoid, but unsuccessfully. His object being to recruit the ship, however, before arriving at Tahita, he though he would send a boat on shore, and learn if it afforded anything he wanted; the result of which was, he could obtain every thing he wanted. This gave us an opportunity of going on shore, which we gladly embraced after being shut up on board our ship for almost seven months. We found the natives very friendly, and very religiously disposed, although there was no white missionary on the island, neither had there been for a great length of time. As soon as they learned that we were missionaries, they were very anxious to have one or more of us stay with them. There was a number of very respectable American mechanics residing on the island, who were also anxious to have one of us stay. There being an effectual door opened for us, it was thought prudent for one to do so. The lot fell upon Br. Pratt by his own choice. After a short stay, we bid him adieu, and sailed for Tahita, where we arrived on the 14th of May. Circumstances certainly looked very unfavourable [unfavorable] when we arrived, but we could do no better than stay, as there was no way open for us to go any where else.
The circumstances which we will briefly state, were as follows: The French, as no doubt you are already aware, had taken possession of these islands, dispossessing Queen Pomare, and established their own government
here; which indeed has been a most fortunate thing for us, for had the native government been in full force when we arrived, most likely the missionaries (who hitherto have been mighty men in this kingdom) would have so influenced the natives against us, as to prevent us from landing. But thank the Lord, their greatness has had a downfall, and a mighty one to, in this land. There had been one battle fought when we arrived, and the natives were still under arms, threatening daily to come down upon the French and annihilate them. Under these circumstances it was that we obtained permission from the French government to land as missionaries. There being no convenient place in town for us to stop at, we moved into a missionary station, about four miles below it. This was rather grieving to the pastor of the flock, to think the wolves were coming so near without his being able to drive them away; but such was the case, that is, if he was a mind to call us wolves, and he could not help himself.
He shortly came to see us, and we had quite a chat together. He said he should not believe Mormonism however, though he should see two or three raised from the dead,-hinting at the power of godliness in the church. We told him he need not be alarmed, as probably he would never be troubled with the sight, while he was in his present mind, at any rate. He though it very strange of our coming here, where there were so many missionaries already, and thought we had better leave for some other place where we were more needed. We told him that as to there being so many here already, we had nothing to do with it; if God sent them here, well and good; if not, they must look to that themselves. As for us, God had sent us here, and we believed God knew where we were needed as well as he did, and we did not intend turning Jonah yet awhile, at any rate, but calculated to do the erand [errand] the Lord had sent us on, which was to warn the people of the great things that awaited them, and make known the way for their escape, which was by repenting, and embracing the covenant that God had renewed in these last days, which would entitle them to all the gifts and graces, ever enjoyed by any people on earth. These things he tried to make light of, but they came with such an overwhelming flood of Bible testimony that he could not bring a single argument against them of no kind but ridicule.
But I must hasten. After we had been here about six weeks, (during which time we had not obtained the privilege of preaching once in public,) the French forces went up into the next missionary station above us, where the native forces were encamped, and gave battle to them. During the engagement, an English missionary, who was residing there, was killed. Whether this circumstance alone started them or not, we don't know; but at any rate, shortly after it, the news came that they were going to leave, all but two; some for the Navigators, and some for England.
Thus we see, the Lord is working for us, and that to, in a way we least expected, and could hardly have hoped for. They have not all gone as yet, but are doing so as fast as possible, and the quicker they are off the better we shall like it, and the better it will be for us, for they are continually operating against us with every energy of their souls.
We preach in english every sabbath at present, and, considering the few European inhabitants here, our meetings are well attended, and good attention is paid. There is considerable interest awakened among the people; four have already been baptised [baptized], and we hope ere long, many more will be; we feel that the Lord is working with us. Our labours [labors] among the natives as yet, have necessarily been very limited, owing to their unsettled state of affairs. They are also in a most deplorable condition in a moral point of view, notwithstanding the fifty years labour [labor] of the missionaries.
We have just received a letter from Br. Pratt. He writes us that several of those Americans, who I mentioned as living there, have been obedient to the Gospel, and have taken hold of the work in earnest to assist in building up the kingdom. He also states that he has had a call from an adjacent island to come and preach to them. And indeed were we divided into a hundred different parts, and each part an efficient preacher of the gospel, we should have as much as we could attend to, and more too; so great is the work in these islands. How many saints will be made out of them is hard to tell; time and labour [labor] alone can prove that. But one thing we think is certain, and that is, they will take hold of it almost to a man. It may be hard in some cases to obtain a foot hold; but when it is once obtained, we think there is not much difficulty in making them believe the truth.
We have not as yet heard one syllable from home since we left. It is certainly very unpleasant to be shut up on a lone island of the sea, and debarred as it were from all communication with the world, especially when so many, who are near and dear to us by the strong and tender ties of the everlasting covenant, are exposed to the relentless persecutions of their unmerciful enemies.
Please write us on the receipt of this, what to do and how to act, for we feel to stand in
need of your counsel. Our love to all. We request an interest in the prayers of the church.
BENJ. F. GROUARD.
P. S. Br. Pratt, also, writes that many of the natives, on that island, are now already to be baptised [baptized], and all he is waiting for is to acquaint them more fully with their duty after being so.
LETTER FROM ELD. WM. SMITH.
The N. Y. Prophet of January 25, contains cheering news from Elder Wm. Smith. In the midst of trials, tribulations and accusations from false brethren, he triumphs; and really, when we learned that his "wife was better," we rejoiced,-for it seemed good before the Lord.
We give the letter entire, that the saints generally may sympathize with Elder Smith in all his afflictions, and pray for him, and rejoice, as the Lord, in his infinite mercy, blesses him and his family.
He writes to the Prophet:-
__I improve this opportunity to let you know that through the mercy of God I am still alive and in the land of the living.-My wife also, I rejoice to say, is better than usual, and I am in hopes will be able to journey west in the spring.
Since the arrival of Elders P. P. Pratt and Benson, the burden of church affairs will not rest so much on my shoulders, and in the reception of these brethren from the west, I am much rejoiced in having more help, for truly we might say the harvest is great, and the laborers are few. I shall continue to labor in conjunction with Elder Pratt, in the eastern churches until spring. It is well known however, by the saints that I contemplate leaving for the west soon, and I feel highly pleased to leave the presidency of the eastern churches in such competent hands, and I hope the saints will do all in their power to sustain them; with the quorum of the Twelve as the presidency over the whole church.
I would say that I have read Elder Pratt's circular to the churches, and do most cordially approve of its sentiments. Since the death of the prophet and patriarch, the church has had to undergo almost an entire revolution of things and those away from Nauvoo have had to guess their way, or get along the best they could, and if errors have been committed, they have been of the head, and not of the heart. But as yet we have committed none as we know of, and we pray God to guide us by that Spirit that leads into all truth, and if there should be any discontented spirits, the brethren will attribute them to the right source.
Rigdonism has been through this country, but it is now dead-forsooth, it never lived. It has perished in its birth, and died without usage, and those who have been led by its influence, are now without a name or church. God pity them; they know no better.
The church of Christ is well united, glory to God, and bids fair to prosper with good management. God help us now, and the gospel ship will ride safely through the storm. The winds and waves have now subsided, and she anchors in the haven of rest. Be faithful, brethren, and you will reap your reward.
I will not say more at this time; you know my feelings; it is that Zion may prosper and be built up, and the cause of truth spread throughout the whole world, and the pure in heart be blessed; and God have mercy on my enemies, and those who persecute and despitefully use us. God loves the honest in heart, and those who will stand to their posts and prove true unto death, but the traitor and hypocrite God will judge. Integrity is half the battle; let the saints put their trust in God, and put away sin, evil speaking, and every evil work, and be true to their friends and trust, and the battle is won, the victory ours. Which may God grant for his Son's sake.
My respects to all my friends; I have not forgotten them. Amen.
EARTHQUAKE AT ST. THOMAS.-The Captain of the brig Orleans, which arrived here from St. Thomas on Sunday, reports, that a slight shock of an earthquake was felt at that place on the 2d instant, about 11 o'clock, A. M., which lasted a very short time,-no damage done.-Picayune.
ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE.-Captain Baker, of the Industry, reports an earthquake at 2 o'clock, of January 7 at Pointe a Petre . The brig had a deck load of horses, which were thrown down by the shock. No damage done on shore.
MISSION IN THE PACIFIC.
The letter from Tahita in this paper, is full of interest; it shows that faith, diligence, and perseverance, when sanctioned by Jehovah, can overcome all difficulties;-for there is nothing impossible with God.
The mountains must be thrown down; the valleys exalted; the oceans rolled back to their own place; the islands moved out of their places, and so all Israel shall be saved.
ELDER WOODRUFF IN ENGLAND.
Elder Woodruff and his company arrived in Liverpool on the 3d of January-being 25 days out. Nothing material happened save head winds in the Irish Channel, for about a week.
As the steamer Cambria left on the 4th, Elder Woodruff had no time to give a detail of affairs in England, but we shall look for a full account soon.
TIMES AT NAUVOO.
The winter thus far, has been milder than any previous one, within our recollection; and as a matter of course, business of all kinds, if the weather continues thus favorable, will open with a fairer prospect, and be upheld and persevered in, with a union not before witnessed since Nauvoo was founded.
We congratulate the saints abroad, on account of the unity of effort, and industrious feeling that pervades the only city of saints in the world. May God continue these laudible traits of prosperity, both temporally and spiritually and-truth will prevail.
(For the Times and Seasons).
TO PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG:
BY MISS ELIZA R. SNOW
An important station is truly thine, The great work which he laid the foundation to
And the weight of thy calling can none define: Is unfinished, and resting on thee to do-
Being call'd of the Lord o'er the Twelve to preside, With thy brethren, the Twelve, thou wilt bear it forth
And with them over all of the world beside. To the distant nations of the earth.
Like Elisha of old, when Elijah fled Kings, princes, and nobles will honor thee,
In a chariot of fire, thou hast lost thy head; And thy name will be great on the isles of the sea-
Lost thy head? O no! thou art left to prove The pure light of intelligence thou wilt spread
To the Gods, thy integrity, faith, and love. Will exalt the living and save the dead.
Thou hast gain'd, like Elisha, a rich behest, The great spirit of truth, will direct thy ways;
For the mantle of Joseph seems to rest Generations to come, will repeat thy praise-
Upon thee, while the spirit and pow'r divine, When thy work is completed on earth, thou'lt stand
That inspir'd his heart, is inspiring thine. In thy station appointed at God's right hand.
The Times and Seasons, Is Printed and Published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
TERMS.-Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter