1840

6-8 Apr 1840, general conference, Commerce, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons, vol. 1 p. 91-95]

[6 Apr, am]

[T&S 1:91-92]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

            At a general conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at the town of Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, on the sixth day of April A. D. 1840, agreeable to previous appointment.

            Joseph Smith, jr. was called upon to preside over the conference, and Robbert B. Thompson to be Clerk.

            The meeting was then opened by an address to the Throne of Grace, by Elder J. E. Page.

            The president rose and made some observations on the business of the conference; exhorted the brethren who had charges to bring against any individual to be charitable; and made some very appropriate remarks respecting "pulling out the beam in their own eyes, that they might see clearly the mote which was in their brothers eye.

            A letter was read from presidents of the seventies, wishing for an explanation of the steps, which the high council had taken, in removing Elder F. G. Bishop, from the quorum of the seventies, to that of the High Priest, without any other ordination than he had when in the seventies, and wished to know, whither, those ordained into the seventies at the same time F. G. Bishop was, had a right to the High Priesthood, or not. After observations on the case by different individuals, the president gave a statement of the authority of the seventies, and stated that they were Elders and not High Priests, and consequently brother F. G. Bishop had no claim to that office. It was then unanimously resolved that Elder F. G. Bishop be placed back again into the Quorum of the seventies.

            It was then resolved that the conference adjourn until two o'clock P. M.

 

[6 Apr, 2 pm]

[T&S 1:92]

            The conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            Prayer by Elder Joseph Young.

            Elder J. Grover presented charges against Bro. D. W. Rogers for compiling an Hymn Book, and selling it as the one selected and published by sister Emma Smith; for writing a letter to N. Y. having reflections in it on elder John P. Green, and derogatory to his character, and likewise for administering medicine, which had a bad effect.

            It was resolved, that as Bro. Rogers is not present, the case be laid over until to morrow.

            Elder John Lawson then came forward and stated, that in consequence of some difficulty existing in the branch of the church where he resided, respecting the word of wisdom, the church had withdrawn their fellowship from him, & Bro. Thomas S. Edwards. After hearing the statements; it was resolved, that John Lawson and Thomas S. Edwards be restored to fellowship.

            Elder Orson Hyde addressed the conference and stated that it had some years previous been prophesied of him, that he had a great work to perform among the Jews; and that he had recently been moved upon by the spirit of the Lord to visit that people, and gather up all the information he could from them respecting their movements, expectations &c. and communicate the same to this church and to this nation at large. Stated that he intended to visit the Jews in New York, London, Amsterdam, and then visit Constantinople and the Holy Land.

            It was then unanimously resolved that Elder Hyde proceed in his mission, and that his letter of recommendation be signed by the President and Clerk of the conference.

            Elder John E. Page then rose, and spoke with much force on the object of Elder Hyde's mission, the gathering together of the Jews, and the restoration of the house of Israel; proving in a short, but convincing manner from the Bible, book of Mormon, and the book of Doctrine and covenants. That these things must take place and that the time had now nearly arrived for their accomplishment.

            It was then resolved that the conference adjourn until to morrow morning, at 9 o'clock.

[7 Apr, 9 am]

[T&S 1:92]

            Tuesday morning. Conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            A. Hymn was sung by the choir and the meeting was opened by prayer by Elder Caleb Baldwin.

            Bro. D. W. Rogers' case was then called up.

            Which after some observations and explanations of the different charges.

            It was unanimously resolved, that Bro. D. W. Rogers be forgiven and that the hand of fellowship be continued.

            The meeting was then adjourned for one hour.

[7 Apr, pm]

[T&S 1:92-93]

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            A Hymn was sung by the choir and prayer was made by Elder R. Cahoon.

            The President called upon the Clerk to read the report of the Presidency and High council, with regard to their proceedings in purchasing lands and securing a place of gathering for the saints. The report having been read, the President made some observations respecting the pecuniary affairs of the church, and requested the brethren to step forward and assist in liquidating the debts on the town plot, so that the poor might have inheritances.

            He then gave some account of his mission to Washington city, in company with President Rigdon and Judge Higbee, the treatment they received and the action of the Senate on the memorial which was presented to them.

            The meeting then called for the reading of the memorial, and the report of the committee on Judiciary, to whom the same had been referred.-Which were read.

            It was then resolved, that a committee of five be appointed to draught resolutions expressive of the sentiments of this conference in reference to the report.

            Resolved, that Robert D. Foster, Orson Hyde, John E. Page, Joseph Wood and Robert B. Thompson compose said committee, and report to this conference.

            Resolved, That this meeting adjourn until to morrow morning at 9 o'clock.

            A Hymn was then sung and the meeting was dismissed by Elder John Smith.

[8 Apr, 9 am]

[T&S 1:93-94]

            Wednesday morning, conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            A number were confirmed, who had been baptized the previous evening.

            The meeting was then opened with prayer by Elder Marks.

            The committee appointed to draft resolutions on the report which was read yesterday, were then called upon to make their report.

            Robert B. Thompson of the committee then read the resolutions, as follows.

            Whereas, we learn with deep sorrow, regret and disappointment, that the committee on Judiciary, to whom was referred the memorial, of the members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly called Mormons) complaining of the grievances suffered by them in the State of Missouri, have reported unfavorable to our cause, to Justice and humanity.

            Therefore,

            Resolved 1st. That we consider the report of the committee on Judiciary, unconstitutional, and subversive of the rights of a free people; and justly calls for the disapprobation of all the supporters and lovers of good government and republican principles.
                Resolved, 2nd. That the committee state in their report, that our memorial aggravate the case of our oppressors, and at the same time say; that they have not examined into the truth or falsehoods of the facts mentioned in said memorial.
                Resolved, 3rd. That the memorial does not aggravate the conduct of our oppressors, as every statement set forth in said memorial, was substantiated by indubitable testimony, therefore, we consider the statement of the committee in regard to that part; as false and ungenerous.
                Resolved, 4th. That, that part of the report, referring us to the Justice and magnanimity of the State of Missouri for redress; we deem it a great insult to our good sense, better judgment, and intelligence; when from numerous affidavits which were laid before the committee: Proved, that we could only go into the State of Missouri, contrary to the exterminating order of the Governor, and consequently at the risk of our lives.
                Resolved, 5th. That after repeated appeals to the constituted authorities of the State of Missouri for redress, which were in vain; we fondly hoped that in the Congress of the United States, ample justice would have been rendered us; and upon that consideration alone, we pledged ourselves to abide their decision.
                Resolved, 6th. That the exterminating order of Governor Bogs, is a direct infraction of the constitution of the U. States, and of the State of Missouri; and the committee in refusing to investigate the proceedings of executive and others of the State of Missouri, and turning a deaf ear, to the cries of widows, orphans, and innocent blood, we deem no less, than secondary the proceedings of that murderous mob, whose deeds are recorded in heaven, and justly calls down upon their heads, the righteous judgments of an offended God.
                Resolved, 7th. That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the citizens of the State of Illinois, for their kind, liberal, and generous conduct towards us; and that we call upon them, as well as every patriot in this vast republic, to aid us in all lawful endeavors, to obtain redress for the injuries we have sustained.
                Resolved, 8th. That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the delegation of Illinois, for their bold, manly, noble and independent course they have taken, in presenting our case before the authorities of the nation, a mid misrepresentation, contumely and abuse which characterized us in our suffering condition.
                Resolved, 9th. That the thanks of this meeting be tendered to Gov. Carlin of Illinois, Gov. Lucas of Iowa for their sympathy, aid, and protection.-And to all other Honorable Gentlemen who have assisted us in our endeavors to obtain redress.
                Resolved, 10th. That Joseph Smith jr. Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee, the delegates appointed by this church, to visit the city of Washington to present our sufferings before the authorities of the nation, accept of the thanks of this meeting, for the prompt and efficient manner in which they have discharged their duty; and that they be requested in the behalf of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, throughout the world, to continue to use their endeavors to obtain redress for a suffering people; and if all hopes of obtaining satisfaction (for the injuries done us:) be entirely blasted, that they then appeal our case to the court of Heaven, believing, that the great Jehovah, who rules over the destiny of nations, and who notices the falling sparrow, will undoubtedly redress our wrongs, and ere long avenge us of our adversaries.

            It was then resolved, that the report of the committee on Judiciary, as well as the foregoing preamble and resolutions, be published in the Quincy papers.

            Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to investigate the recommendations, those persons may have, who wish to obtain an ordination to the ministry and to ordain such as may be thought worthy. That elder Samuel Bent, Joseph Wood and Orson Hyde, compose said committee.

            Resolved, That this meeting feel satisfied with the proceedings of the presidency with regard to the sales of town property &c. and that they be requested to continue in their agency.

            Resolved, That this meeting adjourn for one hour.

[8Apr, pm]

[T&S 1:94-95]

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment, after singing the President arose and read the 3d chap. of John's Gospel after which prayer was offered by elder Erastus Snow.

            The President commenced making observations on the different subjects embraced in the chapter particularly on the 3d, 4th, 5th verses illustrating it with a very beautiful and striking figure, and throwing a flood of light on the subjects which were brought up to review.

            He then spoke to the elders respecting their mission, and advised those who went into the world, to preach the gospel, to leave their families provided for, with the necessaries of life; and to teach the gathering as set forth in the Holy scriptures.

            That it had been wisdom to, for the greater body of the church to keep on this side of the river, in order that a foundation might be established in this place, but that now, it was the privilege of the saints to occupy the lands in the Iowa, or wherever the spirit might lead them.

            That he did not wish to have any political influence, but wished the saints to use their political franchise to the best of their knowledge.

            He then stated that since Elder Hyde had been appointed to visit the Jewish people, he had felt an impression that it would be well for Elder John E. Page to accompany him on his mission.

            It was resolved, that Elder John E. Page be appointed to accompany Elder Orson Hyde on his mission, and that he have proper credentials given him.

            It was then resolved, that as a great part of the time of the conference had been taken up with charges against individuals which might have been settled by the different authorities of the church that in future no such cases be brought before the conferences.

            The committee on ordination, reported that they had ordained thirty one persons, to be elders in the church; who were ordained under the hands of Alpheus Gifford, and Stephen Perry.

            Which report was accepted.

            F. G. Williams presented himself on the stand and humbly ashed forgiveness for his conduct and expressed his determination to do the will of God in future: his case was presented to the conference by President Hyrum Smith, when it was unanimously resolved, that F. G. Williams be forgiven, and be received into the fellowship of the church.

            It was reported, that seventy five persons had been baptized during the conference, and that upwards of fifty had been received into the quorum of the seventies.

            President Hyrum Smith, was called upon to dismiss the assembly.

            After he had made a few observations, the conference was closed under the blessings of the Presidency. Until the first Friday in October next.

JOSEPH SMITH, jr. Pres't.
ROBERT B. THOMPSON, Clerk.

 

15 Apr 1840, general conference, Temperance Hall Preston, Lancashire England.
[Wilford Woodruff Journals 1:435-438]

[15 Apr, am]

[WWJ 1: 435-437]

            [15th] At a general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held in the Temperance Hall Preston, Lancashire England; on the fifteenth Day of April Eighteen hundred & forty. Elder Kimble was called to preside & Elder William Clayton Chosen as Clerk. It being the tenth day of the first month of the Eleventh year of the Church. The meeting was opened by Singing & prayer by Elder Kimble. Elder Kimble then called upon the Elders to represent the different branches of the Church When Er. Joseph Fielding represented the church in Preston consisting of about 300 members 7 Elders 8 [p.436] Priest 6 Teachers & 2 Deacons.

            E[lde]r. Peter Melling represented the Church in Penwortham consisting of 73 Members 3 E. 1 P. 2 T. & 1 D.

            Er. Wm. Garner represented the church at Longton consisting of 51 members 2 E 4 P. & 2 Teachers.

            Teacher Joseph Jackson repd. the Church at Southport 20 Members 1 P. 1 T.

            Elder John Moon reps. the Church Dunbers Lane & Neighbourhood 54 M 1 E 2 P 3 T.

            Richard Benson rep. the church at Hunters Hill 17 M. 1 E. 1 P. 1 T.

            Er. Amos Fielding rep. the Church at Haskins 3 M. 1 E. Also the Church at Bolton 60 M. 1 E. 2 P. 2 T. Also the Church at Radclift 10 M.

            Elder Withenal rep. the Church at Whittle 18 M 1 E. 4 P.

            Er. Francis Clark rep. the church at Ribchester 25 M. 2 E. 1 T.

            Elder Thomas Richardson rep. the Church at Burnly 24 M. 1 P 1 T.

            Elder Francis Moon rep. the Church at Blackburn 15 M. 1 P.

            Elder James Smith rep. the Church in Chaighley Keighley & Thornly 29 M 2 E. 1 P. 1 T. 1 D.

            Pt. John Ellison rep. the church at Waddington 50 M. 2 P. 2 T. 1 D.

            Er. Thomas Smith rep. the Church at Clithero 27 [M.] 1 E. 3 P. Also the Church at Chatburn 84 M 1 E. 2 P. 2 T. 1 D. Also the Church at Dawnham Dunham 20 M 1 T. 1 D. Also the Church at Grindleton 5 M.

            Er. Wm. Clayton rep. the Church at Manchester 240 Members 2 E. 5 P. 4 T 1 D. Also the church at Stockport 40 M. 1 P 2 T. 1 D. Also the Church at Duckinfield Duttonfield 30 M. 1 P. Also the Church at Altringham 8 M. 1 P. 1 T. Also the church at peowen & Manderfield 30 M 3 P. Also the Church at Middlewich 6 M.

            Er. David Wilding rep. the Church at Bury & Elton 12 M.

            Er. Wilford Woodruff represented the Church in [p.437] the potteries 101 M. 1 E. 2 P 4 T 1 D.

            Er. W Woodruff represented the Church at Herefordshire consisting of 160 Members 1 E. 2 P. 40 of these were Methodist preachers of the United Brethren & 42 places of Worshiping licensed according to Law.

            Er. John Taylor represented the church at Liverpool consiting of 28 M.

            Er. Joseph Fielding rep the Church at Alston Cumberland con. of 40 M. 2 E 2 P. 2 T.

            Er. Wd. Richards rep. the church at Brampton consisting of 30 M. 1 E. 1 P. Also the Church at Bedford consi[sting] of 40 M 1 E. 1 P. Also the Church in Scotland consisting of 21 M. 3 E.

            The meeting was then adjourned for 1 hour.

[15 Apr, 1:30 pm]

[WWJ 1:437-438]

            The Conference then assembled at 1/2 past 1 oclock & business Continued.

            Er. John Moon rep. the Church at Layland Moss consisting of 6 M 1 T.

            Elder W Richards having previously been Ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve according to previous Revelation it was Moved by Er. Young & Second by Er. Taylor that Elder Hiram Clark be appointed as Councillor to Er. Fielding in the place of Elder Richards. Card. Unan.

            Mooved by Elder Fielding & Secd. by Er. Young that a Hymn Book Shall be published. Carried. Mooved & Secd. That the publishing of the Hymn Book shall be done by the Direction of the Twelve. Carried.

            Mooved & Secd. That a Monthly periodical shall be published under the Superintendance & direction of the Twelve for the benefit and information of the church as soon as a sufficient number of Subscribers shall be obtained. Carried.

            Mooved & Second that Brother John Bleagard of Samlesbury be Ordained to the Office of a priest. Carried.

            Mooved & Secd. that bro. James Corbridge of Thomly be Ordained to the Office of a priest. Carried.

            Elder Kimble then lade before the Conference [p.438] the importance & propriety of ordaining a patriarch to bestow patriarchal Blessings on the fatherless. Referd to the Twelve whose business it was to select & ordain him according to the direction of the Spirit. After various remarks being given by the Ers. Prest. Fielding & his councillors proceded to Ordain bro's Bleagard [and] Corbridge to the Office as Stated above.

            Elder Kimble then Called upon the clerk to read over the minutes which being done they were receieved by the Unanimous voice of the Conference.

            Mooved by Er. Young & Secd. by P P Pratt that this Conference be adjourned till the 6th Day of July next to be held in preston at 10 oclok A.M. Carried. The Meeting then Adjourned.

                                                            Heber C Kimble President
                                                                                Wm. Clayton Clerk

            The whole Number of the Saints in England & Scotland including official members is
                Saints                     1671
                Elders                     34
                Priest                      52
                Teachers                38
                Deacons                8
                sum total of Official members          132

 

16 Apr 1840, Council of Twelve, Preston, England.
[Wilford Woodruff Journals 1:438-430]

            The Council of the Twelve met persuant to adjourment April 16th 1840. The members of the Quorum the same as on the 14th.

            Mooved by Er. Brigham Young & second. by Elr John Taylor that Elder P P Pratt be Chosen as the Editor of the Monthly periodical for the Church.

            Mooved by Er. Kimble, & Sec. by Er. P P Pratt that a committy of three be appointed to Make a Selection of Hymns. Mooved by Er. Orson Pratt & Seconded by Er Wilford Woodruff that Elder Brigham Young Er P P Pratt & Er J. Taylor form the committy for the Selection of the Hymns.

            Mooved by Er. W. Richards Secd. by G. A. Smith that the name of the periodical be the Latter Day [p.439] Saints Millennial Star. Mooved by Er Brigham Young Secd By Elr Orson Pratt that the size of the paper its plan & price be left at the disposal of the Editor.

            Mooved by Elr. Brigham Young Secd. by Elr. H. C. Kimble that the Saints recieve a recommend to the Church in America to moove in small or large bodies inasmuch as they desire to emigrate to that new Country.

            Mooved by Elder B. Young second. by Elr. P. P. Pratt that we recommend no one to go to America that has money without assisting the poor according to our council from time to time.

            Mooved by Er. John Taylor second. by Er P P Pratt that the copy right of the Book of Doctrins & Covenants & the Book of Mormon be secured as soon as possible. Mooved by Elr. W Woodruff, seconded by Er W. Richards that Elders Brigham Young Heber C. Kimble & Parley P Pratt be the Committy to secure the Coppy Right.

            Mooved by Er. H C. Kimble secd. by Er W. Richards that Elder Peter Melling be ordained an Evanjelical minister in preston.

            Mooved by Er H C. Kimble secd. by Er. W. Richards that the Twelve meet here on the 6th of July 1840 if the Lord will.

            Mooved by Er. W. Richards secd. by Er W. Woodruff that the Editor of the periodical keep an account of all the receipts & expenditures connecting with the printing general expenses &c. & that the Books at all times be open for the inspection of the Council.

            The above resolutions were unanimously adopted.

John Tayler Clerk

 

06 Jul 1840, quorum of the Twelve, and a general conference in Europe, Joiner's Hall, Manchester England.
[Times & Seasons 1:168, Millennial Star 1:67-71]]

[T&S 1:168]

            Monday, July 6th, the quorum of the Twelve, and a general Conference of the church of Christ, of Latter Day Saints, in Europe, met at the above named place; and we had an interesting day: there were Elders present from almost every church in England, and Scotland; there was 40 churches represented, containing 2,495 members, 59 Elders, 122 Priests, 61 Teachers, 13 Deacons, making an increase of about 824 members, 25 Elders, 70 Priests, 23 Teachers, and 5 Deacons, during the last three months; and 374 members, 9 Elders, 50 Priests, and 13 Teachers of the above number, were added in the Herefordshire churches where I have been laboring.

[6 Jul, 10 am]

[MS 1:67-68]

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE.

            A general conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was held in the Carpenter's Hall, Manchester, on the 6th day of July, 1840, it being the 1st day of the 4th month of the 11th year of the church, when the following officers of the travelling high council were present, viz., Elders B. Young, P. P. Pratt, Wd. Woodruff, J. Taylor, Wd. Richards, H. C. Kimball, and G. A. Smith; other officers, viz., high priests, 5; elders, 19; priests, 15; teachers, 11; and deacons, 3.

            The meeting being called to order, a little after ten o'clock, by Elder W. Clayton, it was moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Elder Pratt be chosen president of the conference, which was carried unanimously.

            Elder W. Clayton was chosen clerk.

            The meeting was opened by singing and prayer by the president.

            Elder B. Young then proceeded to prefer charges against Elder T. Green, viz., first, for giving way to a false spirit; secondly, for abusing a young female, by accusing her, in a public meeting, of things which he could not [68] prove; and thirdly, for abuse to the house and congregation at Dukinfield, June 28th, 1840.

            The president then proceeded to ask Elder Green whether he was guilty of these charges or not. He immediately pleaded guilty, and acknowledged.

            After Elder Young had made considerable remarks to the meeting present, touching the conduct of Elder Green, he proposed that Elder Green go to those characters whom he had abused and insulted, and make confession to them as far as the offence extended, and then to be suspended from office for a season.

            The president then made remarks to the same effect, and put it to the vote of the meeting, viz., that he shall make confession, as stated above, and be suspended from office for a season.--Carried.

            The president asked Elder Green if he was willing to make confession, who immediately agreed to do it the first opportunity.

            The meeting adjourned a little after twelve o'clock.

[6 Jul, 2 pm]

[MS 1:68-70]

            At two o'clock business commenced by singing and prayer, when the president called upon the officers to represent the different branches of the church, which was done in the following order, viz.:--

 

 

Members

Elders

Priests

Teachers

Deacons

The Branch at Manchester, represented by Elder W. Clayton

280

3

5

5

1

 Ditto Preston, ditto Elder Jos. Fielding

354

6

8

4

2

Elders Kington and Browett presented the Minutes of the Conferences held in Herefordshire, which were read by Elder Wilford Woodruff, representing 33 Branches of the Church

534

10

52

13

0

Elder Alfred Cordon read the Minutes of the Conference held at Hanley, Staffordshire, representing 7 branches of the Church

168

4

13

6

2

The Branch at Liverpool, represented by Elder John Taylor

78

1

3

2

0

Elder Jos. Fielding read the Minutes of the Thornley Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

The Branches at Chaightley and Thornley, represented by Elder William Kay

30

3

2

1

1

The Branch at Ribchester, represented by Elder Francis Clark

22

2

0

1

0

 Ditto Waddington, ditto John Ellison

58

0

2

2

1

 Ditto Clithero, ditto Brother Lofthouse

35

1

3

1

0

 Ditto Chatburn, ditto Elder John Bond

91

2

2

2

0

 Ditto Downham, ditto J. Spencer

25

0

1

0

0

 Ditto Grindleton, ditto Elder Joseph Fielding

5

0

1

0

0

 Ditto Whitemore, ditto J. Spencer

3

0

0

0

0

 Ditto Burnley, ditto Elder H. C. Kimball

27

1

1

1

0

 Ditto Blackburn, ditto Elder H. C. Kimball

17

0

1

0

0

Elder Reuben Hedlock read the Minutes of the Conference held at Fainley, Scotland, representing 5 Branches of the Church

106

6

5

3

2

The Branch at Alston, represented by Elder John Sanders

36

2

2

2

0

 Ditto Brampton, ditto John Sanders

36

1

1

0

0

 Ditto Longdon, ditto Elder Bradshaw

54

2

4

2

0

[69]

 

Members

Elders

Priests

Teachers

Deacons

 Ditto Penwortham, ditto Elder P. Melling

72

4

1

1

1

 Ditto Whittle, ditto Elder Rd. Withnall

16

1

4

0

0

 Ditto Southport, ditto R. M'Bride

10

1

0

2

0

Branches at Daubers Lane and Eccleston, by Eld. Rd. Withall

42

0

1

3

0

The Branch at Hunters Hill, represented by Richard Benson

18

1

1

1

0

 Odd Members

8

0

0

0

0

 Ditto Bolton, ditto Elder D. Wilding

61

1

2

2

0

 Ditto Bury & Elton, ditto Elder D. Wilding

12

0

0

0

0

 Ditto Ratcliff, ditto Elder Amos Fielding

11

0

0

0

0

 Ditto Bedford &c. ditto Elder Willard Richards

40

1

1

0

0

 Ditto Stockport, ditto Elder M. Littlewood

85

2

1

2

1

 Ditto Dukinfield, ditto Elder Henry Royle

41

1

1

0

0

 Ditto Macclesfield, ditto Samuel Heath

14

0

2

0

0

 Ditto Middlewich, ditto ditto

20

0

1

1

1

 Ditto Peover, ditto ditto

24

0

1

1

1

 Ditto Northwich, ditto William Berry

14

0

1

0

0

 Ditto Altringham, ditto ditto

4

0

0

1

0

 Ditto Whitefield ditto Walker Johnson

14

0

1

0

0

 Ditto Pendlebury, ditto Elder W. Clayton

13

0

1

1

0

 Ditto Eccles, ditto ditto

5

0

0

0

0

 Ditto West Bromwich, ditto Elder Theodore Turley

16

0

1

1

0

            After the officers had got through with the representations, the president introduced the new hymn book; and, after suitable remarks had been made by him and Elders Young and Kington, the president asked the conference if they were satisfied with the labours of those who had made the selection, and if they received the book. The unanimous approbation of the meeting was immediately manifested.

_____

ORDINATIONS

            Moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Woodruff; that T. Kington be ordained High Priest-- carried. Moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder G. A. Smith; that Alfred Cordon be ordained High Priest--carried. Moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder H. C. Kimball; that Thomas Smith be ordained High Priest--carried. Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder B. Young; that John Albiston be ordained Elder--carried. Also, by the same, the John Blezard be ordained Elder--carried: and that William Berry be ordained Elder--carried. Moved by Elder Woodruff, seconded by Elder Richards; that Joseph Slinger be ordained Priest--carried. Moved by Elder Woodruff, seconded by Elder Kimball; that George Walker be ordained Priest--carried. Moved by Elder Woodruff, seconded by Elder Young; that John Smith be ordained Priest--carried: also, by the same, that Robert Williams be ordained Priest--carried; and that William Black be ordained Priest--carried. Moved by Elder Woodruff, seconded by Elder Kimball; that John Melling be ordained Priest--carried. moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Richards; that John Sanders be ordained Elder--carried. Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young; that John Parkinson be ordained Elder--carried. Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball; that James Worsley be ordained Elder--carried: also, by the same, that John Allan be ordained Elder--carried; and that John Swindlehurst be ordained Priest--carried. [70]

            Elder B. Young then called upon those officers, whose circumstances would permit them to devote themselves entirely to the work of the ministry, and would volunteer so to do, to stand up, when the following names were taken, viz., of the travelling high council, B. Young, H. C. Kimball, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and Geo. A. Smith; other officers, viz., Wm. Clayton, Reuben Hadlock, H. Clark, Theodore Turley, Joseph Fielding, Thos. Richardson, Amos Fielding, John Parkinson, John Wytch, John Needham, H. Royle, John Blezard, D. Wilding, Charles Price, Joseph Knowles, William Kay, Samuel Heath, William Parr, R. McBride, and James Morgan.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball, that Elder P. Melling be appointed to preside over the following branches of the church, viz., Preston, Longton, Penwortham, North Meols, and Southport.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Elder Richard Withnall be appointed to preside over the branches of the church at Whittle, Dauber's Lane, Chorley, Hunter's Hill, and Euxtonburgh.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Elder Thos. Smith be appointed to preside over the branches of the church at Clithero, Chatburn, Downham, Chaighley, Grindleton, Whitemore, Burnley, Blackburn, Ribchester, and Thornley.--Carried.

            Moved and seconded, that President Fielding and his councillors be set at liberty from the charge which they have sustained as a presidency, that they may have the privilege of more fully entering into the field of labour; and that their labours were accepted.--Carried.

            Elders Young and Richards then proceeded to ordain those who had been nominated to their respective offices, after which the president called upon the clerk to read over the minutes, which being done, they were accepted by the unanimous voice of the conference.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that this conference be adjourned to the 6th day of October next, to be held in the Carpenter's hall, Manchester, at ten o'clock, a.m.--Carried.

[7 Jul]

[MS 1:70-71]

            Pursuant to previous notice, a General Council of the Church Officers was held in the Council-room, at the Star Office, Manchester, on the 7th day of July 1840. The Meeting being opened by prayer by Elder Kimball, Elder Young began to speak concerning those Officers who had volunteered to devote themselves wholly to the ministry, when:--

            It was moved and seconded, that Brothers Wm. Kay and T. Richardson go to Herefordshire to labour in that region, with Eld. Kington.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother Clark go with Elder Hadlock to Scotland.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother Fielding go to Bedford.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball that Brother Amos Fielding go to Newcastle- upon-Tyne.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother D. Wilding go to Garway, Herefordshire.--Carried.

[71]

            Moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother W. Clayton go to Birmingham.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother John Needham go with Brother Clayton Birmingham.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother H. Royle, go to Sheffield.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Clayton, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother John Albiston take charge of the following branches of the church, viz., Dukinfield, Hyde, Woolley Hill, Ashton, and Staley Bridge.-- Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by elder Young, that Brother Joseph Knowles accompany Elder Hadlock to Scotland.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother John Wytch go with Elder Amos Fielding to Newcastle-upon-Tyne,--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Pratt, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother Wm. Parr go to Sandbach and Congleton.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Pratt, that Brother Heath continue his labours in Macclesfield.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother John Blezard go to Cornshaw.-- Carried.

            Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Richards, that Brother Robert McBride go to Lancaster.-- Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother James Morgan abide in his own neighbourhood, to labour with Elder D. Wilding.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Pratt, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother Price give up his business, and labour under the advice of Elder Kington, as the way opens.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball, that Brother William Black to go Lisbourne, Ireland, as the way opens.--Carried.

            Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Smith, that brother John Parkinson have a roving commission, so long as he keeps busy, and doing good.--Carried.

            After Elder Young had addressed the meeting upon several important items, it was moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Kimball, that this meeting be adjourned to the next conference.

            The meeting then dismissed by blessing from Elder Young.

P. P. PRATT, President.
W. CLAYTON, clerk.

 

3-5 Oct 1840, general conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 1:185-187]

[3 Oct, morning]

[T&S 1:185-186]

Minutes of the general conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in Nauvoo, Hancock county, Ill. Oct, 3rd 1840.

            The conference was opened by prayer by President W. Marks.

            Joseph Smith jr. was then unanimously called to the chair, and R. B. Thompson, chosen clerk.

            A letter from elders Bent and Harris and one from Elder John E. Page were then read by the Clerk, which gave very satisfactory accounts of their mission.

            On motion. Resolved, That a committee be appointed to ordain such as have recommends to this conference for ordination, and that elders

Jonathan Hale,                    Elisha H. Groves,
Charles C. Rich,                   John Murdock,
                        Simeon Carter

compose said committee, and report their proceedings before the conference closes.

            The president arose and stated that there had been several depredations committed on the citizens of Nauvoo, and thought it expedient that a committee be appointed, to search out the offenders, and bring them to justice.

            Whereupon it was resolved, that,

Joseph Smith,                       Elias Higbee,
William Marks,                    Vinson Knight,
William Law,                        Charles C. Rich,
                        Dimick Huntington,

compose said committee.

            On motion. Resolved, that R. B. Thompson be appointed the general church clerk in the room of Geo. W. Robinson, who intends to remove to Iowa.

            It having been requested by Elder Page that the conference would appoint an elder to take charge of the church which he and Elder Hyde had raised up in Cincinnati.

            On motion. Resolved, that Elder Samuel Bennett, be appointed to preside over the church in Cincinnati.

            The president then rose, and stated that it was necessary that something, should le done with regard to Kirtland, so that it might be built up; and gave it as his opinion, that the brethren from the east might gather there, and also, that it was necessary that some one should be appointed from this conference to preside over that stake On motion. Resolved, that Elder Alman Babbit be appointed to preside over the church in Kirtland, and that he choose his own councellors.

            Conference adjourned for one hour.

[3 Oct 1 pm]

[T&S 1:186]

            One o'clock P. M. Conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            An opportunity was given to the brethren who had any remarks to make on suitable locations for stakes.

            Elder H. Miller stated that it was the desire of a number of the brethren residing in Adams county to have a stake appointed at Mount Ephraim in that county, and stated the advantages of the place for agricultural purposes &c.

            On motion. Resolved, that a stake be appointed at Mount Ephraim in Adams county.

            There being several applications for the appointment of stakes, it was resolved that a committee be appointed to organize stakes between this place and Kirtland, and that

Hyrum Smith,
Lyman Wight and
Alman Babbit

compose said committee.

            The president then spoke of the necessity of building a "House of the Lord" in this place.

            Whereupon it was resolved, that the saints build a house for the worship of God, and that Reynolds Cahoon, Elias Higbee, and Alpheus Cutler, be appointed a committee to build the same.

            On motion. Resolved, that a commencement be made ten days from this date, and that every tenth day be appropriated for the building of said house.

            President Hyrum Smith arose and stated that there were several individuals, who on moving to this place, had not settled with their creditors and had no recommend from the branches of the church were they had resided.

            On motion. Resolved that those persons moving to this place, who do not bring a recommend, be disfellowshiped.

            J. C. Bennett, M. D. then spoke at some length, on the oppression, to which the church had been subject, and remarked, tliat it was necessary for the brethren to stand by each other and resist every unlawful attempt at persecution.

            Elder Lyman Wight then addressed the meeting. Conference adjourned until to morrow morning.

[4 Oct, morning]

[T&S 1:186]

            Sunday morning. Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and was opened by prayer by Elder Babbit.

            The clerk was then called upon to read the report of the presidency, in relation to the city plot after which the president made some observations on the situation of the debts on the city plot and advised that a committee be appointed to raise funds to liquidate the same.

[REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENCY.]

[T&S 1:187-188]

            The Presidency of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would respectfully report; that they feel rejoicing to meet the saints at another general conference and under circumstances as favorable as the present. Since our settlement in Illinois, we have for the most part been treated with courtesy and respect, and a feeling of kindness and of sympathy, has generally been manifested by all classes of the community, who with as, deprecate the conduct of these men, whose dark and blackning deeds, are stamped with everlasting infamy and disgrace.

            The contrast between our past and present situation is great. Two years ago, mobs women and children houseless and destitute, had to wander from place to place, to seek a shelter from the rage of persecuting foes. How we enjoy peace, and can worship the God of heaven and earth without molestation. And expect to be able to go for we feel to congratulate the saints of the Most High, on the happy and pleasing change in our circumstances, condition and prospects, and which those who shared in the perils and distresses, undoubtedly appreciate. While prayers and thanksgivings daily ascend to that God, who looked upon our distresses and delivered us from danger and death, and whose hand is over us for good. From the unpropitious nature of the weather, we hardly expected to behold so many of our friends on this occasion, in this however, we are agreeably disappointed, which gives us strong assurance that the saints are a zealous, untireing and energetic as ever in the great work of the last days; and gives us joy and consolation, and greatly encourages us, while contending with the difficulties which necessarily lie in our way.

            Let the brethren ever manifest such a spirit, and hold up our hands, and we must, we will go forward, the work of the Lord shall roll forth, the Temple of the Lord be reared, the Elders of Israel be encouraged; Zion be built up. And become the praise, the joy, and the glory of the whole earth; and the song of praise, glory, honor and majesty to him that setteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever, shall reverberate from hill to hill. from mountain to mountain, from Island to Island and from continent to continent, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.

            We are glad indeed to know that there is such a spirit of union existing throughout the churches, and at home and abroad; on this continent, as well as on the Islands of the sea, for by this principle and by a concentration of action shall we be able to carry into effect the purposes of our God.

            From the Elders abroad we receive the most cheering accounts: wherever the faithful laborer has gone forth reaping, sowing the seed of truth, he has returned with joy, bringing his sheaves with him; and the information we receive from all quarters is, that the laborers are few and that the harvest is great. Many wealthy and influential characters have embraced the gospel, so that not only will the poor rejoice in that they are but the rich in that they are made low.

            The calls to the southern states are indeed great, many places which a short time ago would think it a disgrace to give shelter to a Mormon, on account of the many false misrepresentations which were abroad, now desire to hear an Elder of the church of Latter Day Saints.

            On the Islands of the sea, viz. great Britain, there continues to be a steady flow of souls into the church branches have been organized in many large and populous cities and the whole land appears to be thirsting for the pure steams of knowledge and salvation. The Twelve have already printed a new edition of the Hymn book, and issue a monthly periodical in that land. Several families have already arrived here from England and a number more are on their way to this place, and are expected this fall.

            If the work roll forth with the same rapidity it has heretofore done, we may soon expect to see flocking to this place, people from every land and from every nation, the polished European, the degraded Hottentot, and the shivering Laplander. Persons of all languages, and of every tongue, and of every color; who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in his holy temple, and offer up their orisons in his sanctuary. It was in consideration of these thing, and that a home might be provided for the saints, that induced us to purchase the present city for a place of gathering for the saints. and the extensive tract of land on the opposite side of the Mississippi. Although, the purchase at that time and under the peculiar conditionsand circumstances of the church, appeared to many to be large and uncalled for; yet from what we now see, it is apparent to all, that we shall soon have to say. "The place is too strait give us room that we may dwell."

            We therefore hope that the brethren, who feel interested in the cause of truth, and desire to see the work of the gathering of Israel roll forth with power will aid us in liquidating the debts which are now owing, so that the inheritances may be secured to the church, and which eventually will be of great value. From the good spirit which is manifested on this occasion, the desire to do good, and the zeal for the honor of the church, inspires us with confidence that we shall not appeal in vain, but that funds will be forthcoming on this occasion, sufficient to meet the necessities of the case.

            It is with great pleasure that we have to inform the church that, another edition of the book of Mormon had been printed, and which is expected on from Cincinnati, in a short time. And that arrangements are making for printing the book of Doctrine and Covenants Hymn book, etc. etc. So that the demand which may exist, for those works will soon be supplied.

            In conclusion we would say. Brethren and Sisters be faithful, be diligent, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if its success depended on their individual exertion alone, let them feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosom of Kings, Prophets and Righteous men, thousands of years ago -- the prospect of which inspired their sweetest notes and most exalted lays and caused them to break out in such rapturous strains as are recorded in the scriptures; and by and by, we shall have to exclaim in the language of Inspiration,

            "The Lord has brought again Zion --

            The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel."

 

            On motion. Resolved, that William Marks and Hyrum Smith compose said committee.

            On motion. Resolved, that a committee be appointed to draught a bill for the incorporating of the town of Nauvoo, and other purposes.

            Resolved, that Joseph Smith Jr. Dr. J. C. Bennett and R. B. Thompson, compose said committee.

            Resolved that Dr. J. C. Bennett, be appointed delegate to Springfield, to urge the passage of said bill through the legislature.

            President Hyrum Smith then rose and gave some general instructions to the church.

            Conference adjourned for one hour.

[4 Oct, 1 pm]

[T&S 1:186-187]

            One o'clock. P. M. Conference met pursuant to adjournment and was opened by prayer by Elder J. P. Green.

            President Joseph Smith Jr. then arose and delivered a discourse on the subject of baptism for the dead. which was listened to with considerable interest, by the vast multitude assembled.

            Dr. Bennett, from the committee, to draught a charter for the city, and for other purposes, reported the outlines of the same.

            On motion. Resolved that the same be adopted.

            Dr. Bennett then, made some very appropriate remarks on the duty of the saints in regard to those, who had, under circumstances of affliction, held out the hand of friendship, and that it was their duty to uphold such men and give them their suffrages, and support.

            Elder E. Robinson then arose, and gave an account of the printing of another edition of the book of Mormon, and stated, that it was now nearly completed and that arrangements had been made for the printing of the hymn book book of doctrine and covenants, &c.

            Conference adjourned to Monday morning.

[5 Oct, morning]

[T&S 1:187]

            Monday morning, Oct., 5th Conference met pursuant to adjournment and was opened by prayer by Elder Lyman Wight.
Elder R. B. Thompson after a few preliminary remarks, read an article on the priesthood, composed by president Joseph Smith jr, after which,

[Joseph Smith article]

[JSP Documents, Instruction on Priesthood, 5 October 1840]

In order to investigate the subject <of the Priesthood> so important to this as well as every succeeding generation, I shall proceed to trace the subject as far as I possibly can from the Old and new Testaments. There are two priesthoods spoken of in the scriptures, v[i]z, the Melchisadeck and the Aaronic or Levitical Altho there are two priesthoods, yet the Melchisadeck priesthood comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood and is the grand head and holds the highest Authority which pertains to the priesthood — The keys of the kingdom of God in all ages of the world to the latest posterity on the earth— and is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of Salvation and every important matter truth is revealed from heaven. Its institution was prior to “the foundation of this earth or the morning stars sang together or the Sons of God shouted for joy,” and it is the highest and holiest priesthood and is after the order of the Son [of] God, and all other priesthoods are only parts, ramifications, powers and blessings belonging to the same and are held controlled and directed by it. It is the Channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing his glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth and through which he has continued to reveal himself to the children of men and to the present time and through which he will make known his purposes to the end of time— [p. 1]

Commencing with Adam who was the first man of whom it is spoken of in Daniel as being “the Ancient of days” or in other words the first and oldest of all, the great grand progenitor of whom it is said in another place he is michael because he was the first and father of all, not only by progeny, but he was the first to hold the spiritual blessings, the plan to whom was made known the plan of ordinances for the Salvation of his posterity unto the end, and to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from heaven and will continue to be revealed from henceforth. Adam holds the keys of the dispensation of the fulness of times, i.e. the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him from the beginning to Christ and from Christ to the end of the all world the dispensations that have to be revealed
Ephesians 1st. chap 9 & 10 verses. [“]Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are on earth in him” Now the purpose in himself in the winding up scene of the last dispensation is, that all things pertaining to that dispensation should be conducted precisely in accordance with the preceding dispensations, And again, God purposed in himself that there Should not be an eternal fulness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one [p. 2]

and that all things whatsoever that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations unto the same fulness and eternal glory should be in Christ Jesus; therefore he set the ordinances to be the same for Ever and ever and set Adam to watch over them to reveal them from heaven to man or to send Angels to reveal them Heb 1 Chap 16 [14] verse. [“]Are they not all ministring spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of Salvation.” These angels are under the direction of Michael or Adam who acts under the direction of Christ
From the above quotation we learn that Paul perfectly understood the purpose of God in relation <to> his connexion with man, and that glorious and perfect order which he established in himself whereby he sent forth power revelations and glory. God will not acknowledge that which he has not called, ordained and chosen.
In the beginning God called Adam by his own voice See Genesis 3 Chap 9 & 10 verses. [“]And the Lord called unto Adam and said unto him where art thou, and he said I heard thy voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and hid myself.[”] Adam received commandments and instruction from God. This was the order from the beginning: that he received revelations, Commandments, and ordinances at the beginning is beyond the power of controversy, else, how did they begin to to offer Sacrifices to God in an acceptable manner? [p. 3]

And if they offered sacrifices they must be authorized by ordination. We read in Gen 4th Chap. V.4 that [“]Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof and the Lord had respect to Abel and to his offring.[”] And again Heb 11 Chap 4 verse. [“]By Faith abel offered unto God a more excellent Sacrifice than Cain by which he obtained witness that he was righteous God testifying of his gifts and by it he being dead yet speaketh.[”] How doth he yet speak? Why he magnified the priesthood which was confired [conferred] upon him and died a righteous man, and therefore has become a righteous man an angel of God by receiving his [p. 4]

body from the dead, therefore holding stell the keys of his dispensation and was sent down from heaven unto Paul to minister consoleing words & to comnin [communicate?] unto him a knowledge of the mysteries of Godliness and if this was not the case I would ask how did Paul know so much about Abel and why should he talk about his speaking after he was dead. now that he spoke after he was dead must be, by being sent down out of heaven to administer. This then is the nature of the priesthood, every man holding the presidency of his dispensation and one man holding the presidency of them all even Adam, and Adam receiving his presidency and authority from Christ, but can not receive a fulness untill Christ shall present the Kingdom to the Father which shall be at the end of the last dispensation—
The power, Glory, and blessings of the Priesthood could not continue with those who received ordination only as their righteousness continued, for Cain also being Authorized to offer Sacrifice but not offering it in righteousness, therefore he was cursed. It signifies then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed, otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing. If Cain had fulfilled the law of righteousness as did Enoch he could have walked with God all the days of his life and never failed of a blessing. Gen [blank] [“]And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah 300 years and begat [p. 5]

Sons and Daughters and all the days of Enoch were 365 years and Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.[”] Now this Enoch God reserved unto himself that he should not die <at> that time and appointed unto him a ministry unto terrestrial bodies of whom there has been but little revealed, He is reserved also unto a the presidency of a despensation— of and more shall be said of him and terrestrial bodies in another treaties [treatise]
He is a ministring Angel to minister for to those who shall be heirs of Salvation and appeared unto Jude as Abel did unto Paul. therefore Jude spoke of him 14 & 15 verses in Jude— [“]and Enoch the seventh revealed these sayings. Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints[”] Paul was also aquainted with this Character and received instructions from him. Heb 11 Chap— 5 ver. [“]By Faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death and was not found because God had translated him for before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossib[l]e to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a revealer to those who diligently seek him,[”]——
Now the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this priesthood, there are many things which belong to the powers of the priesthood and the keys thereof that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world. they are hid from the wise and prudent to be revealed in the last times. many may have supposed, that the— [p. 6]

doctrine of translation was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately into the presence of God and into an Eternal fulness but this is a mistaken idea. There place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order and a place prepared for such characters, [illegible] <be held in> reserve to be ministring Angels Unto many planets, and who as yet have not entered into so great a fulness as those who are resurrected from the dead. See Heb 11 Chap part of the 35 verse “others were tortured not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection[”] Now it was evident, that there was a better resurrection or else God would not have revealed it unto Paul wherein then can it be said a better resurrection? This distinction is made between the doctrine of the actual resurrection and the doctrine of translation, the doctrine of translation obtains deliverance from the tortures and sufferings of the body but their existence will prolong as to their labors and toils of the ministry before they can enter in to so great a rest and glory, but on the other hand those who were tortured not accepting deliverance received an immediate rest from their labors—, See Rev [blank] [“]And I heard a voice from heaven saying blessed are the dead who die in the Lord for from henceforth they do rest from their labors and their works do follow them[”]– They rest from their labors for a long time and yet their work is held in reserve for them, that they are permitted to do the same works after they receive a resurrection [p. 7]

for their bodies, but we shall leave this subject and the subject of the terrestrial bodies for another time in order to treat upon them more fully
The next great grand patriarch who held the keys of the priesthood was Lamech See Gen 5 Chap 28 & 29 verses— [“]And Lamech lived 182 years and begat a Son and he beg called his name Noah saying this same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord has curst.[”] The priesthood continued from Lamech to Noah Gen 6 Chap 13 verse. [“]And God said unto Noah the end of all flesh is before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them, and behold I will destroy them with the earth,” Thus we behold the Keys of this priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that he talked with him in a familiar and friendly manner, that he continued to him the Keys, the Covenants, the power and the glory with which he blessed Adam at the beginning and the offring of Sacrifice which also shall be continued at the last time. for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the priesthood under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in the last dispensation at the end thereof in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last despensation—. Therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period shall be had again— bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy prophets— then <Malach 3— 3> shall the sons of Levi offer unto the Lord an acceptable offering” [p. 8]

then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord Se[e] Malichi 3 Chap— 3 & 4 [“]And he shall sit as a refiners fire and purifier of Silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord[”]
It will be necessary here to make a few observations on the doctrine, set forth in the above quotation, As it is generally supposed that Sacrifice was entirely done away <when the great Sacrifice was offered up—> and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of Sacrifice in future; but those who assert this, are certainly not aquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the priesthood. <or with the prophets> The offering of sacrifice is has ever been connected, and forms a part of the <duties of the> priesthood. It began which with the priesthood and will be continued untill after the coming of Christ from generation to generation——
We frequently have mention made of the offering of Sacrifice by the servants of the most high in ancient days prior to the law of moses, See [blank] which ordinances will be continued when the priesthood is restored with all its Authority power and blessings. Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of this priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and delive[r] the Keys of this priesthood in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. <It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing <but the Sons of Levi were too predjudi[ced]>>
And I will send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord &c &c.
Why send Elijah because he holds the keys of the Authority to administer in all the ordinances of the priesthood and without the Authority is given the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness. [p. 9]

It is a very prevalent opinion that in the sacrifices <sacrifices> of <which> were offered were entirely consumed, this was not the case if you read Leviticus [blank] Chap [blank] Verses you will observe that the priests took a part as a memorial and offered it up before the Lord, while the remainder was kept for the benefit <maintenance> of the priests— So that the offerings and sacrifices are not all consumed upon the Altar, but the blood is sprinkled and the fat and certain other portions are consumed These sacrifices as well as every ordinance belonging to the priesthood will when the temple of the Lord shall be built <and the sons [of] Levi be purified> be fully restored and attended to [illegible] the Sons of Levi shall be purified. all their powers, raniffications <ramifications>, and blessings— this ever was did and will be exist when the powers of the Melchisida Priesthood are sufficiently manifest. else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by all the Holy prophets be brought to pass be brought to pass, It is not to be understood that, the law of Moses will be fully established again with all its rights and <variety of ceremonies> ceremonies <this has never been spoken of by the prophets> but those things which existed prior to Mose’s day viz Sacrifice, will be continued— It may be asked by some what necessity for Sacrifice since the great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which if Repentance Baptism and faith were necessary to Salvation <existed> prior to the days of Christ what necessity for them since that time——
The priesthood has descended in a regular line from Father to Son through their succeeding generations
See Book of Doctrine & Covenants [p. 10]

<Oct. 5. 1840>
<An Investigation of the Priesthood from the Scriptures.>

 

            Elder Babbitt delivered an excellent discourse on the same subject at some considerable length.

            Conference adjourned for one hour.

            During the intermission a large number were baptized.

[5 Oct 2 pm]

[T&S 1:187]

            Two o'clock P. M. Conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            Elder Lyman Wight addressed the conference on the subject of baptism for the dead and other subjects of interest to the church.

            The president then made some observations, and pronounced his benediction on the assembly.

            Dr. J. C. Bennett said that many persons had been accused of crime, and been looked upon as guilty, when on investigation it has been ascertained that nothing could be aduced against them, -- Whereupon,

            On motion; it was resolved that no person be considered guilty of crime, unless proved so by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

            Dr. Bennett next brought before the conference the treatment the saints had experienced in Missouri, and wished to know, whether the conference would take any further steps in relation to obtaining redress.

            On motion. Resolved that Elias Higbee and R. B. Thompson be appointed a committee to obtain redress for the wrongs sustained in Missouri.

            The committee on ordinations reported that they had ordained thirty nine to the ministry.

            On motion. Resolved that this conference be dismissed, and that the next conference be held on the 6th day of April next.

JOSEPH SMITH jr., Pres't.
R. B. THOMPSON, Clerk,

 

 

 

 

 

1841

7-11 Apr 1841, genral conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.

[JSP Documents 1841, Minutes, 7-11 April 1841 (from the Times and Seasons 2:386-388)]

[7 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 2:386]

Minutes of the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held at the City of Nauvoo, Hancock Co. Ill. on the seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.

            Conference convened at 10 o’clock A. M. when the names of the presidents of the several quorums were called, who took their seats on the stand, and their councillors immediately in front. The meeting was then called to order, and the choir under the superintendence of B[enjamin] S. Wilber sung a hymn, and the conference was opened by an address to the throne of grace by Pres’t. W[illiam] Law.

            The clerk was then called upon to read the report of the First Presidency, which was read.

 

REPORT OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY.

[T&S 2:384-386]

            The Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, feel great pleasure in assembling with the Saints at another general conference, under circumstances so auspicious and cheering; and with grateful hearts to Almighty God for his providential regard, they cordially unite with the Saints, on this occasion, in ascribing honor, and glory, and blessing to his holy name.

            It is with unfeigned pleasure that they have to make known, the steady and rapid increase of the church in this State, the United States, and in Europe. The anxiety to become acquainted with the principles of the gospel, on every hand, is intense and the cry of, "come over and help us," is reaching the elders on the wings of every wind, while thousands who have heard the gospel, have become obedient thereto, and are rejoicing in its gifts and blessings. Prejudice with its attendant train of evils, is giving way before the force of truth, whose benign rays are penetrating the nations afar off.

            The reports from the Twelve in Europe are very satisfactory, and state that the work continues to progress with unparalleled rapidity and that the harvest is truly great.

            In the eastern states, the faithful laborers are successful, and many are flocking to the standard of truth. Nor is the south keeping back churches have been raised up in the southern and western states, and a very pressing invitation has been received from New Orleans for some of the elders to visit that city, which has been complied with.

            In our own State and immediate neighborhood, many are avowing their attachment to the principles of our holy religion, and have become obedient to the faith.

            Peace and prosperity attend us; and we have favor in the sight of God and virtuous men.

            The time was, when we were looked upon as deceivers, and that Mormonism would soon pass away, come to nought, and be forgotten. But the time has gone by when it was looked upon as a old in the hearts and affections of all those who are noble minded enough to lay aside the prejudice of education, and investigate the subject with candor and honesty.

            The truth, like the sturdy oak, has stood unhurt amid the contending elements, which have beat upon it with tremendous force. The foods have rolled, wave after wave, in quick succession; and have not swallowed it us. "They have lifted up their voice. O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; but the Lord of Hosts is mightier than the mighty waves of the sea." Nor, have the flames of persecution, with all the influence of mobs, been able to destroy it; but like Moses' bush it has stood unconsumed, and now at this moment presents an important spectacle both to men and angels. Where can we turn our eyes to behold such another? We contemplate a people who have embraced a system of religion unpopular, and the adherence to which has brought upon them repeated persecutions -- a people who for their love to God and attachment to his cause, have suffered hunger, nakedness, perils, and almost every privation -- a people, who, for the sake of their religion, have had to mourn the premature deaths of parents, husbands, wives, and children -- a people who have prefered death to slavery and hypocracy, and have honorably maintained their characters, and stood firm and immovable, in times that have tried men's souls.

            Stand fast, ye Saints of God, hold on a little while longer, and the storms of life will be past, and you will be rewarded by that God whose servants you are, and who will duly appreciate all your toils and afflictions for Christ's sake and the gospel's. Your names will be handed down to posterity as saints of God, and virtuous men.

            But we hope that those scenes of blood and gore will never more occur, but that many, very many such scenes as the present will be witnessed by the saints, and that in the Temple, the foundation of which has been so happily laid, will the saints of the Most High continue to congregate from year to year, in peace and safety.

            From the kind and generous feelings manifest, by the citizens of this State, since our sojourn among them, we may continue to expect the enjoyment of all the blessings of civil and religious liberty, guaranteed by the constitution. The citizens of Illinois have done themselves honor in throwing the mantle of the constitution over a persecuted and afflicted people; and have given evident proof, that they are not only in the enjoyment of the privileges of freemen themselves, but, that they willingly and cheerfully extend that invaluable blessing to others, and that they freely award to faithfulness and virtue their due.

            The proceedings of the Legislature in regard to the citizens of this place have been marked with philanthropy and benevolence; and they have laid us under great and lasting obligations, in granting us the several liberal charters we now enjoy, and by which we hope to prosper, until our City becomes the most splendid, our University the most learned, and our Legion the most effective, of any in the Union. In the language of one of our own poets we would say,

      In Illinois we've found a safe retreat
        A home, a shelter from oppressions dire;
        Where we can worship God as we think right,
        And mobbers come not to disturb our peace;
        Where we can live and hope for better days,
        Enjoy again our liberty, our rights:
        That social intercourse which freedom grants,
        And charity requires of man to man.
        And long may charity pervade each breast,
        And long may ILLINOIS remain the scene
        Of rich prosperity by peace secured!

            In consequence of the impoverished condition of the saints, the buildings which are in progress of erection do not progress as fast as could be desired; but from the interest which is generally manifested by the saints at large, we hope to accomplish much by a combination of effort, and a concentration of action, and erect the Temple and other buildings, which we so much need for our mutual instruction and the education of our children.

            From the reports which have been received, we may expect a large emigration this season. The proclamation which was sent some time age to the churches abroad, has been responded to, and great numbers are making preparations to come and locate themselves in this city and vicinity.

            From what we now witness, we are led to look forward with pleasing anticipation to the future, and soon expect to see the thousands of Israel flocking to this region, in obedience to the heavenly command; numerous habitations of the saints thickly studding the flowery and wide spread prairies of Illinois; temples for the worship of our God erecting in various parts; and great peace resting upon Israel.

            We would call the attention of the saints more particularly to the erection of the Temple, for on its speedy erection great blessings depend. The zeal which is manifested by the saints in this city is indeed praise worthy, and we hope will be imitated by the saints in the various stakes and branches of the church, and that those who cannot contribute labor, will bring their gold and their silver, their brass, and their iron, with the pine tree and box tree, to beautify the same.

            We are glad to hear of the organization of the different quorums in this city, and hope that the organization will be attended to in every stake and branch of the church, for the Almighty is a lover of order and good government.

            From the faith and enterprise of the saints generally, we feel greatly encouraged, and cheerfully attend to the important duties devolving upon us, knowing that we not only have the approval of Heaven, but that our efforts for the establishing of Zion and the spread of truth, are cheerfully seconded by the thousands of Israel.

            In conclusion we would say, brethren, be faithful; let your love and moderation be known unto all men; be patient; be mindful to observe all the commandments of your heavenly Father; and the God of all grace shall bless you, even so, Amen.

R. B. THOMPSON, Clerk.

 

            On motion. Resolved that the report be printed in the Times and Seasons.

            Pres. [Sidney] Rigdon arose and stated, that in consequence of his weakness from his labors of yesterday, he would call upon Gen. J[ohn] C. Bennett to officiate in his place.

            Gen. Bennett then read the revelations from “The Book of the Law of the Lord,” which had been received since the last general Conference, in relation to writing a proclamation to the kings of the earth, building a Temple in Nauvoo, the organization of the church &c.
Pres. Jos. Smith rose and made some observations in explanation of the same, and likewise of the necessity which existed of building the Temple, that the saints might have a suitable place for worshiping the Almighty, and also the building of the Nauvoo Boarding House, that suitable accommodations might be afforded for the strangers who might visit this city.

            The choir sung a hymn, and the meeting adjourned for one hour.

[7 Apr, pm]

[T&S 2:386-387]

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment and was called to order by Pres. W. Law.

            The choir sung a hymn, and Pres’t. W[illiam] Marks addressed the throne of grace.

            Gen. Bennett, read the charters granted by the Legislature of this state for incorporating the “City of Nauvoo,” the “Nauvoo Legion,” “The University of the City of Nauvoo,” “The Agricultural and Manufacturing Association” & for the “Nauvoo House Association.”

            On Motion; Resolved; That the charters now read be received by the Church.

            Carried unanimously.

            Pres’t. D. C. [Don Carlos] Smith arose and gave an exhortation to the assembly.

            Gen. J. C. Bennett, then spoke at some length on the present situation, prospects, and condition of the church, and remarked that the hand of God must indeed be visible, in accomplishing the great blessings and prosperity of the [p. 386] church, and called upon the saints to be faithful and obedient in all things, and likewise forcibly and eloquently urged the necessity of being united in all their movements, and before he sat down, he wished to know how many of the Saints who were present felt disposed to continue to act in concert, and follow the instructions of the First Presidency, and called upon those who did so, to arise on their feet; when immediately the saints, almost without exception arose.

            The choir sung a hymn, and the meeting after prayer, adjourned until to morrow morning.

[8 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 2:387]

            Thursday morning April 8th: at an early hour this morning the different quorums, who had previously been organized, came to the ground and took their seats as follows: the Frst Presidency, with the presidents of the quorums on the stand; the High Council, on the front of the stand; the High Priesthood on the front to the right of the stand; the Seventies immediately behind the high priesthood; the Elders in the front, to the left; the Lesser Priesthood on the extreme right.

            On motion; Resolved: that this session of Congress continue until Sunday evening.

            Pres’t. J. Smith declared the rule of voting, to be a majority in each quorum, exhorted them to deliberation, faith and prayer, and that they should be strict, and impartial in their examinations. He then told them that the presidents of the different quorums would be presented before them for their acceptance or rejection.

            Bishop [Newel K.] Whitney then presented the First Presidency to the Lesser Priesthood, who were unanimously accepted.

            Pres’t. J[ohn] Hicks presented them to the elders’ quorum—unanimously accepted.

            Pres’t. J[oseph] Young presented them to the seventies—unanimously accepted.—

            Pres’t. D. C. Smith presented them to the High Priesthood.

            Councellor Elias Higbee presented them to the High council—unanimously accepted.

            The clerk then presented them to the Presidents of all the quorums, on the stand—unanimously accepted.

            Gen. J. C. Bennett was presented with the First Presidency as assistant president, until Pres’t. Rigdon’s health should be restored. The presidents and counselors belonging to the several quorums, were then presented to each quorum seperately for approval or rejection, when the following persons were objected to, viz. John A. Hicks, president of the Elders quorum; Alanson Ripley, Bishop; Elder John E. Page, one of the twelve; and Noah Packard of the High Priesthood.— Newel K. Whitney, Bishop; moved their cases be laid over until the intermission, to be tried before the several quorums.

            Pres’t. Joseph Smith presented the building Committee of the “House of the Lord,” to the several quorums collectively, who were unanimously received.

            Pres’t. Smith observed, that it was necessary that some one should be appointed to fill the quorum of the twelve, in the room of the late Elder David W. Patten, whereupon, Pres’t. Rigdon nominated Elder Lyman Wight to that office, which was unanimously accepted. Elder Wight stated, that it was an office of great honor and responsibility, and he felt inadequate to the task, but inasmuch as it was the wish of the authorites of the church, that he should take that office, he would endeavor to magnify it.

            On motion; Resolved: that James Allred be appointed to the office of High Counsellor, in the place of C[harles] C. Rich, who had been chosen as a councillor to the presidency of this stake.— On motion; Resolved: that Leonard Soby be appointed to be one of the High Council in the room of David Dort[,] deceased.

            The choir sung a hymn, and afte[r] prayer by Pes’t. Rigdon, the meetin[g] ad[j]ourned for two hours.

[8 Apr, pm]

[T&S 2:387-388]

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment. A hymn was sung by th[e] choir. Pres’t. Rigdon delivered a di[s]course to the conference on the subje[ct] of “Baptism for the dead” which w[as] set forth in a manner new and intere[s]ting, and with an eloquence peculiar [to] the speaker, which was listened to w[ith] intense interest by the assembly.

            Gen. Bennett made some very ap[pro]priate observations in continuation [of] the subject. [p. 387] Pres’t. Smith likewise followed on the same subject, threw considerable light on the doctrine which had been investigated.

            The choir then sung a hymn, and after prayer by elder W[illiam] Smith, it was moved that conference adjourn until tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.

[9 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 2:388]

            Friday Morning, conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            The quorums reported, that they had investigated the conduct of the persons who had been objected to, and that they had rejected Alanson Ripley and James Foster.

            Leave was then given for Elder James Foster, to make a few remarks to the qu[o]rums respecting the charges prefered against him; after speaking; on motion, resolved, that James Foster continue his standing in the church.

            Resolved, that as Alanson Ripley, has not appeared to answer the charges prefered against him, that his bishoprick be taken from him.

            Pres’r. J. Smith made some observations respecting the duty of the several quorums, in sending their members into the vineyard, and also stated, that labor on the Temple would be as acceptable to the Lord as preaching in the world.

            Pres’t. Smith then stated that it was necessary that some one should be appointed to collect funds for building the Temple.

            On motion resolved that John Murdock, Lyman Wight, William Smith, Henry W. Miller, Amasa Lyman, Leonard Soby, Jahiel Savage, and Zenas [Zenos] H. Gurley, be appointed to travel and collect funds for the same.

            A Hymn was then sung by the choir and prayer by Pres’t. D. C. Smith.

            Pres’t. J. Smith then stated that he should resign the meeting to the pres dency of the Stake, and the president of the High Priest Quorum.

            The building committee were called upon to address the assembly, Elder [Reynolds] Cahoon first took the stand and spoke at length on the importance of building the Temple, and called upon the the saints to assist them in their great undertakings.

            Elder Alpheus Cutler spoke in continuation, and made some very appropriate remarks. The conference adjourned for one hour.

[9 Apr, pm]

[T&S 2:388]

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment. Elias Higbee spoke on the same subject.

            Elder Lyman Wight then came forward and addressed the meeting at considerable length.

            The clerk read a letter from Elder J[ohn] Taylor in England, to Pres’t. Joseph Smith which gave an account of the prosperity of the work of the Lord in that land.

            On motion resolved that conference adjourned till to morrow morning at 10 o’clock.

            Friday April 9th: the weather being so wet and cold, the conference did not meet.

            Saturday, the weather was unfavorable consequently no business was transacted.

            Sunday morning. The conference again met, Elder Gurley was called upon to preach. He spake on the subject of the literal fulfillment of prophesy.

            Pres’t. Rigdon made some observations on baptism for the remission of sins. A Hymn was sung by the choir. Conference adjourned for one hour.

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment and was addressed by the Bishops of the Stake, who stated the situation of the poor who had to be supported and called upon the saints to assist in relieving the necessities of widow and fatherless.

            Elder Lyman Wight made some observations on the subject.

            Pres’t. Joseph Smith then addressed the assembly and stated, that in consequence of the severety of the weather, the saints had not received as much instruction as he desired and that some things would have to be laid over until the next conference—as there were many who wished to be baptized, they would now go to the water and give opportunity to any who wished to be baptized of doing so. The procession was then organized and proceeded down to the water.

            After the baptism were over—on motion resolved, that the conference adjourn to the 1st of October next

R[obert] B. THOMPSON Clerk.

 

22-24 May 1841, general conference, Kirtland, Ohio.
[Times and Seasons 2:458-460]

[22 May, am]

[T&S 2:458]

Conference Minutes.

Minutes of a conference, held in Kirtland, Ohio, May 22nd 1841.

            At a general conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in Kirtland, Ohio, commencing on Saturday May 22, 1841, Elder Almon Babbitt, being unanimously chosen Chairman and W. W. Phelps, appointed Clerk. -- The solemnities began with singing and prayer. The chairman explained the business of the conference relative to a reorganization, and resigned his office of president of this stake, that the conference might exercise its full right, and choose its own officers from head to foot.

            Adjourned one hour.

[22 May, am]

[T&S 2:458-459]

            Met pursuant to adjournment, and opened with singing and prayer.

            Appointed a committee of three viz: Thomas Burdick, Zebedee Coltrin and Hiram Winters, to examine candidates for ordination.

            The chairman read the several acts incorporating the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints in Kirtland, together with a code of bye-laws, which were accepted and adopted unanimously.

            Elder Babbitt was then nominated for the president or presiding elder of the stake in Kirtland; but he declined, yet, after some discussion, was unanimously elected. Elder Babbitt nominated for his counsellors Elders Lester Brooks and Zebedee Coltrin, who were unanimously elected.

            Thomas Burdick was nominated and unanimously elected Bishop of Kirtland. He nominated Elders Hiram Winters and Reuben McBride for counsellors, who were unanimously elected. The president's counsellors, bishop and his counsellors were then ordained to their several offices.

            The High Priest quorum, Hiram Kellogg, president, and John Knapp and Joseph Pine, as counsellors, were unanimously accepted by the conference. -- The members of the quorum, consisting of six, were also unanimously accepted, save Martin Harris who had one vote against him.

            The Elders' quorum, Amos Babcock, president, and Otis Hobart, and Thomas Green as counsellors, were unanimously accepted: The members, forty three in number, were unanimously accepted also; save the following exceptions, viz: Lehasa Hollister was rejected but finally accepted, Robert Greenhalgh, Phineas Young, Justice Blood, (to be visited) Ira Bond, David Holman, Andrew Hartsman Darias Phillips, and Solon Bragg, were rejected.

            Adjourned till 10 o'clock, A. M. tomorrow morning.

[23 May, 10 am]

[T&S 2:459]

            Sunday May 23. Met pursuant to adjournment. Opened with singing and prayer.

            Elder Babbitt delivered a discourse on baptism for the dead, from 1 peter 4:6, to a very large audience, setting forth that doctrine as compatible with the mercy of God, and grand council of heaven.

[23 May, pm]

[T&S 2:459]

            After an hour's intermission, Elder W. W. Phelps continued the same subject from 1 Corinthians 15:22, bringing scripture upon scripture to prove the consistency of this doctrine, as among the economy of God and powers of salvation.

            Elders Brooks and Adams bore testimony to the truth of what had been advanced as self-evident and self important to let the prisoners go free: after which the sacrament was administered. Adjourned till 8 o'clock to-morrow A. M.

[24 May, 8 am]

[T&S 2:459]

            Monday, May, 24, Met pursuant to adjournment. Opened with singing and prayer. Minutes read.

            The committee on ordinations reported two candidates for the high priesthood; three for the office of elder; one for priest and one for teacher.

            After finishing the business of the elders quorum, it was resolved unanimously, that, as W. W. Phelps had been received into standing and fellowship, by the church at Nauvoo, III., he be also received into the same standing and fellowship, according to his "anointing" by the church at Kirtland, and that he receive a letter of commendation from this conference, as he is about to visit the churches east.

            Nehemiah Greenhalgh as president, and James Crumpton and John Craig as counsellors were elected to preside in the lesser priesthood, and ordained. Resolved that the bishop organize the remaining two quorums of teachers and deacons hereafter.

REPRESENTATION OF CHURCHES.

            The Kirtland church was represented to consist of between 3 and 400 members.

            Elder Zebedee Coltrin represented the branch of the church at Brownhelm, Lorain county, consisting of 15 members, 1 elder, 1 priest, and 1 deacon; also, a branch at Charleston Lorain county, consisting of 6 members. Elder Edwin Cadwell represented a branch at Nelson of 23 members and 3 elders.

            Elder Brooks represented a branch at Madison, Lake county of 6 members and one elder. Elder John Hughes represented a branch at Harrisonville of 7 members and one teacher, presiding elder, Harvey Edwards. Elder John Hughes represented the branch at Brooklyn where he presides, of 22 members, one priest and one teacher.

            Elder R. C. Wetherbee represented the branch at Grafton, (by letter,) of 20 members, 2 elders, one teacher and one deacon. Elder James M. Adams represented the branch at Gustavus Trumbull county of 11 members and one elder. -- Elder Adams, also, represented a branch of the church at Andover, Ashtabula co. of 27 members, 2 elders, one priest; over which branch he presides.

            The above branches are all represented in good standing, and earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.
Elder Manly Isham was appointed to preside over the branch at Gustayus.

            The several quorums and whole conference, by a unanimous vote, accepted and resolved to uphold the first presidency at Nauvoo, Ill.
Elders Brooks, Morton, and Norton, were appointed a committee to draft a set of bye-laws for the preservation of the Lord's House.

            The committee reported a set of resolutions, which appoint two door keepers: that no person shall occupy the pulpits or stand unless entitled by office or invited; that if any person shall deface the said house, they shall be punished according to law: that we will claim our right, and be protected in our worship according to law: that no person shall be allowed to wear his hat on his head in the inner court: and that means be taken to prevent persons from defiling the inside of the house with tobacco cuds and tobacco spittle, and to prevent smoking.

            Resolved that Elder Adams go and labor in the region of Erie, Pa.

            Resolved that the members of either quorum shall not go out to preach unless recommended.

            Resolved that these minutes be published in the Times and Seasons.

            Conference then adjourned till the first Saturday of October next at 10 o'clock A. M.

            During the sittings of the conference, the greatest harmony prevailed. About 25 baptisms took place, the most of which were for the dead.

ALMON BABBITT, Chairman.

W. W. PHELPS, Clerk.

 

16 Aug 1841, special conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[JSP Documents 1841, Minutes, 16 August 1841, Times & Seasons 2:521-522]

[16 Aug, am]

[JSP Documents 1841, Minutes, 16 August 1841 p1]

 

            At a <special> conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints held in the City of Nauvoo August 16th 1841 Brigham Young was unanimously appointed to preside over the conference and Elias Smith and Lorenzo Barnes appointed Clerks

            Conference Opened by prayer by the president after a hymn had been sung by the Clerk Choir

            The objects of calling the conference was then made known by the choirs president who stated that president Joseph Smith had called the conference to transact some business necessary to be done before the <meeting of the> general conference <to be held> in Oct next. The items of business of to be to select men to send into the vinenayard qualified to preach the gospel and men of experience &c. To take measures to provide for emigrants <who are> coming to this place and prevent impositions being practised by speculators &c. &c.. A List of names of Elders and cities was read <by the president>, Voted that the names of persons selected to go out to preach be presented one by one before the conference. The following were then presented and the places of their Labour designated and were accepted unanimou[s]ly

H[enry] G. Sherwood          New. Orleans La.
A[braham] O. Smoot          Charleston S. C.
Benjn Winchester                                Salem Mass
Erastus Snow                        " "
John Murdock                      Baltimore Md.
Samuel James.                     Washington D. C.

            On motion of V[inson] Knight seconded by Samuel Bent Resolved that the quorum of the twelve select the individuals to go <out and preach> & to the several places design[ated] to be supplied; to expedite the business of <and present them to> the conference <with a view of expediting the business of the conference> The situation of the poor in the City of Nauvoo was then presented to the conference by Bishops V. Knight and Geo. Miller. and a collection taken up for their benefit <After> Singing by the choir.— Adjourned for 1 hour and to meet at 2 oclock P.M. [p. [1]]

[16 Aug, 2 pm]

[JSP Documents 1841, Minutes, 16 August 1841 p2]

            Met at 2 P.M. When the conference were was address’d by Elders Lorenzo Barnes and H. G. Sherwood wh on the subject of preaching the gospel and building up of the kingdom of God in these last days

            President Joseph Smith (who had been absent in consequence of the death of his child during the former part of the Day) being present <on his arrival> then addressed the conference on the objects of <calling> the a conference at this time and in addition to what had been stated by president Young said that some the twelve should be authorized <wh> to assist in managing the affairs of th[e] kingdom in this place. which he said was their duties of their office &.

            Motioned seconded and Carried that the quorum of the twelve be authorized to act in building the accordance with the instructions given by president Joseph Smith in regulating and superintending the affairs <of the Church.>

            Motioned, seconded & carried unanimou[s]ly that every individual who shall hereafter be found trying to influence any emigrants coming b[e]longing to the Church to either buy or sell property of them or to them (except the agent) such person shall be immediately tried for “fellowship and dealt with as offenders and unless they repent they shall be cut off from the Chu[rc]h

            President [Sidney] Rigdon then made some appropriate remarks on speculation &c

            Resolved on Motion of President Joseph Smith Res. that the twelve be authorised to make the selection of elders independent of the conference and present them to the first Pres. him to President Joseph Smith for <his> approval.

            Resolved that this conference be adjourned to the time of the general Conference in Oct next

            Closed by singing and prayer by President You[n]g [p. [2]]

 

[Times & Seasons 2:521-522]

[16 Aug, am]

[T&S 2:521]

CONFERENCE MINUTES

At a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in the City of Nauvoo, August 16th, 1841. Elder Brigham Young was unanimously appointed to preside over the conference, and Elias Smith, and Lorenzo Barnes were appointed Clerks.

            After singing by the choir, conference opened by prayer by the President.

            The object of the conference was then presented by the President, who stated that President Joseph Smith, (who was then absent on account of the death of his child,) had called a special conference to transact certain items of business necessary to be done previous to the October conference, such as to select men of experience to send forth into the vineyard, take measures to assist emigrants who may arrive at the places of gathering, and prevent impositions being practiced upon them by unprincipled speculators, &c. &.; and he hoped that no one could view him and his brethren, as aspiring because they had come forward to take part in the proceedings before them; for he could assure the brethren that nothing could be father from his wishes and that of his Quorum, than to interpose with church affairs at Zion and her stakes, for he had been in the vineyard so long he had become attached to foreign missions, and nothing could induce him to retire therefrom, and attend the affairs of the church at home but a sense of duty, the requirements of heaven, or the revelations of God, to which he would always submit, be the consequence what it might; and the brethren of his Quorum responded Amen.

            A list of names of the elders, and cities were read by the president, and a few were selected by nomination and designated as follows: voted that Elders.

H. G. Sherwood go to N. Orleans, La.
A. O. Smoot " Charleston, S. C.
B. Winchester " Salem, Mass.
Erastus Snow " Salem, Mass.
John Murdock " Baltimore, Md.
Samuel James " Washington, D. C.

On motion of V. Knight, seconded by Samuel Bent:

            Rescolved, that the Quorum of the twelve select the individuals to go and preach in such places as they may judge expedient, and present the same to the conference; with a view of expediating the business of the day.

            The situation of the poor of Nauvoo City, was then presented to the conference by Bishops Knights and Miller, and a collection taken for their benefit.

            After singing, conference adjourned until 2 o'clock P. M.

[16 Aug, 2 pm]

[T&S 2:521-22]

            Conference assembled at 2 P. M. and was addressed by Elders L. Barnes and H. G. Sherwood, concerning the spread of the gospel and the building up of the kingdom of God in these last days.

            President Joseph Smith now arriving proceeded to state to the conference at considerable length, the object of their present meeting, and in addition to what President Young had stated in the morning, said that the time had come when the twelve should be called upon to stand in their place next to the first presidency, and attend to the settling of emegrants and the business of the church at the stakes, and assist to bear off the kingdom victorious to the nations; and as they had been faithful and had borne the burden in the heat of the day that it was right that they should have an opportunity of providing something for themselves and families, and at the same time relieve him so that he might attend to the business of translating.

            Motioned seconded and carried that the conference approve of the instructions of President Smith, in relation to the twelve, and that they proceed accordingly, to attend to the duties of their office.

            Motioned seconded and carried unanimously, that every individual who shall hearafter be found trying to influence any emigrants belonging to the church, either to buy of them (except provisions,) or sell to them, (excepting the church agents) shall be immediately tried for fellowship, and dealt with as offenders, and unless they repent shall be cut off from the church.

            President Rigdon then made some appropiate remarks on speculations.

            It was moved that the conference accept the doings of the twelve, in designating certain individuals to certain cities &c. When President Joseph Smith, remarked that, the conference had already sanctioned the doings of the twelve, and it belonged to their office to transact such business with the approbation of the first presidency and he would then state what cities should now be built up viz: Nauvoo, Zarahemla, Warren, Nashvile, and Ramus.

            Resolved, that this conferance adjourn to the time of the general conference in October next. Closed with prayer by President Young.

BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres,t,

ELIAS SMITH, }Clerks.
LORENZO BARNES, }

 

2-3 Oct 1841, conference, Kirtland, Ohio.
[Times and Seasons 3:587-589]

[2 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 3:587-588]

KIRTLAND CONFERENCE MINUTES.
Saturday, Oct. 2, 1841.

            Conference commenced pursuant to adjournment. Elder Almon Babbitt was unanimously chosen chairman and Elder W. W. Phelps, appointed clerk. The solemnities were opened with singing and prayer.

            Resolved unanimously that Elder Jeremiah Knight, Samuel Phelps, and Edwin Cadwell, be appointed a committee to examine candidates presented for ordination.

            The chairman then read the 2nd section of the 2nd part of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, explained the relative situation of Kirtland as connected with the gathering of the last days; and laid before the conference, for consideration, the most important items of business-to wit: to aid the poor-for without charity our professions were vain; our gatherings were vain; our teachings were vain, and our religion was vain; "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world," &c. &c.

            To be more careful in the selection of competent Elders to preach the gospel in cities and towns of notoriety, that the cause may continue to triumph, though met by Demetriuses, Alexanders, Simon Maguses, and many seven sons of Sceva.

            And to establish a press at Kirtland, the more effectually to promulgate the gospel; as it is already well known that the press can spread the principles of religion farther and faster, through the medium of mail, than the orator in the pulpit. Many other topics were alluded to, for instruction. Adjourned for one hour.

[2 Oct, pm]

[T&S 3:588]

            Met according to adjournment, and opened with singing and prayer.

            Resolved that John Morton be appointed clerk of the church at Kirtland till next conference.

            Resolved that Almon Babbitt as chairman, and Lester Brooks as clerk, be appointed to sign licenses of the official members of the branch or stake of the church; and that W. W. Phelps be appointed recorder to record said licenses.

            Resolved that money be raised to purchase a horse and wagon for the use of the bishop in gathering for, and distributing to the poor.

            Resolved that Elders Samuel Phelps, Hugh Cole, and John Gaylord, be appointed a committee to travel, in the adjacent branches, and collect alms for the poor.

            On the subject of the press at Kirtland -- to promulgate the principles of pure religion, as well through the medium of the press, as the pulpit, and the more advantageously to aid our brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the great gathering of these last days; and the better to overcome error with truth, and evil with good; and to assist the saints to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity; and to help spread the everlasting gospel, as well as warn this world of woes and wars to come; to note passing events; to give more light upon the plan of salvation, and to bring the "strong reasons" to show that the second coming of Christ, to reign upon the earth, is near.

            Resolved unanimously, that Thomas Burdick, the bishop of Kirtland, and his counsellors, be, and they are are hereby constituted a company, to establish a press at this place, to be owned in shares of from ten to one hundred dollars, by the subscribers, and that the said subscribers are to receive annually, from said establishment, for the use of said press and type, such sums as shall be equal to the unpaid interest of the money actually paid and vested in said establishment.-And what ever is donated, is to be held in trust and managed by the said company, for the benefit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And said company shall publish a religious periodical entitled THE "OLIVE LEAF,"

            Resolved unanimously that the saints in this and the adjacent branches be solicited to lend their aid to carry the above resolution into effect without delay.

            The proceedings of the Elder's quorum was received and accepted, and instructions given to the committee on ordinations, after which the conference adjourned till to-morrow morning at 10. There was preaching in the evening.

[Oct 3, 10 am]

[T&S 3:588-589]

Sunday Oct. 3rd.

            Met pursuant to adjournment. Elder Babbitt deliverd a discourse on the subject of the gathering to a very crowded house. Adjourned for one hour.

[Oct 3, pm]

[T&S 3:588]

Met and Elder Phelps delivered a discourse on "Dispise not prophesyings." The bishop addressed the audience in behalf of the poor, and in aid of the printing establishment. Adjourned.

[Oct 3, evening]

[T&S 3:588-589]

            Evening Session; opened with singing and prayer.

            Resolved that Elder Pattengell, be sent to set in order the branch of the church at Brooklin, that Elder J. Knapp be sent to set in order the branch of the church at Nelson, and that J. Knight be sent to set in order the branch of the Church at Andover.

            The committee on ordinations, reported one for the office of the high priesthood; one for the office of an elder, and one for the office of priest, viz. Samuel Phelps, J. Newman, and Daniel Carpenter.

            The representation of churches showed an increase of branches and members, but is omitted for the sake of brevity. -- The remainder of the evening was occupied by Elder Brooks who gave a discourse on the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. (Acts 1, 6.)

            Resolved that these proceedings be published in the Times and Seasons.

            The spirit of God was in our midst; the greatest harmony prevailed, and a sincere love was manifested for the well being of Israel. Three were baptized.

            Adjourned till the 6th of April next at 10 o'clock A. M.

ALMON BABBITT, Chairman.

W. W. PHELPS, Clerk.

            We give the above conference minutes an insertion, yet it will be seen by the following extract of a letter written by Pres't. Hyrum Smith, to a member of that branch of the church, that the church in Kirtland have not acted according to the will of God, nor the council of the Church in this place.

            "All the saints that dwell in that land are commanded to come away, for this is, "Thus saith the Lord;' therefore pay out no monies nor properties for houses, nor lands, in that country, for if you do, you will lose them; for the time shall come that you shall not possess them in peace; but shall be scourged with a sore scourge; yet your children may possess them; but not until many years shall pass away; and; as to the organization of that branch of the church, it is not according to the spirit and will of God; and as to the designs of the leading members of that branch relative to the printing press, and the ordaining of Elders, and sending out Elders to beg for the poor, are not according to the will of God; and in these things they shall not prosper, for they have neglected the House of the Lord, the Baptismal Font, in this place, wherein their dead may be redeemed, and the key of knowledge that unfolds the dispensation of the fullness of times may be turned, and the mysteries of God be unfolded, upon which their salvation and the salvation of the world, and the redemption of their dead depends, for "Thus saith the Lord," "there shall not be a General Assembly for a general conference assembled together until the House of the Lord shall be finished, and the Baptismal Font, and if we are not diligent the church shall be rejected, and their dead also," "Saith the Lord," therefore, dear Brother, any proceedings otherwise than to put forth their hands with their might to do this work, is not according to the will of God, and shall not prosper; therefore tarry, not in any place whatever, but come forth unto this place from all the world, until it is filled up, and polished, and sanctified according to my word, saith the Lord, come ye forth from the ends of the earth, that I may hide you from mine indignation that shall scourge the wicked, and then I will send forth and build up Kirtland, and it shall be polished and refined according to my word; therefore, your doings and your organizations, and designs in printing, or any of your councils, are not of me, saith the Lord, even so, Amen.

HYRUM SMITH, Patriarch
for the whole church.

 

23-24 Oct 1841, Lima, Adams county, Illinois.
[History of the Church, 4:439-440]

[23 Oct]

[HC 4:439-440]

Minutes of Conference Held At Lima.

            Lima [Adams county, Illinois] conference convened pursuant to previous appointment. Elders Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Willard Richards, of the Twelve Apostles, were in attendance. Elder Brigham Young was unanimously chosen president, and James C. Snow, clerk of the conference.

            President Young then made some preliminary remarks, setting forth and explaining the object of the meeting; followed by President Isaac Morley. Elder James C. Snow then represented the branch of the Church at Lima, consisting of 424 members, including 9 High Priests, 32 Elders, 4 Priests, 5 Teachers, and 4 Deacons, mostly in good standing.

            President Young, Elders Taylor and Richards, then made some very appropriate remarks, showing and proving the absolute necessity of finishing and completing the House of the Lord now building in Nauvoo, in preference to anything else that can be done, either by mental or physical exertion, in spreading light, knowledge, and intelligence among the nations of the earth.

            Conference adjourned till tomorrow, ten o'clock.

[23 Oct, evening]

[HC 4:440]

            In the evening President Morley met with his counselors together with President Young, Elders Taylor, and Richards, and brethren of the Lima branch, for the purpose of entering into certain resolutions necessary, in order to become more active in forwarding the work on the House of the Lord.

            After much deliberation, it was moved and seconded, that all those who are willing to consecrate one tenth of their time and property to the building of the temple at Nauvoo, under the superintendence of President Morley and counselors, to signify it by the uplifted hands; when the motion was carried unanimously.

[24 Oct, 10 am]

[HC 4:440]

            Sunday morning, at ten o'clock conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            Elder John Taylor delivered an address, upon the object of Christ's mission into this world, the resurrection and redemption of the Saints, and pointed out very clearly the course to be pursued in order to become the sons of God, through the ordinances of the gospel, that the Saints may, at last, be exalted at the right hand of God, to dwell with Him eternally in the heavens.

[24 Oct, pm]

[HC 4:440]

            After an intermission of one hour, the sacrament was administered by President Young and Elder Richards. The minutes of the conference were then read and accepted.

            President Young made some very just remarks on the priesthood, authority, and calling.

            Conference adjourned sine die.

            Benediction by President Morley.

Brigham Young, President,
James C. Snow, Clerk.

1842

6-8 Apr 1842, Special Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 3:761-763]

[6 Apr, am]

[T&S 3:761]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

            Special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, met according to appointment in the City of Nauvoo, April 6, 1842.

            The day being wet, the First Presidency did not attend, and Elder Page addressed those present upon the subject of the charges against him, and said he would be happy to have an opportunity of laying his statement before the Conference, at a convenient time.

            Pres't. William Law, Gen. Bennett Pres't. pro tem., and Pres't. H. Smith all spoke upon the subject of military affairs, showing the necessity of a well organized and efficient force; that as we were bound to serve our country if required in common with all good citizens, we ought not to be behind any of our neighbors in point of good order, neat uniforms, and equipments, and a well organized, and thoroughly disciplined legion.

[7 Apr am]

[T&S 3:761-762]

            April 7. Conference met, Pres't. Joseph Smith had the several quorums put in order, and seated: he then made some very appropriate remarks concerning the duties of the church, the necessity of unity of purpose in regard to the building of the houses, and the blessings connected with doing the will of God; and the inconsistency folly and danger of murmuring against the dispensations of Jehovah.

            He said that the principal object of the meeting was to bring the case of Elder Page before them, and that another object was to choose young men, and ordain them, and send them out to preach, that they may have an opportunity of proving themselves, and of enduring the tarring and feathering and such things as those of us who have gone before them, have had to endure.

[Elder Page]

            Elder Page having arrived, was called upon, and addressed the congregation in relation to the nonperformance of his mission to Jerusalem: he said that when he started with Elder Hyde, joy filled their hearts, and they were aware of the responsibility of their mission. Elder Hyde's vision was that he should be in Jerusalem alone, E .P. considered Elder Hyde to be his father and guide in the mission, and felt it his duty to submit to Elder Hyde's opinion in all things; no elders ever were more in concert on a mission than they were while together; they made a covenant in Quincy to stand by each other while on the mission; that if they were insulted, or imposed upon they would stand by each other even unto death, and not separate unless to go a few miles to preach a sermon; that all monies should go into one purse, and it did so. Elder Hyde in Indiana first said he would go to visit. Br. Knight, and that Elder Page should stay and preach, he assented, and he went and returned to Indianapolis. Elder Page had a mare given him on account of both, Elder Hyde then took the mare, went on, and left his luggage with Elder Page; while away he sold the mare for $40, and received $60 more as a donation from the man to whom he sold the mare, he returned, they preached in Dayton and received a handsome contribution, Elder Page preached 16 miles off and raised a branch, Elder Hyde went to Cincinnati, revised the Missouri Persecutions, got 2000 copies printed, and paid for them, and took part of them with him and left a large box full and about 150 loose copies with Elder page. Elder Hyde started for Philadelphia purposing to visit churches on the way: he left Elder Page $23. 31. Elder Page returned to Dayton, and Milton, and sold books, with the intention of following Elder Hyde as soon as practicable; but he stayed a day or two too long, and the river closed by the frost, from one to two weeks earlier than usual; Elder Hyde told him that it was possible they might be from one to two years before they would leave America, as it would take upwards of $1000 each to take them to Jerusalem and back, that it would be slow gleaning in England, and assigned this as a reason for not immediately following Elder Hyde, thinking that he would be sure of seeing him in the spring.

            Elder Page accused himself of not using better economy in proceeding on his journey; there came out a piece in the paper stating the displeasure of the Lord respecting Elder Hyde and Elder Page, he sat down and wrote a piece to put in the paper acknowledging the justice of the charge, but wisdom prevented its being published, preached about Washington &c., gathered funds for the mission, in Westchester and in Philadelphia. Elder Hyde raised funds on behalf of the mission, by applauding Elder Page's talents, wisdom &c., but they were disappointed in him when they saw him, he raised funds for the mission, the most liberal was in Philadelphia; he intended to sail on the 25th of July, but the brethren said that if he would remain two weeks they would raise funds for him, they found that it would take longer, and he decided to stay a month, he then received a command through a letter from Pres't. H. Smith to an official character in Philadelphia, requesting him to return; he wrote to ascertain the reason but did not get an answer, he was then called in by Pres't. J. Smith, and Elder B. Young. Elder Hyde would often renew the covenant between them to never part with each other in that mission. Elder Page had no blame to attach to Elder Hyde; he supposed that he had done right but if he had been in his place he would have tarried for him until the spring.

            The reports of his having apostatized &c. returned even from this place to New York. Many reproved him for leaving Cincinnati for Dayton.

[Pres't J. Smith]

            Pres't. J. Smith then arose and stated that it was wrong to make the covenant referred to by him; that it created a lack of confidence for two men to covenant to reveal all acts of secrecy or otherwise to each other-and Elder Page showed a little grannyism. He said that no two men when they agreed to go together ought to separate, that the prophets of old would not and quoted the circumstance of Elijah and Elisha iii Kings 2 chap. when about to go to Gilgal, also when about to go to Jericho, and to Jordan, that Elisha could not get clear of Elijah, that he clung to his garment until he was taken to heaven and that Elder Page should have stuck by Elder Hyde, and he might have gone to Jerusalem, that there is nothing very bad in it, but by the experience let us profit; again, the Lord made use of Elder Page as a scape goat to procure funds for Elder Hyde.

            When Elder Hyde returns we will reconsider the matter, and perhaps send them back to Jerusalem, we will fellowship Elder Page until Elder Hyde comes, and we will then weld them together and make them one. A vote was then put, and carried that we hold Elder Page in full fellowship.

            Voted, that Elder Page be sent to Pittsburgh. Sung a hymn-Adjourned for one hour and a half, at one o'clock.

[7 Apr 2:30 pm]

[T&S 3:762-763]

            Met agreeable to adjournment. -- Sung a hymn -- Prayer by Elder Kimball.

            Elder Wight called to know if there were any present of the rough and weak things, who wished to be ordained, and go and preach, who have not been before ordained.

            Elder L. Wight then addressed those who intended to be ordained, on the subject of their duty and requirements to go to preach.

[Pres't H. Smith]

            Pres't. H. Smith spoke concerning the elders who went forth to preach from Kirtland, and were afterwards called in for the washing and anointing at the dedication of the House, and those who go now will be called in also, when this Temple is about to be dedicated, and will then be endowed to go forth with mighty power having the same anointing, that all may go forth and have the same power, the first, second, and so on, of the seventies and all those formerly ordained. This will be an important and beneficial mission; and not many years until those now sent will be called in again.

            He then spoke in contradiction of a report in circulation about Elder Kimball, B. Young, himself, and others of the Twelve, alledging that a sister had been shut in a room for several days, and that they had endeavored to induce her to believe in having two wives. Also cantioned the sisters against going to the steam boats.

[Pres't J. Smith]

            Pres't. J. Smith spoke upon the subject of the stories respecting Elder Kimball and others, showing the folly and inconsistency of spending any time in conversing about such stories or hearkening to them, for there is no person that is acquainted with our principles would believe such lies, except Sharp the editor of the "Warsaw Signal." Baptisms for the dead, and for the healing of the body must be in the font, those coming into the church and those rebaptized may be done in the river.

            A box should be prepared for the use of the font, that the clerk may be paid, and a book procured by the monies to be put therein by those baptized' the remainder to go to the use of the Temple.-Sung a hymn. Ordinations to take place to-morrow morning -- Baptisms in the font also -- There were 275 ordained to the office of Elder under the hands of the Twelve during the Conference.

[8 Apr, am]

[T&S 3:763]

            April 8. Sung a hymn -- Prayer by Elder Kimball -- Sung a hymn.

            Elder Page then addressed the assembly upon several subject; made many interesting remarks concerning being called to the ministry, labor in the vinevard &c., spoke of his own travels and the fruits of his labors as an encouragement to the young elders who were going into the vineyard.

            Pres't. J. Smith said the baptisms would be attended to, also the ordinations.

            Sung a hymn-Elder John Taylor preached a sermon while the ordinations and baptisms were going on on the subject of infidelity showing that the arguments used against the bible were reasonably scientifically and philosophically false.

[8 Apr, pm]

[T&S 3:763]

            The Stand was occupied in the afternoon by Elder Amasa Lyman and followed by Elder Wm. Smith, then the Conference closed by benediction of Pres. J. Smith.

JAMES SLOAN, Clerk.

 

1843

10-12 Apr 1843, Elder's Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 4:157-159]

ELDERS CONFERENCE.

The special conference of the 6th of April, was followed by a conference of elders, convened on the 10th inst., at 10 o'clock, A. M., and continued by adjournment from time to time, till the 12th. There were present of the quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young, President; Heber C. Kimball, William Smith, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith and W. Richards.

The object of the conference was to ordain elders, and send them forth into the vineyard to build up churches; and the following appointments were made, with united voices, by the conference; agreeable to requests which were made by individuals who were acquainted with the several places which they represented.

James Munroe and Truman Gillet; Auburn, New York.
Dominicus Carter; Lockport, Indiana.
Joshua Holman and John Pierce; Madison, Indiana.
Wandle Mace and Isaac Hate; Washingtonville, Orange county, New York.
William O. Clark; Richardson Settlement, Iowa.
Benjamin Clapp, John Bear, Wilson Hewitt and L. O. Littlefield; Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Alonzo Whitney and J. Goodale; Dublin, Ohio.
William Eaten; Westfield, Sullivan county, New York.
Zebedee Coltrin, Graham Coltrin and James Flanigan; Smith and Tazewell counties, Virginis.
Johnathan Dunham; Lawrenceburgh, Indiana.
Lewis Robbins and Jacob Gates; Have a roving commission for Massachusetts, with leave to take their wives, but to keep out of the churches.
Stephen Markham and Truman Waite; Berlin, Huron county, Ohio.
John D. Chase and A. M. Harding; Pittsfield, Vermont.
Amos Fuller and Cyrus H. Wheelock; Newfane, Williamsville, Windham county, Vermont.
John S. Gleason and Henry Jacobs; West part of the state of New York.
Marcellus L. Bates and Norman B. Shearer; Near Sackets Harbor, New York.
Samuel Brown; Brandywine and Woodville, Maryland.
Lemuel Mallory and George Slater; Saline, Washtenau county, Michigan.
Moses Wade; Some county in New York, where there has been no preaching by the saints.
Chillion Daniels and E. Robinson; Pierpont, St. Lawrence county, New York.
William Brown and Daniel Cathcart; Pensacola, Florida.
Eleazar Willis; Go where he likes.
John Zundall; Muskootau, St. Clair county, Illinois.
Cradall Dunn; Some where in Michigan.
George Middow; Waterloo, Canada.
Samuel H. Rogers and Harvey Green; Greenwich, Cumberland, New Jersey.
Daniel Spencer; Eardly, Bristol and Clarendon, Lower Canada; March and Fitzroy Harbor, Upper Canada.
Elias Harmar; Green, Chenango county, New York.
Harvey Tate; Fort Wayne, Allen county, Indiana.
Robert D. Foster and Jonathan Allen; Candor, Tioga county, New York.
William Wharton, of Philadelphia; Wilmington, (and vicinity) Delaware.
Leonard Soby; Peru, Miami county, Indiana.
F. D. Wilson and G. W. Brandon; Dyer and Montgomery counties, Tennessee.
E. H. Groves and G. P. Dykes; From Terre Haute to Shawneetown and Cairo, on both sides of the Wabash.
P. Sessions; Oxford county, Maine.
John L. Butler and David Lewis; Lexington and Teesburgh, Kentucky.
Charles C. Rich; Ottowa, Illinois.
W. W. Rust; Worcester county, Massachusetts.
Aaron M. York; Maine.
Asaph Rice; Pontiac, Michigan.
Orson Spencer; New Haven, Connecticut.
Lorin Farr; Connecticut, leave to call at Milwaukie.
Stephen Perry, Amos B. Tomlinson, E. G. Terrill, Amos P. Rogers, Joseph Outhouse and William Bird; state of Connecticut.
Francis Edwards and Charles Ryan; Overton, Jackson county, Tennessee.
Benjamin Kempton; Wheeling to Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Peter Hess, of Philadelphia; Lancaster and vicinity, Pennsylvania.
Noah Curtis and Luman H. Corkins; Wayne county, New York.
Stratton Thornton and Sandford Porter; South East part of Illinois and Indiana.
Benjamin Leland and Eden Smith; Erie county, Pennsylvania.
Samuel Swarner; Orleans county, New York.
Samuel Parker; York county, Maine.
Jacob E. Terry and Err Terry; Niagara District, Upper Canada.
Edward P. Duzette and Elisha Edwards; Leraine and Huron counties, Ohio.
Edwin Williams; New Germantown, Hunterdon county New Jersey.
Jacob G. Bigler; Weston, Lewis county, Virginia.
Orlando Hovey; New Trenton, Franklin county, Indiana.
William B. Brink; Some place in the interior of Pennsylvania, where the elders have not been.
F. B. Jacaway and Samuel Rowland; Adams county, Ohio.
Moses Tracy; Perry county, Illinois.
Alfred Brown; Maysville, Chatauque county, New York.
Noah Rogers, Peter Lemons, Joseph Mount, B. W. Wilson, Addison Pratt and John Brown; State of Vermont.
Samuel C. Brown; To labor on the Temple.
James Carroll; New Castle, Henry county, Indiana.
Levi Stewart and James Pace; Williamson and Gallatin counties, Illinois.
Edwin Clegg; Rock Island, Illionis.
John Carns; Richmond, Indiana.
Edward Bosley and Rodman Clark; Gennessee, Livingston county, New York.
James Hutchins and Daniel Tyler; Natchez, Mississippi.
George M. Chase; Auburn, Geauga county, Ohio.
John Royee; Singsing, New York.
Lyman Whitney; Franklin county, Vermont.

            Twenty-two were ordained elders.

            Almon Babbitt was restored to fellowship by unanimous acclamation of the conference.

            Elder Curtis Hodges, (who has a wife in this place) was cut off from the church for his antichristian conduct, in Warrick county, Indiana.

            Elders James Alread, John Snider, and Aaron Johnson, were appointed to administer baptism for the dead, in the river, while the font could not be used.

[President Young]

            President Young instructed the elders not to go from church to church, for the purpose of living themselves, or begging for their families, or for preaching; but to go to their places of destination, journeying among the world, and preaching by the way as they have opportunity; and if they get any thing for themselves they must do it in those churches they shall build up, or from the world, and not enter into other men's labors.

            Several elders have been represented to us as having travelled extensively the past season, preaching but little, or none, living on the brethren, and begging for their own emoulment. Such elders, be they where they may, far or near, are instructed to repair forthwith to Nauvoo, and give an account of their stewardship, and report the amount of leg service performed by them; and on their return be sure to keep out of the churches.

            It is wisdom for the elders to leave their families in this place, when they have any thing to leave with them; and let not the elders go on their mission, until they have provided for their families. No man need say again "I have a call to travel and preach," while he has not a comfortable house for his family-a lot fenced, and one year's provisions in store, or sufficient to last his family during his mission.

            The Lord will not condemn any man for following counsel, and keeping the commandments; and a faithful man will have dreams about the work he is engaged in. If he is engaged in building the Temple, he will dream about it; and if in preaching he will dream about that, and not, when he is laboring on the temple, dream that it is his duty to run off preaching, and leave his family to starve; such dreams are not of God.

            When I was sick last winter, some of the sisters came and whispered in my ear, "I have nothing to eat." Where is your husband?" "He is gone a preaching." Who sent him? said I, for the Lord never sent him to leave his family to starve.

            When the twelve went to England, they went on a special mission, and by special commandment; and they left their families sick and destitute, God having promised that they should be provided for; but God does not require the same thing of the elders now, neither does he promise to provide for their families when they leave them contrary to counsel. The elders must provide for their families.

            I wish to give a word of advice to the sisters, and I will give it to my wife. I have known elders who had, by some means, got in debt, but had provided will for their families during their contemplated mission, and after they had taken their departure their creditors would teaze their wives for the pay due from their husbands till they would give them the last provision they had left them, and they were obliged to subsist on charity or starve till their husbands returned. Such a course of conduct on the part of the creditors is anti-christian and criminal, and I forbid my wife from paying one cent of my debts while I am absent attending to the things of the kingdom; and I want all the sisters to act on the same principle.

            Elder Hyde said, if there is an elder who does not provide for his family in the unrighteous mammon, shall we commit to him the true riches, the priesthood, missions, &c.? No!

            Elder Woodruff requested the elders to remember in their travels, that there was a printing press in Nauvoo, and that it is in the hands of the church; and wished the elders would procure subscribers for the papers, collect pay for the same, and forward it to the editor, in cash.

            Elder Kimball instructed the elders that when they found a place where the people wanted preaching, they must stay themselves and preach, and not run away somewhere else, and write to Nauvoo to have elders sent to the place they had left.

            Elders Woodruff and Taylor requested that when the elders had built up a church, they would write a brief statement of facts, unincumbered with useless matter, and forward their communication to the editor of the "Times and Seasons," post paid.

            The elders were reminded that they need not expect any attention would be given to unpaid letters, directed to the Presidency.

            The elders were also reminded that although they were not sent out to be taught, but to teach, yet if they would prosper in their missions, they must be careful to teach those things alone which would be profitable to their hearers; that they must bear their testimony of the truth of the fulness of the gospel, and preach nothing but faith and repentance to this generation; and that if they presumed to teach to babes those things which belong to men, they might expect to return to Nauvoo as destitute as they went out; but if they adhered closely to the first principles and taught the "word of wisdom," more by example than by precept, walking before God and the world, in all meekness and lowliness of heart, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord, they might expect an abundant harvest; and as doves return to their windows in flocks, when they see the storm approaching, so will multitudes, by listening to their voices, learn of the things which await the earth, and arise and flee, and return unto Mount Zion, and her stakes with them, who shall be seals of their ministry in the day of celestial light and glory.

BRIGHAM YOUNG, Prest.

W. RICHARDS, Cl'k.

 

6-7 Apr 1843, Kirtland temple, Kirtland, Ohio.
[Times and Seasons 4:282-286]

[6 Apr]

[T&S 4:282-285]

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS..

Minutes of a conference held at Kirtland, on the Sixth day of April, A.D. 1843; in the Lord's House.

            Lyman Wight of the quorum of the Twelve, received the appointment to preside in this conference; whereupon, he arose and informed the brethren that Alexander Badlam would remain a standing clerk for him in all the conferences attended by us; keeping a full account of all matters of importance transacted during our mission and until our return to the city of Nauvoo; yet it would be necessary to appoint another to sit with him at this time. Thomas Kerr accepted this appointment, all of which appointments was unanimous.

[Lyman Wight]

            Prayer was offered by President Brooks, and the attention of the congregation solicited by the president of the conference, who proceeded to make known the object of the same, and also read from the book of Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calling of the Twelve; saying they were called to be special witnesses in all the world, of the name of Christ, and although many have been the operations of aspiring men to destroy their influence and character, as also that of Joseph Smith, yet they have never been able to effect their purpose, although some may triumph in a supposed victory over the head of their benefactors; even those from whom they have received the little intelligence they possess concerning the things of God, they treat with contempt and ingratitude, by taking the same knowledge to combat the one who brought it forth; yet God will do as he always has done, sustain the man of his own choosing, while those who on the other hand exhalt themselves, must surely be abased. Some have talked of fallen prophets. Show me a man of this description and you show me a character of whom the Bible gives no account. I challenge the world to produce the history of a fallen prophet of God. Some may inquire, will God speak through sinful man? If not I doubt very much whether he has spoken through man in ages that are past, or that he ever will to any that now dwell on the earth. But some may say, who can believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Most High? I will ask, who would have believed a few months since, while he in company with others, were surrounded by an infuriated mob, placed under the sentence of death, surrounded by a strong guard, with rifles cocked, and guns with bayonets; waiting only the command of his most bitter enemies to shed his blood, that he at this moment should be found standing in the midst of a more numerous host of real friends than any other man on earth; who would have supposed a few years since that one whom all the world proclaimed to be a fool, should rise from obscurity and become the wonder of the nations of the earth: who would have even dared to believe it possible for him to triumph over more than thirty different law suits, planted by the most ingenious of his enemies, and raise his triumphant brow above the pelting waves of slang and persecution, and hurl their anathamas back with ten fold vigor; sweeping their flimsey charges to the winds; leaving the instigators to feel the smart of their own imprudence: who would have believed for a moment, that a youth in the midst of vetran heads, whom age had silvered o'er, whose days and years had been devoted to the most profound studies of the age, would stand as an instructor to them, while thousands on thousands arise with one consent, declaring the things of which he testifies to be the eternal truths of heaven. I ask again who would have believed that all the learning of the age in which we live, the influence of every religious denomination, the power of every press, the calumny of every apostate, with all their power combined, has never been sufficient to impede the progress of the modern prophet. I ask where is the man who could have believed all this: and answer, none but those who are taught of God. I therefore ask who shall speak against him? who shall speak against the man of God? But some will ask, how may we know whether revelations be of God or not?-I know of only two ways to prove them. The first, to lay hold upon them by obedience; the second, by waiting until the time specified for them to be fulfilled, shall arrive. The manner in which I have been made acquainted with the revelations in times past is the former, but should any of my hearers be more inclined to scepticism than myself, I should not feel myself authorised to deprive them of the privilege of waiting to witness the fulfillment of the prophesies of the servants of God before they perform those things which are required at their hands; yet if men have ever been able to obtain salvation by taking a course like this, I have yet that thing to learn; for the experience of twelve years past, in being sent from place to place, and under the most embarrassing circumstances, has taught me a lesson on this point that could be known in no other way. It would have been impossible for me to have known that I could go to the State of Missouri by way of Detroit, Michigan, building up churches by the way, according to a revelation given June 1831, not having in my possession means to defray the expenses of a journey which would be attended by the most forbidding appearances on every hand, had I remained at home, in order to first ascertain the truth of this prediction which had been placed upon my head. If I had refused to obey this commandment, how could I stand before you as I do this day, and say, all has been fulfilled, even to the very letter, which was spoken concerning myself? or how should I even know the revelation to be of God, without witnessing his approbation? In every move which I have made to comply with this requirement, or otherwise, I have contended myself in waiting for this knowledge when God shall send forth judgment unto victory according to this revelation. I hold it as my right and privilege to know for myself who is the prophet of God, and am then bound to receive the words of God at his mouth, and shall do so, regardless of the opinion or suppositions of men.

            For a man to say, if I knew, I would obey, I will ask, how shall a man know, if he is not willing to obey? and what evidence has a man that he is himself willing to obey, unless he shall do the things that are right? or how shall he know that the things which he does are right, if he can receive no commandment of God? If he does not believe it possible to be instructed of God in the way of his duty, then away with the foolish doctrine, that a person must remain in ignorance, while every means of obtaining knowledge has been given the human family that the benevolence and boundless mercy of God could provide.

            I find many of the elders who are pouncing away at the sectarians for their unbelief, and yet if I tell them I have seen a broken arm healed, they are ready to ask if I might not be mistaken? Oh! where is faith? or I might ask, where is common sense? Many will say the ancient prophets and apostles were men of greater faith than those at the present time. I am ready to meet all men on the same principles with the Bible on one hand, the Book of Mormon on the other, and the Book of Covenants before me. Give me, as Moses had, 2,300,000 men, and see if the waters are not divided.-Give me the united band of Saints, like those in the days of the apostles, and see if the lame do not leap: for when the time arrives that men are willing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, then will the sick be healed, and the lame will leap:-out while the poor are crying for bread, how shall the servants of God be able to have the same faith that once came among men in consequence of their having been willing to impart of their substance to relieve the distressed. How long shall thy voice, O Lord, be heard from the heavens "Build unto my name an house?" How long, O Lord, shall the voice of the widow cry on the earth, "feed me, for I am hungry?" How long shall the wicked say "show me a sign, that I may believe!" while they themselves are unwilling to impart of the smallest portion of their earthly treasures, and save their fellow men from the jaws of death, by the use of those things which have already been put within our power; for be assured, it is the height of presumption to ask at the hand of God to perform for us a thing which we can do ourselves.

            It should be remembered, also, that all men will receive those things for their reward which they esteem of the greatest importance and value. And should we grasp the riches of the world, in hopes of obtaining eternal life, we miss the prize: or strive to be put in possession of a knowledge of the truth, and after receiving the satisfaction required should suffer worldly interests to swerve us from our purpose, we do no better. A man will ever cling to that he loves the most. I find many who seem very anxious to know what will become of their property. I cannot tell them; but one thing I am sure-either the Lord or the Devil will have the disposal of it. But do not blame me. Do not meet me in the streets of Nauvoo, and call me a hypocrite, because I have told you these things in so plain a manner, you cannot misunderstand: for I tell you again and again, if you love your property more than God, hold on to it-enjoy it as long as possible in those places that you find the most pleasantly situated to your own minds; and never charge the servants of God with the crime of leading you away from your pleasant homes, contrary to your own wishes.

            Some complain that I am not smooth enough. If you wish to have smooth things, you must not place me to preside; for I shall say whatever the Lord puts in my heart: for that which pleases Him, that shall I speak.-The reason I did not teach you any more last fall concerning the gathering, is that the time had not then come. I wish also to give to all a portion in due season. The season has now arrived that you should be instructed more perfectly. I then told you not to leave this place until you were instructed so by revelation; but you knew not that I had the revelation with me: but you may depend on hearing it before I leave. And I have no doubt you are all well satisfied concerning the object that lies before us, which is to devise means to effect a removal of the church from this place to the city of Nauvoo. I shall, therefore, call on all, to know who are willing to go, and are desirous so to do; that we may know what father arrangements to make for that purpose. Some have had fears that they would go in haste or by flight. Brethren here need have no fears on this point respecting the past, but as it regards the future. One of you might break this commandment as well in a year from this time by going in haste or by flight, as to do it this day. If being expeditious is breaking the commandment, to be driven by a mob would cause a man to break the commandment, for he surely would be under the necessity of moving quite sprightly. Therefore, if any one is afraid of breaking this law by going in haste, I would advise them to go while they have a chance to go in peace, unless they think by stopping a few years longer they can be better prepared: but my opinion is, they will be altogether better prepared to stay where they are after that length of time. I wish those who say they are not able, would be honest, and say they are not willing, until they can have enough to make them popular when they get among the brethren. Oh! what a set of disciples! Who would not be a Mormon, if we could all get rich? Yet some will step up and say, I am going to build up Zion. But where are your widows? Oh! we have left them behind; I suppose the angels will attend to them: But I will inform you that the servants of God will do it themselves: for as I have said, so say I again. It is presumptuous to require the Lord to do a thing we are not willing to do ourselves Let me inform you that no man can ever be admitted into the kingdom of heaven who loves his earthly treasure more than he loves the cause of the poor and the needy, the widow and the fatherless, and the commandments of Jesus Christ: for it is vain for men to flatter themselves with a hope of salvation while biding definance to the most sacred ties which have and always will bind the Saints to each other in the bonds of charity, stronger than the bonds of death; for "he that seeth his brother stand in need," &c., how dwelleth the love of God in him?

            If I speak too plain on those points, you must call on some one who understands your wishes better than myself; for I have made no enquiry concerning the things which would be most pleasing to you. Neither shall I; but shall endeavor to fulfil the commandment given to me, that I should CONTINUE to labor for Zion. I therefore pursue the same course which I have the twelve years that are past, and have no disposition to change my course until the Lord shall tell me so to do. My object is, and has been ever since our first settling in Jackson county Missouri, to devise means for our present and eternal good; even as men who have lived in past ages, who were called and inspired of God: and with me it is a matter of the highest importance and concern, to prepare a place of residence for this tabernacle-a habitation of safety in a time to come-by obeying the commandment which now lies before us, and gather to the place which has been appointed of God. A motion was then made by Alexander Badlam and seconded by Orange L. Wight, that all who are present who are of the same mind with the President of this conference, and are perfectly willing and determined to comply with this commandment and do all they can for the promotion of so good an object, will manifest the same by standing on their feet; whereupon a unanimous vote was taken to that effect.

            The idea was then suggested that a vote be taken in order to ascertain who had teams, and who had not. It was found that twenty persons had no teams. It was recommended by elder Wight, that such measures be taken as will be the most conducive to the general good of the church, the interest of one man being the interest of the whole body, and whether the church go up either by land or by water, there should be a concert of effort. It was unanimously agreed upon that such a course be pursued as had been recommended at the close of the first day of conference. Four persons were appointed to baptize during the same, viz: John Young, Alexander Budlam, Reuben McBride and Orange L. Wight. The services of the day were then closed by singing and prayer.

[7 Apr]

[T&S 4:285-286]

APRIL 7TH.

            At the opening of the services of this day, a privilege was given for the introduction of any business the brethren might wish to present.-No business being presented, elder Wight proceeded again to instruct the church, touching the subject of christianity, or what it requires to constitute a christian; observing:

[Lyman Wight]

            There is but one class of christians that will be saved; and those not in consequence of having connected themselves with any religious sect or denomination whatever. Neither is any thing acceptable as a religion in the sight of God, which in the least point falls short of that system which he has himself instituted for the express purpose of saving mankind: consequently we have no more to do than to make ourselves acquainted with His mind and will concerning us, and then that we fail not to obey all His precepts, which if we do not, we have no assurance of eternal life, however great our professions or pretensions may be. It is a common saying among men "we do not believe such and such doctrines," as though their salvation and that also of their fellow men was suspended alone on their peculiar notions of right and wrong, entirely independent of the sayings of inspired men, or even the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing can be more ridiculous or disgusting to a man of intelligence, than to hear an individual who professes no inspiration at all, attempting to make plain those things which they vainly suppose inspired. Men have failed to do, notwithstanding they have been favored by the voice of God and the ministrations of holy messengers, whose office and business embrace the important mission of communicating knowledge to the vast family of man. How, then, if the inspired have failed to set before the world the plan of redemption, can the uninspired lead the human family into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven? or will he not be rather an instrument to involve the minds of all who are willing to be led by one who makes no higher pretensions than to teach according to the dictates of his own limited conceptions into a most unsettled and equivocating condition? To that individual who supposes an explanation of the word of God is necessary, I would here say-what a great pity! what a vast mistake, that no uninspired man was called for when the ancient apostles and prophets received the word of God, to tell them what it meant!! Again: if the word of God is not to be understood as it is given (as the meaning is all we need,) we must come to the conclusion that the Bible is of no particular importance in this case. But I would ask, why would it not have been as easy for inspired men to have conveyed those ideas which they have communicated to the world, as they desired them to be understood, in the same number of letters that would be required in its present form; and thus save the world from a most intolerable inconvenience, and a burthen too grievous to be borne, if it be a fact that the Bible cannot be understood without a commentator. But for myself, I deem it very improper and unnecessary for men who are sent out to preach, to engage in so low and unrighteous a calling as to attempt to give interpretations on those points which inspired men have failed to do, unless they are endowed with as much at least, if not more of the spirit of revelation than those whose testimony may be found in the Bible, or any sacred scripture. I, therefore, recommend to all who would wish to become successful in the ministry, to content themselves by preaching such things as are plain and easy to be understood. Nothing is more certain than that a man will come to shame and disgrace who attempts to interfere in matters which have not been entrusted to his charge Neither is it the duty of young and inexperienced elders to preside over grey heads, fathers and mothers, or to knock pipes from their mouths; or in their great zeal to kick over their tea-pots. A man would not be considered wise who, on leading his horse to water, and on finding him unwilling to drink, would begin to apply the lash, in order to compel him.-Neither should a servant of God be found usurping power, or attempting to enforce, by compulsory means, any principle, although good, at a time or in a place where circumstances do not admit, or necessity require.

            It should never be forgotten that, to abase our fellow men by insulting remarks, or trample upon the tender feelings of the aged and infirm, is far, very far beneath the dignity of any person, much more a Saint of the Most High. Let every elder, therefore, observe a course of meekness and simplicity before all men, teaching nothing but those things which are easy to understand. And while men are crying "delusion," challenge them to the test; and while the name of Joseph Smith is mentioned a thousand times, the President of our Nation is only mentioned once, we have a full proof that the attention of the whole world is beginning to be aroused: and I am fully in the belief that he is of more value than a thousand of his persecutors-and as the work of the last dispensation is more glorious than any former one, so shall his name be known before all others, and held in honor before all men; but more especially in the estimation of the wise and good.

            After taking measures for the removal of the church in this place, to the city of Nauvoo, the ordaining of elders, the confirming of members, blessing of children, the importance of building the houses, both Nauvoo House and Temple, the gathering of the Saints explained to the entire satisfaction of the congregation, and in short, every item, for the good of this people, was set forth in meekness and power.

            During the conference, about one hundred were baptised.

LYMAN WIGHT, President.

ALEXANDER BADLAM,
THOMAS KERE, Clerks.

 

6-7 Apr 1843, Special conference, Nauvoo.
[Times and Seasons 4:180-185; History of the Church5:327-346]

[6 Apr, 11 am*]

[T&S 4:180-183]

SPECIAL CONFERENCE.

Thursday Morning, April 6, 1843.

11 o'clock, A. M.

            A Special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convened on the platform of the Temple. There were present, Hyrum Smith, Patriarch: Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Geo. A. Smith, and W. Richards, of the Quorum of the Twelve; and a very large assembly of the elders and saints.

            Elder Brigham Young announced that President Joseph Smith was detained on business, but would be present soon. He called upon the choir to sing an Hymn. Elder Amasa Lyman opened by prayer, and another Hymn was sung. Elder Orson Pratt then read the 3d chapter of the 2d epistle of Peter, and spoke upon the subject of the resurrection.

            At ten minutes before 12 o'clock President Joseph Smith, Elder Sidney Rigdon, and Elder Orson Hyde arrived.

            At 12 o'clock Elder Pratt gave way for the business of the Conference.

            President Joseph Smith commenced by saying, We all ought to be thankful for the privilege we enjoy this day, of meeting so many of the Saints, and for the warmth and brightness of the heavens over our heads,-and it truly makes the countenances of this great multitude to look cheerly, and gladdens the hearts of all present.

            He next stated the object of the meeting, which was,

            First, to ascertain the standing of the first presidency, which he should do by presenting himself before the conference for trial.

            Second, to take into consideration the expediency of sending out the Twelve, or some of them, or somebody else, amongst the branches of the church, to obtain stock to build the Nauvoo House, for the time has come to build it.

            Third, the elders will have the privilege of appeals from the different conferences, to this, if any such cases exist. These, said the president, are the principle items of business which I have at present to lay before you. This is not a general, but an annual conference.

            It is necessary that this conference give importance to the Nauvoo House. A prejudice exists against building the Nauvoo House, in favor of the Lord's House, and the conference are required to give stress to the building of the Nauvoo House. This is the most important matter for the time being, for there is no place in this city, where men of wealth, and character, and influence, from abroad, can go to repose themselves, and it is necessary we should have such a place. The church must build it or abide the result of not fulfilling the commandment.

            President Joseph then asked the conference if they were satisfied with the First Presidency, so far as he was concerned, as an individual, to preside over the whole church; or would they have another? If, said he, I have done any thing that ought to injure my character, reputation, or standing; or have dishonored our religion by any means in the sight of men, or angels, or in the sight of men and women, I am sorry for it, and if you will forgive me, I will endeavor to do so no more. I do not know that I have done any thing of the kind; but if I have, come forward and tell me of it. If any one has any objection to me, I want you to come boldly and frankly, and tell of it; and if not, ever after hold your peace.

            Motion was made and seconded that President Joseph Smith continue president of the whole church. After a few minutes silence, the motion was put by President Young, when one vast sea of hands was presented, and the motion was carried unanimously.

            President Joseph returned his thanks to the assembly for the manifestation of their confidence, and said he would serve them according to the best ability God should give him.

[President Joseph Smith]

            The first presidency being disposed of, President Joseph said he did not know any thing against the Twelve if he did he would present them for trial. It is not right that all the burden of the Nauvoo House, should rest on a few individuals; and we will now consider the propriety of sending the Twelve to collect means for the Nauvoo House. There has been too great a solicitude, in individuals, for the building of the temple, to the exclusion of the Nauvoo House. The agents have had too great latitude to practice fraud, by receiving donations and never making report. The church has suffered loss, and I am opposed to that system of collecting funds when any elder may receive moneys.

            I am opposed to any man's handling the public funds of the church who is not duly authorzed

            I advise that some means be devised for transacting business on a sure foundation. The Twelve are the most suitable persons to perform this business; and I want the conference to devise some means to bind them as firm as the pillars of heaven, if possible. The Twelve were always honest, and it will do them no hurt to bind them.

            It has been reported that they receive wages at two dollars per day for their services. I have never heard this till recently, and I do not believe it. I know the Twelve have never had any wages at all. They have fulfilled their duty-they have always gone where they were sent, and have labored with their hands for their support, when at home. If we send them into the world to collect funds, we want them to return those funds to this place, that they may be appropriated to the very purpose for which they were designed. I go in for binding up the Twelve, solid, putting them under bonds; and let this conference institute an order to this end, and that the travelling expenses of the agents shall not be borne out of the funds collected for building these houses, and let no man pay money or stock into the hands of the Twelve, except he transmit an account of the same immediately to the Trustee in Trust; and let no man but the Twelve have authority to act as agent for the temple and Nauvoo House.

            I would suggest the propriety of your saying that no money should ever be sent by any man except it be some one whom you have appointed as agent, and stop every other man from receiving moneys. It has been customary for any elder to receive moneys for the Temple when he is travelling, but this system of things opens a wide field for every kind of imposition, as any man can assume the name of a Mormon elder, and gather his pockets full of money and go to Texas. Many complaints have come to me of money being sent that I have never received. I will mention one case. He is a good man; his name is Russell, from Akron, New York. His brother had been east on business for him, and there received twenty or twenty-five dollars, as a donation to the Temple, which he put in Russel's bag, with his money, and forgot to take it out before he returned the bag. Two or three days after his return, he called on his brother for the money belonging to the church; but Russell thought his brother had paid out too much of his money, and he would keep the church's money to make good his own. I called to see Russell about the money, and he treated me very politely, but did not give me to understand he ever meant to pay it. He said he did not know at the time, that there was any church money in the bag; that he had paid it out, and he had none now.

            [The brother who brought the money from the east, stated to the conference, that he did not think it was because his brother was short of funds, that he kept it, for he had money enough. He had told him that he should not be out of funds again; that his brother had twenty dollars of the church funds, and some dried fruit for the president.]

            President Joseph resumed. I give this as a sample of a thousand instances. We cannot give an account to satisfy the people, on the church books, unless something is done. I propose that you send your moneys for the Temple by the Twelve, some one, or all; or some agent of your own choosing, and if you send by others, and the money is lost, 'tis lost to yourselves; I cannot be responsible for it.-Every thing that falls into my hands shall be appropriated to the very thing it was designed for.

            Next, it is wrong for the church to make a bridge of my nose, in appropriating church funds. The incorporation required of me securities, which were lodged in the proper hands as the law directs; and I am responsible for all that comes into my hands.

            Next, the Temple Committee are bound to me in the sum of $2000, with good securities. If they appropriate any property where they ought not, they are liable to me for it; and the church are running to them, with funds every day, and thus make a bridge over my nose. I am not responsible for it. If you put it into the hands of the Temple Committee, I, nor my clerk, know nothing of it.

            So long as you consider me worthy to hold this office, it is your duty to attend to the legal forms belonging to the business; and if not, put some other one in my place. My desire is that the conference minutes may go forth in such form, as those abroad may learn the order of doing business; and that the Twelve be appointed to this special mission, of collecting funds for the Nauvoo House; so that all may know how to send their funds safe, or bring them themselves, and deliver them to the Trustee in Trust, or my clerk, who can always be be found in my office. Who are the Temple Committee that they should receive the funds? They are nobody.

            When I went to the White House, at Washington, and presented letters of introduction, from Thomas Carlin, Governor of Illinois, to Martin Van Buren, he looked at it very insignificantly and said, 'Governor Carlin! Governor Carlin!! who's Governor Carlin? Governor Carlin's nobody." I erred in spirit, I confess my mistake; and I here make my apology to all the world, and let it be recorded on earth and in heaven, that I am clear of the sin of being angry with Martin Van Buren for saying that "Governor Carlin's nobody." I have been sorry for it ever since. All property ought to go through the hands of the Trustee in Trust.

            There have been complaints against the Temple Committee for appropriating church funds more freely for the benefit of their own children, than to others, who need assistance more than they do; and the parties may have till Saturday to prepare for trial.

            It was then voted unanimously that the Twelve be appointed a committee to collect funds to build the Nauvoo House, and receive moneys for the Temple, with this proviso:

            That the Twelve give bonds for the safe delivery of all funds, coming into their hands' belonging to the Nauvoo House and Temple, to the Trustee in Trust, and that the payor, also, make immediate report to the Trustee in Trust, of all moneys paid by him to the Twelve; and that the instructions of President Joseph Smith, to the conference, be carried into execution.

            Elder W. W. Phelps proposed that the Twelve sign triplicate receipts, for moneys received, for the benefit of the parties concerned.
Elder Brigham Young objected, and said he should never give receipts for cash, except such as he put into his own pocket, for his own use; for it was calculated to make trouble hereafter, and there were better methods of transacting the business; and more safe for the parties concerned; that he wished this speculation to stop, and would do all in his power to put it down: To which the Twelve responded, amen. Elder Young asked if any one knew any thing against any one of the Twelve, any dishonesty; if they did, he wanted it exposed; he said he knew of one who was not dishonest. He also referred to muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn,&c.

            President Joseph said, I will answer Brother Brigham. The Twelve need not spend all their time abroad, they can spend the time belonging to the Temple, for to collect funds; and the remainder of the time they may labor for their support; and they may call on the public to supply their wants. It is no more for the Twelve to go abroad and earn their living in this way than it is for others. The idea of not muzzling the ox, is a good old Quaker song, but we will make the ox tread out the corn first and then feed him. I am bold to declare that I have never taken the first farthing of church funds for my own use, till I have first consulted the proper authorities. When there was no quorum of the Twelve or high priests for me to consult, I have asked the Temple Committee, who had no particular business with it, but I did it for the sake of peace. [Elder Cutler said it was so.] Let the conference stop all agents from collecting funds, except the Twelve.-When a man is sent to preach the first principles of the gospel, he should preach that and let the rest alone.

            The choir sung a hymn, and elder O. Hyde prayed, and Twelve minutes before 2 o'clock P. M., conference adjourned for one hour.

[6 Apr, 3 pm]

[T&S 4:183-185]

_____

3 o'clock, P. M.

[Patriarch Hyrum Smith]

            Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, commenced by saying that he had some communications to make to the conference, on stealing, and he would do it while waiting for Joseph; and referred to the article in the last number of the 'Wasp.' Said he, I have had an interview with a man who formerly belonged to the church, and he revealed to me that there is a band of men, and some who pretend to be strong in the faith of the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, but they are hypocrites, and some who do not belong to the church, who are bound together by secret oaths, and obligations and penalties, to keep the secret; and they hold that it is right to steal from any one who does not belong to the church provided they consecrate two-thirds of it to the building of the Temple. They are also making bogus money.

            This man says he has become convinced of the error of his ways, and has come away from them to escape their fury. I wish to warn you all not to be duped by such men, for they are the Gadianters of the last days.

            He then read from the Wasp as re-published from the Times and Seasons, his own affidavit, and the proceedings of the authorities of the church generally, dated Nov. 26, 1841. The man who told me said, "this secret band refer to the bible, book of Doctrine and Covenants, and book of Mormon to substantiate their doctrine:" but no such doctrines are taught there.

            They say it has been taught from this stand, that they are the little foxes that spoil the vines, and the first Presidency are the big foxes: and the big foxes wanted the little foxes to get out of the city and spread abroad, so that the big foxes might have a chance; which every body knows is false: all these things are used to decoy the foolish and unwary.

            I will mention two names, David Holman and James Dunn, they were living in my house I went to them and asked them if they were stealing for a livelihood? Holman confessed that he had stolen from the world, not from the brethren. I told them to get out of my house. David asked me to forgive him, and he lifted his hands towards heaven and swore if I would forgive him he would never do so again. Soon after he went to Montrose, where he was found stealing salt, as is currently reported; he then stole a skiff and came across the river, stole a barrel of flour that had just been landed from a steamer, rowed down the river to Keokuk and sold the flower for $2 00, saying he had picked it up in the river, and was likely a little damaged, got his pay, and went his way. Dunn would not promise to quit stealing, but said he would go to St. Louis. I tell you to-day, the man that steals shall not long after be brought to the Penitentiary. They will soon be brought to condign punishment. I demand in the presence of God that you will exert your wit and your power to bring such characters to justice, if you do not the curse of God will rest upon you, such things would ruin any people. Should I catch a latter day saint stealing, he is the last man to whom I would shew mercy.

[President Joseph Smith]

            President Joseph Smith said, I think it best to continue this subject. I want the elders to make honorable proclamation abroad concerning what the feelings of the first presidency is, for stealing has never been tolerated by them. I despise a thief above ground. He would betray me if he could get the opportunity. I would know that he would be a detriment to my cause, and if I were the biggest rogue in the world, he would steal my horse when I wanted to run away.

            It has been said that some were afraid to disclose what they know of these secret combinations, consequently I issued a proclamation which you may read in the Wasp, No. 48, which the president read

PROCLAMTION,

To the Citizens of Nauvoo.

            Whereas it appears by the re-publication of the foregoing proceedings and delaration, that I have not altered my views on the subject of stealing: And whereas it is reported that there now exists a band of desperadoes, bound by oaths of secrecy, under severe penalties in case any member of the combination divulges their plans of stealing and conveying properties from station to station, up and down the Mississippi and other routes: And whereas it is reported that the fear of the execution of the pains and penalties of their secret oaths, on their persons, prevents some of the members of said secret association, (who have, through falsehood and deceit, been drawn into their snares,) from divulging the same to the legally Constituted authorities of the land:

            Know ye, therefore, That I, Joseph Smith, Mayor of the city of Nauvoo, will grant and ensure protection against all personal mob violence, to each and every citizen of this city, who will freely and voluntarily come before me, and truly make known the names of all such abominable characters as are engaged in said secret combination for stealing, or are accessary thereto in any manner; and I would respectfully solicit the co-operation of all ministers of Justice, in this and the neighboring states, to ferret out a band of thievish outlaws from our midst.

            Given under my hand at Nauvoo City, this 25th day of March, A. D. 1843.

JOSEPH SMITH,
Mayor of said City.

            If any man is afraid to disclose what he knows about this gang of thieves let him come to me, and tell me the truth, and I will protect him from violence. Thieving must be stopped.

            Opportunity was then offered to the elders to bring forward their appeals from other conferences, but no case was presented.

            President Joseph continued his remarks and said; it is necessary that I make a proclamation, concerning Keokuk; and also in relation to the economy of the church on that side of the river.

            It has been supposed that I made a great bargain with a certain great man at Keokuk. He came to my house about the 1st of August 1842, a stranger, and put on a long face, and said he was "a stranger in the place, and he was in distress; and having understood that I was very benevolent, he had come to me for help. He said that he was about to loose $1400 at Sheriff's sale for $300 cash. I have money in St. Louis, which I expect in two or three days; but the sale takes place to-morrow, and I want to hire money for two or three days." I thought of this subject over night. I did not like the looks of the man, but thought I, he is a stranger. I have been a stranger in a strange land, and whenever I have asked for assistance I have obtained it It may be he is an honest man, and if I turn him away I shall be guilty of the sin of ingratitude, and I had better loose $200 in good faith, than be guilty of ingratitude. So I let him have the money and he gave me his note payable on demand, saying "whenever you call on me you shall have the money."

            When I was taken with Carlin's writ, I asked him for the money. "You ought to have it," said he, "but I have not got my money from St. Louis, I shall have it in a few days." He then stated, "I have a curious plan in my mind which I think may be profitable both for you and me. It is this, "I will give you a quit claim deed of all the land you bought of Galland; which is 20,000 acres: you paid Galland the notes, and ought to have them; they are in my hands as his agent, and I will give them up." I also propose deeding to you one half of my right to all my land in the Iowa Territory; and all I ask in return, is for you to give your influence to help to build up Keokuk."

            I replied I have not asked for your property, and do not want it. I would not give a snap of my finger for it; but I will receive the papers, and if I find things as you say I will use my influence to build up Keokuk; but I will give you nothing for the land, and I want the $200 which is due me. He made out the deeds and gave them to me, and I got them recorded. He also gave up the most of the notes. I then said to Uncle John, if you will go there, with the brethren, I will give you the property; but he would not accept it.

            This man called for some more favors, and I let him have some cloth, &c. to the amount of six or seven hundred dollars. I have offered this land to many if they would go and settle there; but nobody will go. He began soon after to say to the brethren what obligations I was under to him. I wrote him a letter on the subject, but I have since found he is swindling, and there is no prospect of getting any thing from him.

            He is owing me about $1100, and I thought it my duty to publish his rascality, that the elders might do the same in that Territory, and prevent the brethren from being imposed upon.-He has got a writing to this effect, that if he owned as much as he pretended, and would do as he said, I would give my influence to build up Keokuk, and on other terms.

            His name is J. G. Remick, he took this plan to swindle me out of money, cloth, boards, &c. I want all the congregation to know it. I was not going to use any influence to have the brethren to go to be swindled. My advice is, if they choose, that they come away from Keokuk and not go there more; it is not a good location.

            I am not so much a christian as many suppose I am, when a man undertakes to ride me for a horse, I feel disposed to kick up and throw him off, and ride him. David did so, and so did Joshua. My only weapon is my tongue. I would not buy property in the Iowa Territory: I considered it stooping to accept it as a gift.

(To be continued.)

 

[History of the Church 5:327-346]

[6 Apr, 11 am*]

[HC 5:327-332]

Minutes of the General Conference Beginning April 6th 1843.

            An annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was convened on the floor of the Temple. There were present-Hyrum Smith, Patriarch; Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith, and Willard Richards, of the quorum of the Twelve; Elder Amasa Lyman, and a very large assembly of the elders and Saints.

            Elder Brigham Young announced that President Joseph Smith was detained on business, but would be present soon.

            Sang a hymn.

            Elder Amasa Lyman opened by prayer, and another hymn was sung.

            Elder Orson Pratt then read the third chapter of the second epistle of Peter, and spoke upon the subject of the resurrection.

            At ten minutes before twelve o'clock, President Joseph Smith and Elders Rigdon and Hyde arrived.

Presentation of Authorities.

            At twelve o'clock, President Joseph Smith commenced by saying "We all ought to be thankful for the privilege we enjoy this day of meeting so many of the Saints, and for the warmth and brightness of the heavens over our heads; and it truly makes the countenances of this great multitude to look cheerful and gladdens the hearts of all present." He next stated the object of the meeting, which was-

            First. To ascertain the standing of the First Presidency, which he should do by presenting himself before the conference.

            Second. To take into consideration the expediency of sending out the Twelve, or some of them, amongst the branches of the Church, to obtain stock to build the Nauvoo house; for the time has come to build it.

            Third. The elders will have the privilege of appeals from the different conferences to this, if any such cases exist.

            These are the principal items of business which I have at present to lay before you.

            It is necessary that this conference give importance to the Nauvoo House. A prejudice exists against building it, in favor of the Temple; and the conference is required to give stress to the building of the Nauvoo House. This is the most important matter for the time being; for there is no place in this city where men of wealth, character and influence from abroad can go to repose themselves, and it is necessary we should have such a place. The Church must build it or abide the result of not fulfilling the commandment.

            President Joseph then asked the conference if they were satisfied with the First Presidency, so far as he was concerned as an individual to preside over the whole Church, or would they have another? If, said he, I have done anything to injure my character, reputation, or standing, or have dishonored our religion by any means in the sight of angels or in the sight of men and women, I am sorry for it; and if you will forgive me, I will endeavor to do so no more. I do not know that I have done anything of the kind. But if I have, come forward and tell me of it. If any one has any objection to me, I want you to come boldly and frankly and tell me of it; and if not, ever after hold your peace.

            Motion was made are seconded, that President Joseph Smith continue President of the whole Church. After a few minutes' silence, the motion was put by President Brigham Young, when one vast sea of hands was presented, and the motion was carried unanimously.

            President Joseph returned his thanks to the assembly for the manifestation of their confidence, and said he would serve them according to the best ability God should give him.

            Elder Brigham Young moved, and Elder Orson Hyde seconded, that Elder Sidney Rigdon be continued in his office as counselor to President Smith.

            Elder Rigdon spoke, saying, "The last time I had the privilege of attending conference was at the laying of the corner stones of this Temple; and I have had but poor health since, and have been connected with circumstances the most forbidding, which, doubtless, have produced some feelings. I have never had a doubt of the work. My feelings concerning Bennett were always the same. I told my family to guard against that fellow, for some time he will attempt to make a rupture among this people. I had so little confidence in him that I always felt myself at his defiance. I was once threatened by Warren Parrish, if I would not coincide with his views; and I have just received such a threatening letter from John C. Bennett, that if I did not turn my course I should feel the force of his power. As there is now an increase of my health and strength, I desire to serve you in any way it is possible for me to do. If any one has any feelings against me, I hope they will express them.

            Dimick B. Huntington asked him what he meant when he said Bennett was a good man, etc., when he called him a perfect gentleman and he had nothing against him.

            Elder Rigdon said he did not recollect it. He did not then know as much about Bennett as he had learned afterwards. I say now, he never offered any abuse in my house. Bennett has never been about my house but little. I never saw anything about the man but what was respectable. He came to Robinson's. I was in debt to him, and consequently boarded him. I think Dimick must be mistaken.

            Dimick: I know I am not. I have no private pique against Elder Rigdon.

            The vote was then put and carried almost unanimously.

            President Joseph Smith presented William Law as his second counselor, who was sustained by unanimous vote.

            President Hyrum Smith, patriarch, said he wished to be tried, when it was voted unanimously that he retain his office of patriarch. He then blessed the people and asked the Lord to bless them also.

[President Joseph Smith]

Remarks of the Prophet on Collecting Funds.

            President Joseph Smith said he did not know anything against the Twelve. If he did, he would present them for trial. It is not right that all the burden of the Nauvoo House should rest on a few individuals; and we will now consider the propriety of sending the Twelve to collect means for it. There has been too great a solicitude in individuals for the building of the Temple to the exclusion of the Nauvoo House. Agents have had too great latitude to practice fraud by receiving donations, and never making report. The Church has suffered loss, and I am opposed to that system of collecting funds when any elder may receive moneys. I am opposed to any man handling the public funds of the Church who is not duly authorized. I advise that some means be devised for transacting business on a sure foundation. The Twelve are the most suitable persons to perform this business, and I want the conference to devise some means to bind them as firm as the pillars of heaven, if possible. The Twelve were always honest, and it will do them no hurt to bind them. It has been reported that they receive wages at two dollars per day for their services. I have never heard this till recently, and I do not believe it. I know the Twelve have never had any wages at all. They have fulfilled their duties; they have always gone where they were sent, and have labored with their hands for their support when at home. If we send them into the world to collect funds, we want them to return those funds to this place, that they may be appropriated to the very purpose for which they were designed. I go in for binding up the Twelve solid, putting them under bonds; and let this conference institute an order to this end, and that the traveling expenses of the agents shall not be borne out of the funds collected for building these houses; and let no man pay money or stock into the hands of the Twelve, except he transmit an account of the same immediately to the Trustee-in-Trust; and let no man but the Twelve have authority to act as agent for the Temple and Nauvoo House. I would suggest the propriety of your saying that no money should ever be sent by any man, except it be by some one whom you have appointed as agent, and stop every other man from receiving moneys. It has been customary for any elder to receive moneys for the Temple when he is traveling. But this system of things opened a wide field for every kind of imposition, as any man can assume the name of a "Mormon" elder and gather his pockets full of money and go to Texas. Many complaints have come to me of money being sent that I have never received. I will mention one case. He is a good man: his name is Daniel Russell, from Akron, New York. His brother Samuel had been east on business for him, and there received twenty or twenty-five dollars as a donation to the Temple, which he put in Daniel Russell's bag, with his money, and forgot to take it out before he returned the bag. Two or three days after his return, he called on his brother for the money belonging to the Church; but Daniel thought Samuel had paid out too much of his money, and he would keep the Church's money to make good his own. I called to see Daniel Russell about the money, and he treated me so very politely, but did not give me to understand he ever meant to pay it. He said he did not know at the time that there was any Church money in the bag,-that he had paid it out, and he had none now.

            Samuel Russell, who brought the money from the east, stated to the conference that he did not think it was because his brother was short of funds that he kept it, for he had money enough. He had told him that he should not be out of funds again-that his brother had twenty dollars of the Church funds and some dried fruit for the President.

            President Joseph resumed: I give this as a sample of a thousand instances. We cannot give an account to satisfy the people on the Church books unless something is done. I propose that you send your moneys for the Temple by the Twelve or some agent of your own choosing; and if you send by others and the money is lost, it is lost to yourselves; I cannot be responsible for it. Everything that falls into my hands shall be appropriated to the very thing it was designed for. It is wrong for the Church to make a bridge of my nose in appropriating funds for the Temple. The act of incorporation required of me securities, which were lodged in the proper hands, as the law directs; and I am responsible for all that comes into my hands. The Temple committee are bound to me in the sum of $2,000, with good security. If they apply any property where they ought not, they are liable to me for it. Individuals are running to them with funds every day, and thus make a bridge over my nose. I am not responsible for it. If you put it into the hands of the Temple committee, neither I nor my clerk know anything of it. So long as you consider me worthy to hold this office, [Sole Trustee-in-Trust for the Church] it is your duty to attend to the legal forms belonging to the business; and if not, put some other one in my place. My desire is that the conference minutes may go forth in such form that those abroad may learn the order of doing business, and that the Twelve be appointed to this special mission of collecting funds for the Nauvoo House, so that all may know how to send their funds safely, or bring them themselves and deliver them to the Trustee-in-Trust or his clerk, who can always be found in the office. Who are the Temple committee, that they should receive the funds? They are nobody. When I went to the White House at Washington, and presented letters of introduction from Thomas Carlin, governor of Illinois, to Martin Van Buren, he looked at them very contemptuously, and said, "Governor Carlin! Governor Carlin! Who's Governor Carlin? Governor Carlin's nobody." I erred in spirit: I have been sorry for it ever since. I confess my mistake; and I here make my apology to all the world; and let it be recorded on earth and in heaven that I am clear of the sin of being angry with Martin Van Buren for saying, "Governor Carlin's nobody." All property ought to go through the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust. There have been complaints against the Temple committee for appropriating Church funds more freely for the benefit of their own children than to others who need assistance more than they do; and the parties may have till Saturday to prepare for trial.

            It was then voted unanimously that the Twelve be appointed a committee to collect funds to build the Nauvoo House and receive moneys for the Temple, with this proviso-That the Twelve give bonds for the safe delivery of all funds coming into their hands belonging to the Nauvoo House and Temple to the Trustee-in-Trust; and that the payer also make immediate report to the Trustee-in-Trust of all moneys paid by him to the Twelve; and that the instructions of President Joseph Smith to the conference be carried into execution.

            Elder W. W. Phelps proposed that the Twelve sign triplicate receipts for moneys received, for the benefit of the parties concerned.

            Elder Brigham Young objected, and said he should never give receipts for cash, except such as he put into his own pocket for his own use; for it was calculated to make trouble hereafter, and there were better methods of transacting the business and more safe for the parties concerned; that he wished this speculation to stop, and would do all in his power to put it down: to which the Twelve responded, Amen. Elder Young asked if any one knew anything against any one of the Twelve-any dishonesty. If they did, he wanted it exposed. He said he knew of one who was not dishonest. He also referred to muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn, etc.

            President Joseph said, I will answer Brother Brigham. There is no necessity for the Twelve being abroad all the time preaching and gathering funds for the Temple. Spend the time that belongs to preaching abroad, and the rest of the time at home to support themselves. It is no more for the Twelve to go abroad and earn their living in this way than it is for others. The idea of not muzzling the ox is a good old Quaker song; but we will make the ox tread out the corn first, and then feed him. I am bold to declare that I have never taken the first farthing of Church funds for my own use, till I have first consulted the proper authorities. When there was no quorum of the Twelve or High Priests for me to consult, I have asked the Temple committee, who had no particular business with it; but I did it for the sake of peace. (Elder Cutler said it was so.) Let the conference stop all agents from collecting funds, except the Twelve. When a man is sent to preach the first principles of the gospel, he should preach that, and let the rest alone.

            Choir sang a hymn.

            Elder Orson Hyde prayed; and at twelve minutes before two o'clock, p.m., conference adjourned for one hour.

[6 Apr, 3 pm]

[HC 5:332-337]

 

Afternoon Session.

            [Conference re-assembled at three o'clock, p.m.]

[Patriarch Hyrum Smith]

Hyrum Smith's Remarks on Thieves.

            Patriarch Hyrum Smith commenced by saying that he had some communication to make to the conference on stealing, and he would do it while waiting for President Joseph Smith, and referred to the article in the last number of the Wasp. Said he, I have had an interview with a man who formerly belonged to the Church. He revealed to me that there is a band of men, and some who pretend to be strong in the faith of the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints; but they are hypocrites, and some who do not belong to the Church, who are bound together by secret oaths, obligations, and penalties to keep the secret; and they hold that it is right to steal from any one who does not belong to the Church, provided they consecrate one-third of it to the building of the Temple. They are also making bogus money.

            This man says he has become convinced of the error of his ways and has come away from them to escape their fury. I wish to warn you all not to be duped by such men, [these outlaws] for they are the Gadiantons of the last days.

            He then read from the Wasp, as republished from the Times and Seasons, his own affidavit and the proceedings of the authorities of the Church generally, dated Nov. 26, 1841. The man who told me said, "this secret band refer to the Bible, Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and Book of Mormon to substantiate their doctrines; and if any of them did not remain steadfast, they ripped open their bowels and gave them to the cat-fish." But no such doctrines are taught in those books.

            They say that it has been taught from this stand that they are the little foxes that spoil the vines, and the First Presidency are the big foxes; and the big foxes wanted the little foxes to get out of the city and spread abroad, so that the big foxes might have a chance; which everybody knows is false. All these things are used to decoy the foolish and unwary.

            I will mention two names-David Holman and James Dunn. They were living in my house. I went to them and asked them if they were stealing for a livelihood? Holman confessed that he had stolen from the world, not from the brethren. I told them to get out of my house. David asked me to forgive him, and he lifted his hands towards heaven and swore, if I would forgive him, he would never do so again. Soon after he went to Montrose, where he was found stealing salt. He then stole a skiff and came across the river, stole a barrel of flour that had just been landed from a steamer, rowed down the river to Keokuk and sold the flour for $2.00, saying he had picked it up in the river, and it was likely a little damaged, got his pay, and went his way. Dunn would not promise to quit stealing, but said he would go to St. Louis. I tell you today, the men that steal shall not long after be brought to the penitentiary. They will soon he brought to condign punishment. I demand, in the presence of God, that you will exert your wit and your power to bring such characters to justice. If you do not, the curse of God will rest upon you. Such things would ruin any people. Should I catch a Latter-day Saint stealing, he is the last man to whom I would show mercy.

[President Jospeh Smith]

            President Joseph Smith said, I think it best to continue this subject. I want the elders to make honorable proclamation abroad concerning what the feelings of the First Presidency are; for stealing has never been tolerated by them. I despise a thief. He would betray me if he could get the opportunity. I know that he would be a detriment to any cause; and if I were the biggest rogue in the world, he would steal my horse when I wanted to run away.

            It has been said that some were afraid to disclose what they knew of these secret combinations; consequently I issued a proclamation, which you may read in the Wasp, Number 48. If any man is afraid to disclose what he knows about this gang of thieves, let him come to me and tell me the truth, and I will protect him from violence. Thieving must be stopped.

            Opportunity was then offered to the elders to bring forward their appeals from other conferences; but no case was presented.

The Prophet's Remarks on Conditions in Iowa.

            President Joseph Smith continued his remarks and said, it is necessary that I make a proclamation concerning Keokuk and also in relation to the economy of the Church on that side of the river.

            The governor of Iowa has issued a writ in the same manner that Carlin did, and it is now held in Iowa as a crudgel over my head. I was told by the United States attorney that the governor of Iowa had no jurisdiction after the decision of the Supreme Court, and that all writs thus issued were legally dead. Appeals have been made to Governor Chambers; but although he has no plausible excuse, he is not willing to kill that writ or to take it back. I will therefore advise you to serve them a trick that the devil never did,-i. e., come away and leave them; come into Illinois, pay taxes in Illinois, and let the Iowegians take their own course. I don't care whether you come away or not. I do not wish to control you; but if you wish for my advice, I would say, let every man, as soon as he conveniently can, come over here; for you can live in peace with us. We are all green mountain boys-Southerners, Northerners, Westerners, and every other kind of "ers," and will treat you well: and let that governor know that we don't like to be imposed upon.

            In relation to Keokuk, it has been supposed that I made a great bargain with a certain great man there. In the beginning of August last, a stranger came to my house, put on a very long face, and stated that he was in great distress-that he was a stranger in this city, and having understood that I was benevolent, he had come to me for help. He said that he was about to lose $1,400 of property at sheriff's sale for $300 in cash; that he had money in St. Louis, which he expected in two or three days; that the sale would take place the next day; and that he wanted to hire some money for two or three days. I thought on the subject over night, and he came the next morning for an answer. I did not like the looks of the man; but thought I, he is a stranger. I then reflected upon the situation that I had been frequently placed in, and that I had often been a stranger in a strange land, and whenever I had asked for assistance I had obtained it; and it may be that he is an honest man; and if I turn him away, I shall be guilty of the sin of ingratitude. I therefore concluded to loan him $200 in good faith sooner than be guilty of ingratitude. He gave me his note for the same, and said, "whenever you call on me, you shall have the money." Soon after, when I was taken with Carlin's writ, I asked him for the money; but he answered, "I have not got it from St. Louis, but shall have it in a few days." He then said, "since I saw you, a project has entered my mind, which I think may be profitable both for you and me. I will give you a quit claim deed for all the land you bought of Galland, which is twenty thousand acres. You paid Galland the notes, and ought to have them: they are in my hands as his agent, and I will give them up. I also propose deeding to you one-half of my right to all my land in the Iowa territory; and all I ask is for you to give your influence to help to build up Keokuk." I answered, "I have not asked for your property: I don't want it, and would not give a snap of my finger for it; but I will receive the papers; and if I find it as you say, I will use my influence to help to build up the place; but I won't give you anything for the land," and told him I wanted the $200 which was due me. He made out the deeds and gave them to me, and I got them recorded, and he gave up the notes, except a few. I then said to Uncle John Smith, if you go there with the brethren, I will give you the property. But he would not accept it. I then let the same gentleman have some cloth to the amount of $600 or $700. He began, soon after, to tell the brethren what obligations I was under to him. I then wrote him a letter on the subject; but I have since found that he is swindling, and that there is no prospect of getting anything from him. He is owing me about $1,100; and I thought it my duty to publish his rascality, that the elders might do the same in that territory, and prevent the brethren from being imposed upon. He has got a writing to this effect, that if he owned as much as he pretended and did as he said, I would give my influence to build up Keokuk, and on no other terms. His name is J. G. Remick. He took this plan to swindle me out of money, cloth, lumber, etc. I want all the congregation to know it. I was not going to use any influence to have the brethren go to be swindled. My advice is, if they choose, that they come away from Keokuk, and not go there any more. It is not a good location.

            I am not so much a "Christian" as many suppose I am. When a man undertakes to ride me for a horse, I feel disposed to kick up and throw him off, and ride him. David did so, and so did Joshua. My only weapon is my tongue. I would not buy property in Iowa territory: I consider it stooping to accept it as a gift.

            In relation to the half-breed land, it is best described by its name-it is half-breed land; and every wise and judicious person as soon as he can dispose of his effects, if he is not a half-breed, will come away. I wish we could exchange some half-breeds and let them go over the river. It there are any that are not good citizens, they will be finding fault tomorrow at my remarks, and that is the key-word whereby you may know them. There is a chance in that place for every abomination to be practiced on the innocent, if they go; and I ask forgiveness of all whom I advised to go there. The men who have possession have the best title; all the rest are forms for swindling. I do not wish for the Saints to have a quarrel there.

            President Joseph Smith stated that the next business was to settle difficulties where elders have had their licenses taken away, etc., or their membership. But whilst they were preparing, if there was any such case, he would talk on other subjects.

The Prophet on the Second Coming of the Christ.

            The question has been asked, can a person not belonging to the Church bring a member before the high council for trial? I answer, No. If I had not actually got into this work and been called of God, I would back out. But I cannot back out: I have no doubt of the truth. Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end [of the world] would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes.

            I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, "My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man." I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make his appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written-the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old. Then read the 14th chapter of Revelation, 6th and 7th verses-"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come." And Hosea, 6th chapter, After two days, etc.,-2,520 years; which brings it to 1890. The coming of the Son of Man never will be-never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out: which judgments are commenced. Paul says, "Ye are the children of the light, and not of the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief in the night." It is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth and crush it and grind it to powder, but he will reveal it to His servants the prophets.

            Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, &c.; and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, &c. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.

            Choir sang a hymn.

            Prayer by W. W. Phelps.

            Adjourned at six p.m., until tomorrow morning.

[7 Apr, 10 am]

[HC 5:337-339]

            Friday, 7.-

            Conference convened at ten a.m.

            Singing, prayer by Elder Orson Hyde, and singing.

            President Joseph Smith stated that the next business in order was to listen to appeals of elders, &c.; but none appeared. He was rather hoarse from speaking so long yesterday, and therefore said he would use the boys' lungs today.

            The next business in order was to appoint some elders on missions.

            Voted that Jedediah M. Grant be sent to preside over the church at Philadelphia.

            Voted that Joshua Grant be sent to preside over the Church at Cincinnati.

            Voted that Pelatiah Brown go to the village of Palmyra, in New York, and raise up a branch of the Church,

Complaints Against the Temple Committee.

            The Temple committee was called up for trial.

            William Clayton said: Some may expect I am going to be a means of the downfall of the Temple committee. It is not so; but I design to show that they have been partial. Elder Higbee has overrun the amount allowed by the trustees about one-fourth. Pretty much all Elder Higbee's son has received has been in money and store pay. Higbee's son has had nothing credited on his tithing. William F. Cahoon has paid all his tenth; the other sons of Cahoon have had nothing to their credit on tithing. The committee have had a great amount of store pay. One man, who is laboring continually, wanted twenty-five cents in store pay when his family were sick; but Higbee Said he could not have it. Pulaski S. Cahoon was never appointed boss over the stone-cutting shop, but was requested to keep an account of labor in it. During the last six months very little means have been brought into the Temple committee. There are certain individuals in this city who are watching every man who has anything to give the Temple, to get it from him and pay for the same in his labor.

            Alpheus Cutler said he did not know of any wrong he had done. If any one would show it, he would make it right.

            The conference voted him clear.

            Reynolds Cahoon said: This is not an unexpected matter for me to be called up. I do not want you to think I am perfect. Somehow or other, since Elder Cutler went up into the pine country, I have, from some cause been placed in very peculiar circumstances. I think I never was placed in so critical a position since I was born. When President Smith had goods last summer, we had better property; goods would not buy corn without some cash: instead of horses, &c., we took store pay. I have dealt out meal and flour to the hands to the last ounce, when I had not a morsel of meal, flour or bread left in my house. If the trustee, Brother Hyrum, or the Twelve, or all of them will examine and see if I have too much, it shall go freely. I call upon the brethren, if they have anything against me, to bring it forward and have it adjusted.

            Patriarch Hyrum Smith said: I feel it my duty to defend the committee as far as I can; for I would as soon go to hell as be a committee-man. I will make a comparison for the Temple committee. A little boy once told his father he had seen an elephant on a tree; the people did not believe it, but ran out to see what it was: they looked, and it was only an owl.

            Reynolds Cahoon said, when Brother Cutler was gone, Brother Higbee kept the books, and they have found as many mistakes against Brother Higbee as in his favor.

            The conference then voted Cahoon clear.

            Elias Higbee said: I am not afraid or ashamed to appear before you. When I kept the books, I had much other business on my hands and made some mistakes.
The conference voted in favor of Elder Higbee unanimously.

            President Joseph Smith stated that the business of the conference had closed, and the remainder would be devoted to instruction. It is an insult to a meeting for persons to leave just before its close. If they must go out, let them go half an hour before. No gentlemen will go out of meeting just at closing.

            Singing by the choir.

            Prayer by Elder Brigham Young.

[7 Apr, 2:30 pm]

[HC 5:339]

The Afternoon Session.

            Conference called to order at two-thirty p.m.

            Singing. Prayer by Elder Brigham Young. Singing.

            Elder Orson Pratt delivered a discourse from the prophecy of Daniel on the Ancient of Days; for a synopsis of which see Times and Seasons, page 204.

[Orson Pratt]

[Times and Seasons 4:204]
The following is part of a discourse, delivered by Elder Orson Pratt, at the conference:-
The Ancient of Days.

            Who is the Ancient of Days? This is a question frequently asked by the biblical student, especially those who have studied the prophecies of Daniel with any degree of attention. The most careless reader will have observed that the Ancient of Days is one of the most prominent personages introduced before Daniel, while he was wrapped in his prophetic visions. Daniel had previously become extensively acquainted with the future history of the world. He had seen the rise, progress, and downfall of nations and kingdoms. Four great and powerful monarchies, which should bear rule over all the earth, and hold universal empire, had successively passed before him. In a former vision he had seen the last of these monarchies divided and subdivided into smaller kingdoms; and finally, after having viewed earthly governments in their various forms from his own day down for many generations, and having seen their corruptions and great wickedness, his mind was carried onward to a time when another or fifth kingdom should be established, bearing rule in righteousness over all the earth. He saw that this last kingdom, instead of originating from those which had formerly held dominion, through the vain aspiring ambition of man, was established by the God of heaven, before which all other kingdoms wasted away till no place was found for them.-These grand events of future time which opened to his astonished vision, were calculated, no doubt, to excite an intense desire to become more extensively informed in relation to futurity, especially concerning the organization and establishment of the kingdom of God, which he saw was eventually to sway a universal sceptre over all the earth. The great God who is ever willing to satisfy the desires of those who honestly serve him, was pleased to unfold to him more of the particulars concerning the introduction of that glorious era when the saints were to bear rule. The prophet was again enwrapt in a vision of the Almighty, and saw the same things which he had formerly seen, and being more prepared by experience, and more enlightened by the spirit of truth, his views were greatly enlarged. In this wonderful vision he saw the ANCIENT OF DAYS SIT, clothed in great power and majesty; he was attended by unnumbered millions from the heavenly worlds-a grand council was organized upon the earth, over which he presided-the books were opened, and among the most important business which came before them, was the condemnation and judgment of some of the corrupt powers of the earth, and also the confirming of more power upon the saints, that they might be prepared for the reception of their Great King-the Son of Man, who was to come and take the kingdom, and reign in the greatness of his splendor, in the midst of his people forever. The Great King, having sent forth the Ancient of Days, with the grand council of heaven, as messengers to set all things in their most perfect order, at length, appears in the clouds of heaven. He comes in royal splendor, and in the greatness of his strength, to the Ancient of Days who delivers up the kingdom into his hands, and henceforth all people, nations, and languages serve and obey him. O glorious period! O happy time!! How these glorious visions must have cheered the heart of Daniel in his long captivity! And how blessed, and how inexpressibly happy will that people be who inherit the earth in that day!
                But who is this Ancient of Days, that is to act this glorious and conspicuous part in the grand councils of the last days, and finally deliver up the kingdom organized and prepared, into the hands of the Great King? It cannot be the Son of God, for he afterwards comes to the Ancient of Days. It cannot be the Father, for if the Saints were prepared to meet the Father and set in council with him, they would also be prepared to meet the Son, for the glory of the Father is equal to that of the Son. Who then can it be? Let us reflect for a moment.-The ANCIENT OF DAYS!-It must be some very ancient personage, and probably the most ancient personage that ever lived in days, and hence is called by that name, in distinction from all others that lived after. But thanks be given to the Most High God, for he has not left his saints in uncertainty about this matter, but has raised up a prophet, through whom he has revealed this mystery; thus the saints will not be left in the dark in regard to the great purposes and events of the last days. The Ancient of Days then, is ADAM-the great progenitor of the human race. He has a mission to perform for the benefit of his children, in the last times. As he performed the first mission on the earth in the beginning of the first dispensation, so he will perform a mission in the ending of the last dispensation. In the first he presided over a few; in the last he will preside over unnumbered millions.

 

            While the choir was singing, President Joseph remarked to Elder Rigdon: This day is a millennium within these walls, for there is nothing but peace.

            To a remark of Elder Orson Pratt's, that a man's body changes every seven years, President Joseph Smith replied: There is no fundamental principle belonging to a human system that ever goes into another in this world or in the world to come; I care not what the theories of men are. We have the testimony that God will raise us up, and he has the power to do it. If any one supposes that any part of our bodies, that is, the fundamental parts thereof, ever goes into another body, he is mistaken.

            Singing by the choir. Prayer by Elder John Taylor.

            The ice, which had made a bridge across the river since last November, moved away in immense masses.

[8 Apr, am]

[HC 339-345]

Morning Session of the Conference Saturday April 8th 1843.

            President Joseph Smith addressed the Saints. [The following synopsis was reported by Willard Richards and William Clayton.]

[Joseph Smith]

[HC 5:339-345]

      President Joseph Smith called upon the choir to sing a hymn, and remarked that "tenor charms the ear, bass, the heart. "After singing, he spoke as follows:

      I have three requests to make of the congregation: The first is, that all who have faith will exercise it and pray the Lord to calm the wind; for as it blows now, I cannot speak long without seriously injuring my health; the next is that I may have your prayers that the Lord will strengthen my lungs, so that I may be able to make you all hear; and the third is, that you will pray for the Holy Ghost to rest upon me, so as to enable me to declare those things that are true.

The Prophet Expounds the Scriptures.

      The subject I intend to speak upon this morning is one that I have seldom touched upon since I commenced my ministry in the Church. It is a subject of great speculation, as well amongst the elders of this Church, as amongst the divines of the day: it is in relation to the beasts spoken of by John the Revelator. I have seldom spoken from the revelations; but as my subject is a constant source of speculation amongst the elders, causing a division of sentiment and opinion in relation to it, I now do it in order that division and difference of opinion may be done away with, and not that correct knowledge on the subject is so much needed at the present time.

      It is not very essential for the elders to have knowledge in relation to the meaning of beasts, and heads and horns, and other figures made use of in the revelations; still, it may be necessary, to prevent contention and division and do away with suspense. If we get puffed up by thinking that we have much knowledge, we are apt to get a contentious spirit, and correct knowledge is necessary to cast out that spirit.

      The evil of being puffed up with correct (though useless) knowledge is not so great as the evil of contention. Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.

      There is no pain so awful as that of suspense. This is the punishment of the wicked; their doubt, anxiety and suspense cause weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

      In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because he has greater knowledge; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power over all.

      I will endeavor to instruct you in relation to the meaning of the beasts and figures spoken of. I should not have called up the subject had it not been for this circumstance. Elder Pelatiah Brown, one of the wisest old heads we have among us, and whom I now see before me, has been preaching concerning the beast which was fall of eyes before and behind; and for this he was hauled up for trial before the High Council.

      I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.

      The High Council undertook to censure and correct Elder Brown, because of his teachings in relation to the beasts. Whether they actually corrected him or not, I am a little doubtful, but don't care. Father Brown came to me to know what he should do about it. The subject particularly referred to was the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders mentioned in Rev. 5:8-"And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints."

      Father Brown has been to work and confounded all Christendom by making out that the four beasts represented the different kingdoms of God on the earth. The wise men of the day could not do anything with him, and why should we find fault? Anything to whip sectarianism, to put down priestcraft, and bring the human family to a knowledge of the truth. A club is better than no weapon for a poor man to fight with.

      Father Brown did whip sectarianism, and so far so good; but I could not help laughing at the idea of God making use of the figure of a beast to represent His kingdom on the earth, consisting of men, when He could as well have used a far more noble and consistent figure. What! the Lord make use of the figure of a creature of the brute creation to represent that which is much more noble, glorious, and important-the glories and majesty of His kingdom? By taking a lesser figure to represent a greater, you missed it that time, old gentleman; but the sectarians did not know enough to detect you.

      When God made use of the figure of a beast in visions to the prophets He did it to represent those kingdoms which had degenerated and become corrupt, savage and beast-like in their dispositions, even the degenerate kingdoms of the wicked world; but He never made use of the figure of a beast nor any of the brute kind to represent His kingdom.

      Daniel says (ch. 7, 5. 16) when he saw the vision of the four beasts, "I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this," the angel interpreted the vision to Daniel; but we find, by the interpretation that the figures of beasts had no allusion to the kingdom of God. You there see that the beasts are spoken of to represent the kingdoms of the world, the inhabitants whereof were beastly and abominable characters; they were murderers, corrupt, carnivorous, and brutal in their dispositions. The lion, the bear, the leopard, and the ten-horned beast represented the kingdoms of the world, says Daniel; for I refer to the prophets to qualify my observations which I make, so that the young elders who know so much, may not rise up like a flock of hornets and sting me. I want to keep out of such a wasp-nest.

      There is a grand difference and distinction between the visions and figures spoken of by the ancient prophets, and those spoken of in the revelations of John. The things which John saw had no allusion to the scenes of the days of Adam, Enoch, Abraham or Jesus, only so far as is plainly represented by John, and clearly set forth by him. John saw that only which was lying in futurity and which was shortly to come to pass. See Rev. 1:1-3, which is a key to the whole subject: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein; for the time is at hand." Also Rev. 4:1. "After this I looked, and, behold: a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."

      The four beasts and twenty-four elders were out of every nation; for they sang a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seal thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (See Rev. 5:9.) It would be great stuffing to crowd all nations into four beasts and twenty-four elders.

      Now, I make this declaration, that those things which John saw in heaven had no allusion to anything that had been on the earth previous to that time, because they were the representation of "things which must shortly come to pass," and not of what has already transpired. John saw beasts that had to do with things on the earth, but not in past ages. The beasts which John saw had to devour the inhabitants of the earth in days to come. "And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and beheld a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." (Rev. 6:1, 2, 3, 4.) The book of Revelation is one of the plainest books God ever caused to be written.

      The revelations do not give us to understand anything of the past in relation to the kingdom of God. What John saw and speaks of were things which he saw in heaven; those which Daniel saw were on and pertaining to the earth.

      I am now going to take exceptions to the present translation of the Bible in relation to these matters. Our latitude and longitude can be determined in the original Hebrew with far greater accuracy than in the English version. There is a grand distinction between the actual meaning of the prophets and the present translation. The prophets do not declare that they saw a beast or beasts, but that they saw the image or figure of a beast. Daniel did not see an actual bear or a lion, but the images or figures of those beasts. The translation should have been rendered "image" instead of "beast," in every instance where beasts are mentioned by the prophets. But John saw the actual beast in heaven, showing to John that beasts did actually exist there, and not to represent figures of things on the earth. When the prophets speak of seeing beasts in their visions, they mean that they saw the images, they being types to represent certain things. At the same time they received the interpretation as to what those images or types were designed to represent.

      I make this broad declaration, that whenever God gives a vision or an usage, or beast, or figure of any kind, He always holds Himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not responsible or accountable for our belief in it. Don't be afraid of being damned for not knowing the meaning of a vision or figure, if God has not given a revelation or interpretation of the subject.

      John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; he saw every creature that was in heaven,-all the beasts, fowls and fish in heaven,-actually there, giving glory to God. How do you prove it? (See Rev. 5:13.) "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

       I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,-strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. The grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven. John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them.

      Says one, "I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts." Any man who would tell you that this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect: they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God.

      The popular religionists of the day tell us, forsooth, that the beasts spoken of in the Revelation represent kingdoms. Very well, on the same principle we can say that the twenty-four elders spoken of represent beasts; for they are all spoken of at the same time, and are represented as all uniting in the same acts of praise and devotion.

      This learned interpretation is all as flat as a pancake! "What do you use such vulgar expressions for, being a prophet?" Because the old women understand it-they make pancakes. Deacon Homespun said the earth was flat as a pancake, and ridiculed the science which proved to the contrary. The whole argument is flat, and I don't know of anything better to represent it. The world is full of technicalities and misrepresentation, which I calculate to overthrow, and speak of things as they actually exist.

      Again, there is no revelation to prove that things do not exist in heaven as I have set forth, nor yet to show that the beasts meant anything but beasts; and we never can comprehend the things of God and of heaven, but by revelation. We may spiritualize and express opinions to all eternity; but that is no authority.

      Oh, ye elders of Israel, harken to my voice; and when you are sent into the world to preach, tell those things you are sent to tell; preach and cry aloud, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel." Declare the first principles, and let mysteries alone, lest ye be overthrown. Never meddle with the visions of beasts and subjects you do not understand. Elder Brown, when you go to Palmyra, say nothing about the four beasts, but preach those things the Lord has told you to preach about-repentance and baptize for the remission of sins.

      He then read Rev. 13:1-8. John says, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast." Some spiritualizers say the beast that received the wound was Nebuchadnezzar, some Constantine, some Mohammed, and others the Roman Catholic Church; but we will look at what John saw in relation to this beast. Now for the wasp's nest. The translators have used the term "dragon" for devil. Now it was a beast that John saw in heaven, and he was then speaking of "things which must shortly come to pass;" and consequently the beast that John saw could not be Nebuchadnezzar. The beast John saw was an actual beast, and an actual intelligent being gives him his power, and his seat, and great authority. It was not to represent a beast in heaven: it was an angel in heaven who has power in the last days to do a work.

      "All the world wondered after the beast," Nebuchadnezzar and Constantine the Great not excepted. And if the beast was all the world, how could the world wonder after the beast? It must have been a wonderful beast to cause all human beings to wonder after it; and I will venture to say that when God allows the old devil to give power to the beast to destroy the inhabitants of the earth, all will wonder. Verse 4 reads, "And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?.

      Some say it means the kingdom of the world. One thing is sure, it does not mean the kingdom of the Saints. Suppose we admit that it means the kingdoms of the world, what propriety would there be in saying, Who is able to make war with my great big self? If these spiritualized interpretations are true, the book contradicts itself in almost every verse. But they are not true.

      There is a mistranslation of the word dragon in the second verse. The original word signifies the devil, and not dragon, as translated. In chapter 12, verse 9, it reads, "That old serpent, called the devil," and it ought to be translated devil in this case, and not dragon. It is sometimes translated Apollyon. Everything that we have not a key-word to, we will take it as it reads. The beasts which John saw and speaks of as being in heaven, were actually living in heaven, and were actually to have power given to them over the inhabitants of the earth, precisely according to the plain reading of the revelations. I give this as a key to the elders of Israel. The independent beast is a beast that dwells in heaven, abstract [apart] from the human family. The beast that rose up out of the sea should be translated the image of a beast, as I have referred to it in Daniel's vision.

      I have said more than I ever did before, except once at Ramus, and then up starts the little fellow (Charles Thompson) and stuffed me like a cock-turkey with the prophesies of Daniel, and crammed it down my throat with his finger.

 

            At half-past eleven o'clock President Smith's lungs failed him, the wind blowing briskly at the time.

            Choir sung a hymn.

[Elder John Taylor]

            Elder John Taylor rose and made a few remarks, among which were the following: "I have never said much about the beasts, &c., in my preaching. When I have done it, it has been to attract attention and keep the people from running after a greater fool than myself.

            Singing and prayer.

            Adjourned till two p.m.

            A strong west wind; ice floating down the Mississippi seen from the stand.

[8 Apr, 2 pm]

[HC 5:346]

Afternoon Session Two p.m.

            Conference again opened; but the wind being too strong, the congregation made a temporary stand at the east end of the Temple walls, when Elder Taylor resumed his remarks on the kingdom of God being set up in the last days, which will be like the little stone cut out of the mountain.

            Elder Orson Hyde said it was three years since he met with the Saints and was set apart for his mission to Jerusalem. He had traveled in the four quarters of the globe and had been among people speaking fourteen or fifteen different languages, and they all agree that some great event is close at hand.

            Singing and prayer.

            Sunday, 9th.-Conference opened by singing, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning."

            Prayer and singing. In consequence of President Joseph Smith being afflicted in his lungs and breast, he was not able to preach, and called on Elder Joshua Grant to speak, who stated that he had just returned from a mission of three years. He had traveled through several states, and had, in company with his brother, Jedediah M. Grant, raised up a church of two hundred members. For synopsis of discourse, see Times and Seasons, Vol. 4, page 236-7.

[Joshua Grant jun.]

[Times and Seasons 4:236-237]

A discourse delivered by Elder Joshua Grant, jun. at the Conference.

            My Friends:-As an opportunity presents itself, and I am requested, by my brethren to speak to you, I cheerfully embrace the present opportunity, and address you for the first time from this stand.

            You have been entertained during the conference, with many interesting, instructive, and edifying discourses, and it would seem superfluous in me, to attempt to add very much to the remarks already made by many of my senior brethren, who are much more competent than myself, to lay before you the principles of eternal truth; but having been called upon to address you, I embrace the present opportunity with cheerfulness, and feel happy for the privilege that I now enjoy of communicating, as well as being communicated unto, after so long an absence from your midst.

            Since I last stood among the saints of the most high God, in this place, I have journeyed in different parts of the United States, to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, my voice has been heard in many towns and villages, far from here, who had not before been made acquainted with the principles of salvation, as made known in these last days, and my labors have not been futile; for the Lord has blest my humble endeavors to propogate the gospel of truth, and I have been an humble instrument in his hands, in bringing some few to a "knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus;" who are now rejoicing in the "liberty wherewith Christ has made them free." Although I have travelled in different parts, my labors however, have been principally confined to the southern, where, for the last three years, in company with my brother, Elder J. M. Grant, I have travelled and raised up a church, consisting of upwards of two hundred members.

            In looking at the large concourse of people that now present themselves before-me, in this conference, my mind is carried involuntary to other scenes, and I am reminded of the situation of this church, when in its weakness and infancy, which, contrasted with its present numbers, respectability and influence, was "but a drop in the bucket," and brings with renewed force to my mind, the great work in which we are engaged, and that, as God has hitherto put forth his hand to defend his people, in the day of adversity, that, as they have, in their weakness, baffled all the attempts of wicked and designing men, aided by the powers of darkness, to overturn and destroy them; that, as they have hitherto been aided by the arm of omnipotence, and sustained by the power of Israel's King; that, if they still continue humble and faithful, the same power, the same intelligence, the same arm, will yet sustain his own people, bring to pass all the things spoken of by the prophets, gather his elect from the four winds, and crown the saints with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life.

            Without any further remarks, by way of preliminaries, allow me a short time to call your attention to the following text, which you will find contained in Matt. xxiv: 14; "And this gospel, of the kingdom, shall be preached in all the world, as a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

            These are the words of our blessed Lord, that he spake to his disciples in answer to certain questions which were propounded by them; in relation to his coming, and the end of the world. After entering into many particulars partaining to the events that should transpire in and about Jerusalem, speaking of the calamities that should destroy that city, and bring destruction upon the Jews, he goes on to describe the signs that should precede the coming of the Son of Man, and the end of the world. Among other signs that are referred to by him, is that contained in the words of our text, which is one of the greatest and most important, "and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, as a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come."

            In all the dispensations of the Lord, and in all his dealings with the children of men, he has pursued one uniform, undeviating course, though the earth by revolutions may have changed, and man has been wavering and fluctuating, God has declared concerning himself; "I am the Lord, and I change not;" and wherever we can trace the dealings of God with man, we shall find that they have been unchangeable, he has always taught man by revelation. In regard to the gospel, it is a principle that has always existed, in all ages where God has had a pure church: and if the children of Israel were placed under a school master, and the law was added, it "was because of transgression," and not because of the changeableness of God, for he has always pursued one uniform course, to edify, instruct, and give the world a knowledge of his law; and in unfolding the principles of truth to the human family, he never instructed them at random, nor suffered them to go according to their notions, or at the bidding of men; they never wage "a warfare at their own charge;" but they were endued with power from on high; wisdom and intelligence was given through the great source of the priesthood, which God has given to regulate the affairs of his kingdom, and thus being endowed and qualified by the wisdom and intelligence that God had imparted, they were prepared to unfold the gospel of Jesus Christ to a fallen world. If this has been God's way of dealing with the children of men, it naturally follows that it will continue to be, and if the preachers of the gospel in primitive days, were thus called and empowered, it follows as a natural consequence, that it will continue to be, and that as God is immutable, and unchangeable, whenever he calls men in any age of the world, he will qualify, and inspire them, in the same manner. And if they are thus taught, whether in this age, in ages that are past, or that are yet to come, there will be a uniformity in doctrine, and ordinances, they will teach the same things. There have been many who have professed to be called of God; but their doctrines have been diverse, and their ordinances conflicting. The reason of this difference is, that they have not been taught of God, nor inspired from on high; but their learning has been merely scholastic, and their wisdom the science of men. Thus situated, it is impossible that they should teach correct principles; for man is finite and fallable, and God is infinite and infallable, and it is impossible for the people of this, or of any other age, to comprehend the Creator without being taught of him.

            The disjointed manner in which sectarianism has placed the gospel, renders it extremely ludicrous; one having taken one part, and another another part. Now the ordinances, gifts and powers of the gospel are not one, but many; yet being many, they are not divided, but the one gospel, proceeding from the same spirit. One, two, nor three items do not compose the gospel any more than if we were to take two or three leaves out of a book, and call it a book. As it takes all the leaves to make a book perfect, so it requires all the ordinances, gifts, blessings, powers and priesthood, of the gospel to make it complete. It may, with propriety, be compared to a chain, which, if any link is broken, it destroys the force of the whole. So, in like manner, if one principle of the gospel is destroyed, it renders the whole imperfect. The Savior told his disciples to "teach ALL things whatsoever he had commanded them." Hence this gospel, in all its parts, must be preached to every nation, before the Messiah will come; and men must be inspired, to prepare them for the accomplishment of so great a work.

            According to the statement of the "Universal Geography," there are three thousand and twenty-six different languages. It must be obvious to every reflecting mind, that it is absolutely necessary for the gifts and powers of the gospel to be restored before the gospel can be preached to all of those nations and tongues: and if it is not, the Messiah cannot come, for the preaching of the gospel to all nations is one of the great signs that must take place, preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man.
This brings to our minds forcibly the necessity of the gift of tongues in order that the gospel may be preached unto all nations, in their own tongue; for the best linguist in the world cannot understand more than twenty different languages, or tongues: and if they do not and cannot learn them, it is absolutely necessary that ministers of the gospel should be inspired with the gift of tongues, as the Apostles were on the day of Pentecost, to prepare them for this arduous undertaking. Many, because they possess not those gifts, and not having the honesty to acknowledge the reason of this deficiency, tell us that we have no more need of them; but if they can accomplish this work without the power of God, the fullness of the gospel, and the gift of tongues, they will accomplish more than has been done by the so-called preachers of the gospel for the last seventeen hundred years.

            Mr. John Wesley informs us, in his fourteenth sermon, that the reason why these blessings were lost, was because the christians had turned heathens again, and had nothing left but the dead form, without the power-and we presume that if others would open their eyes, they would see the like discrepancies.

            I would remark, in regard to the gospel being a witness unto all nations, that there is a striking concedence between this and the testimony of our Savior, concerning his disciples: "Ye are my witnesses, as also is the Holy Ghost, that bears witness of me." They were the acknowledged, authorised heralds of salvation; to them was given the keys, that they might unlock the kingdom unto others, preach salvation themselves, and ordain others to this authority. They were the only persons who could properly be called witnesses of the Savior, in that day; they had been with our Savior, and seen his miracles; they had witnessed his life, death, resurrection, and ascension; they had felt the prints of the nails in his hands, and in his feet; they had seen him transfigured on the mount and ascend into heaven, and after his death and resurrection they saw and conversed with him forty days, and afterwards saw him ascend into heaven, in to a cloud. He afterwards appeared unto them, and became their benefactor, instructor, and friend: thus situated and endued with this power, they were certainly, of all men upon the face of the earth, most competent to be his witnesses.

            The Holy Ghost was also another witness of him, and wherever the gospel was preached and believed, that Holy Spirit bore witness, enlightened and comforted; and wherever the pure gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, by proper authority, and believed in and obeyed by the world, it will be productive of the same results.

            If this was the kind of testimony that existed in those days, it is absolutely necessary that a principle of the same kind should now exist; that men should be endowed with the same power, possess the same priesthood, administer in the same ordinances, and preach the same things; then the spirit of God will bear testimony to the word preached; it will not come "in word only, but in power, in demonstration of the spirit; and in much assurance."

            Elder Amasa M. Lyman also preached an eloquent discourse on the Book of Mormon, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. See Times and Seasons, Vol. 4, pages 218-20.

[Amasa Lyman]

[Times and Seasons 4:218-220]

A DISCOURSE
Delivered by Elder Amasa Lyman, at the Conference.

            It is with a degree of satisfaction that I address you, after the variety that has graced the feast during the last few days, in which the beasts, spoken of by Daniel and John have been served up in good style, and rendered quite palatable.

            On reflecting upon the subjects that have been agitated and discussed since the sitting of our conference, it has occurred to my mind that nothing has been said in direct reference to the Book of Mormon, a belief in the truth of which, constitutes one of the peculiar characteristics by which we as Latter Day Saints are distinguished from those who do not believe in any revelations but those contained in the Bible. My reasons for offering such reflections on this subject as shall be suggested to my mind, are, that they may chance to fall upon the ear of some one enquiring after the truth: being aware that I also address a number who are called with me to take a part in bearing the truth before the world, to rend assunder the veil of darkness that has obscured the light of truth, and let it shine in the face of men. In making my remarks I shall not dwell upon the scripture, but offer some plain reasons that may be deduced from certain plain statements in the scriptures, thus learning who, according to the Bible, reason and good logic, are deceived in believing, and impostors for teaching, as do the Latter Day Saints; and believing that God ever did and ever will give revelations for the salvation of mankind; and others for teaching as they do, and professing to believe that all revelation is contained in the Bible. To carry out the investigation proposed we shall be led to inquire after the facts upon which is predicated the necessity of revelation to any of the numerous progeny of Adam, in any portion of the habitable earth. To commence, then, we ask the question, had Jehovah an object in the creation of the human race? if so, the nature of that object? that we may be prepared to judge whether it could be accomplished without revelation or not. That we may learn that he had an object, and something of its nature, we will hear the words of the apostle Paul to the Hebrews, ii: 10. For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Here we have a statement by inspiration, in relation to the purpose of God, in the creation of man, which was to make them sons of God. That we may be satisfied whether there exists a possibility that he should be foiled in his purpose or change his mind, we will hear the testimony of James i: 17, Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning. If the apostle has told the truth in this matter we cannot expect a change to suit the caprice of the creature man; we have already learned that the purpose of God was to bring many sons unto glory; that it was impossible to accomplish this without revelation, we infer from the scriptural testimony; for, says the evangelist, "he, the Lord came to his own but his own received him not, but unto as many as received him gave he power to become the sons of God, even as many as believed on his name." By this scripture we learn that men had power to become the sons of God by believing on the name of Jesus. The question here arises, could they have had it without? if so, then we must charge the omnipotent God with an incompetency of judgement that would disgrace beings of less capacity than himself by calling into requisition means that the accomplishment of his work did not require. Inasmuch then as it was his purpose to make sons of the human race, there was left no alternative but to reveal himself or not accomplish his object in the creation of men. From our examination of this subject thus far, we learn that the accomplishment of the object for which men were created demanded that God should reveal himself-for says the Apostle Paul, "How shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall he preach except he be sent?" Again: the justice of God requires that he should give to his creatures a manifestation of his law, that he might, in justice, bring them into judgment before him, that every creature might receive according to their works. Having reasoned thus far in relation to the principles that govern revelation, we learn that, just as sure as God did purpose from before the foundation of the world to save men, so sure it is that he purposed to reveal himself for its accomplishment. We will conclude our reasoning on this point with a reference to the declaration of Jesus, recorded by John: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent;" and 'no man,' says the apostle, 'can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." For the history of the facts from which we have made the preceding deductions, we are indebted to the Bible-and for the Bible, we are indebted to the Jews. The next thing to be examined, is the extent to which the Bible record may be applicable to the human family, as a rule to fix their future destinies in the day of retribution according to their works. To set this matter in order, and upon principles not to be mistaken, we shall commence and aportion the scriptures as they were given, and as they must appear in that day when the books are opened, and the dead judged out of the things written in them. What portion, then, will it be by which the people anterior to the flood can be justified or condemned, but that which was revealed to them, so that the judgment of that people makes use of that portion of the Bible given to them-the people from Noah to Moses, that portion revealed to them-from Moses to Christ, that portion given to them-which takes us through the Old Testament, and when the people to whom the apostles preached the gospel shall come into judgment, it will require the word spoken to them. Thus we have used all revelations of God in both Old and New Testaments, and but a small portion of the family of man yet received their doom. Thus far our investigation has been confined to the dealings of God with that portion of the human race located on the continent of Asia, and have made that portion of the earth the principal theatre of all His wondrous works; but we will now enlarge our view of the subject, and cast a look across the wide waste of waters, where the great western continent stretches itself between the two extremities, North and South, with its unnumbered millions of inhabitants, and inquire if they bear the same relation to God as the people of Asia. If we contemplate their physical organization and mental endowments, we find them the same. If the fact that the Greek, the Jew, or the Roman were not able to "believe on him of whom they had not heard," it was equally so with the American-so that, reasoning from analogy, we conclude them to be a part of the same great family, blessed with the same endowments, subjected to the ills of mortality, and the same inability to save themselves from the ruinous effects of the fall.

            But to show to every reflecting mind that if the Bible is true, our conclusions are correct, we will now advert to some statements in the scriptures. We commence with Acts, 17: 26, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation." We would here remark that if there is any truth or good sense in the word of the Apostle, that wherever there are nations of men that dwell on the face of the earth they are of the same blood-made by the same God and Father of all, consequently bearing the same relation to God, by creation. But have they, we would now enquire, been equal sharers in the rich promises made for the salvation of men, and revealed in Asia? Admitting the truth of the religious dogmas which say that the Bible contains all revelations of the age, we answer they have not, for it was not until about the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century that the vast continent on which we dwell became known to modern geographers, thus opening the way that the Canonical law might visit the western continent, whereas the Scriptures inform us that as early as the founding of Babel, a few years subsequent to the flood, men were scattered into all the earth, according to Genesis 11: 8. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of ALL the EARTH, and they left off building the city. America, therefore, must have received her portion. But, says the grave objector to the faith of the Saints, how came they here, as the art of ship building was not known? At the same time, however, he will tell us, with all the apparent sanctity that religion can inspire, that he believes the Bible with its account, that God took dust and made a man, and him a living soul-but still can have no conception how he could, not make men, but merely transport them to this part of the earth; for the moment we leave the objector to wonder at the deep mystery of his own ignorance, while we examine a little farther the tendency of that anti-biblical doctrine which tells us that the Bible contains all the words of God, which word, says the Savior, is to judge all men at the last day; to which also agrees the declaration of John, who says, Revelations 20: 12, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." The revelator here speaks of a plurality of books, which the advocates of many of the religious dogmas of the age tell us is the Old and the New Testaments-a flimsy evasion of the truth, but in perfect keeping with the bigotry and holy ignorance of the age. For present convenience we suppose ourselves having an existence in the time when all the numerous progeny of Adam are called into judgment before God, in whom there is no injustice whatever, to be judged out of the things written in the books according to their works, the men of Asia, Africa, or Europe, might be required to pass under the ordeal of the word there written from the fact that he might have been one of the favored few to whom God had had respect in the day of revelation in the east, but in the vast assemblage we find a multitude whose lot has not been cast in the great theatre of revelation in Asia, who, if the popular theories of the age are correct, must have lived in ignorance of those sublime truths which are found in the Bible, so that we not only find them brought to be judged and condemned for not having kept a law they never knew, but for the first time to have the idea suggested to their minds of its existence, or the existence of a God, to whom they were amenable. I speak this of those who dwelt here anterior to the discovery of this continent by the Europeans. Humanity shudders at the thought. Justice outraged, retires from the scene, while a shade, blacker than midnight, is cast on the character of that God in whom all perfection dwells. Angels unnumbered weep over the scene. Millions of human beings consigned to eternal fire, because they have not obeyed a law they never heard. Shame-shame to the intelligent man or woman that would believe it; and condemnation and perdition to them that teach it. But John heard individuals around the throne of God saying that they had been redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, and were made unto God kings and priests. Revelations, 5: 9. And as men were not made kings and priests in Asia without revelations, we conclude that, as in God there is "no shadow of turning," it required the same cause to produce the same effect in America.-This principle carried out, would extend the benefits of revelation to all people; that when they are brought into judgment, and the books opened, out of which they are to be judged, it will be the law they have known-consequently by it they are either justified or condemned.-Thus God is just, and the protecting aegis of the plan of salvation is universally thrown around suffering humanity. Thus the justice, mercy, and immutability of God, together with the necessities of the creature man, form the considerations that influence the counsels of omnipotence in preparing the means of salvation.

 

4-5 June 1843, general Conference in England, Manchester, England.
[Times and Seasons 4:332-334]

Minutes of the Last General Conference Held in England.

SUNDAY, June, 4th.

            This conference was held in the New Corn Exchange, Manchester, on Whit-Sunday, June 4th, 1843, and by adjournment, the two following days, in the large room connected with Hayward's Hotel, Bridge Street.

            From the unsettled state of the weather, we were led to expect that our numbers would not be very great, but, to our astonishment, never before had we seen so many Saints assembled together.

[4 Jun, am]

[T&S 4:332]

MORNING SERVICE.

            The meeting being called to order, Elder Thomas Ward was unanimously chosen to preside; brother William Walker being then appointed to act as clerk of the conference.

            The meeting was then opened by singing "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c. President Ward engaged in prayer. After the second hymn, the president addressed the conference at considerable length on the multitude before him, and the object that brought them together. He enlarged on the high purposes of God in the salvation of the human family, stating what the church of Jesus Christ understood by salvation, which was this, that intelligence, or the light of truth being connected with elementary matter, which constituted our existence, had become, through the fall as Gods, knowing good and evil; that in this condition, and retaining this knowledge, we, by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the ordinances of his kingdom, had become sons and daughters of the highest, and by a faithful endurance unto the end, we should attain to the fullness of God, fitting us to enter into his presence to become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He exhorted the Saints to cherish a spirit of love and charity, and suffering injury, even from their brethren, to be ready to forgive, and to maintain a continued purpose of heart, and whatever may arise, still to serve the Lord; by which means they would soon find the evils that affected them would disappear, and by the light of the spirit of God, they would see clearly their true position, and the clouds of darkness arising on their path, would soon be dissipated by the illuminating radiance of the light of heaven.

            Elders Clark and Fielding followed, and gave some excellent teachings, in which the saints did greatly rejoice.

            The number of officers present was then called for: high priests six; elders, 58; priests, 64; teachers, 40; deacons, 10. The representation of the churches being next called for, the following statements were made:-

            Manchester Conference-Represented by elder Charles Miller, containing 1481 members, including 38 elders, 75 priests, 54 teachers, and 17 deacons, and comprising 30 branches.

            Liverpool Conference-Represented by elder Ward, containing 558 members, 31 elders, 30 priests, 14 teachers, and 10 deacons, comprising four branches.

            Preston Conference-Represented by elder William Snalem, containing 655 members, 1 high priest, 18 elders, 18 priests, 18 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 15 branches.

            London Conference-Represented by elder William Major, the West End containing 58 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers; the East End, Clerkenwell 156 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 2 teachers, 2 deacons. Newberry, 22 members, 1 elder, 2 priest. Woolwich, 30 members, 1 elder.

[4 Jun, pm]

[T&S 4:333-334]

 

AFTERNOON SERVICE.

            The meeting being opened by singing the 144th hymn, elder Clark engaged in prayer.-After the second hymn, a blessing was asked upon the bread by elder Banks.

[President Ward]

            President Ward then rose and gave some suitable instructions to the officers and members respecting the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. He wished them to have a clear view of its nature and design. The ordinance of baptism was a sign between the sincere believer and God, a sign of power by which we legally claimed remission of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the ordination of heaven. So also the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was a sign between God and us, to which we attended for a distinct and certain purpose, which was, that we might have the continued influence of the spirit of God to be with us. Hence the teachings in the revelations given to direct us in the administration of this ordinance, viz:, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments, which he has given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them: Amen. So likewise in blessing the wine, the idea is given us that we attend to this ordinance as a sign by which we witness these things before God, and keep his commandments, in order that we may always have his spirit to be with us. Here, then, we see the necessity of coming with clean hands to this ordinance, that we may eat and drink worthily, and not unto condemnation.-And again, we see the necessity of the exhortation, 'Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is;' and, my dear brethren, as time rolls on, and the events that shall characterize the last days thicken around us, we shall feel the necessity of a continual influence of the spirit of the Lord God to enable us to endure the things that shall come to pass; therefore let us comprehend the true nature of the ordinance, and seek, as Jesus exhorted, to 'do this until he come.'

            The representation of the branches was then resumed.

            Macclesfield Conference-Represented by elder James Galley, consisting of 250 members, 11 elders, 28 priests, 15 teachers, 9 deacons, comprising 6 branches.

            Birmingham Conference-Represented by elder Cooper Royle, consisting of 509 members, 32 elders, 32 priests, 13 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 16 branches.

            Staffordshire Conference-Consisting of 377 members, 38 elders, 59 priests, 14 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 12 branches.

            Edinburgh Conference-Represented by elder Henry M'Ewan, consisting of 302 members, 10 elders, 10 priests, 8 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising four branches.

            Garway Conference-Represented by elder Charles Taysom, consisting of 176 members, 4 elders, 5 priests, 7 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 5 branches.

            Glasgow Conference-Represented by priest Peter M'Cue, consisting of 721 members, 24 elders, 32 priests, 28 teachers, 16 deacons, comprising 14 branches.

            Froome's Hill Conference-Consisting of 784 members, 1 high priest, 21 elders 47 priests, 21 teachers; 9 deacons, comprising about 36 branches.

[4 Jun, evening]

[T&S 4:333]

EVENING SERVICE.

            The meeting being called to order by elder Clark, was opened by singing 'Earth is the place where Christ will reign.' Elder Major engaged in prayer, when the representation of the various branches was resumed.

            Carlisle Conference-Represented by elder John Barker, consisting of 154 members, 8 elders, 19 priests, 8 teachers and 3 deacons, comprising 4 branches.

            Sheffield Conference-Represented by elder James Carrigan, consisting of 128 members, 4 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers, and 3 deacons.

            Bradford Conference-Represented by elder Robert Parker, consisting of 240 members, 8 elders, 15 priests, 11 teachers, and 6 deacons, comprising 7 branches.

            Bedford Conference-Represented by elder Thomas Margetts, consisting of 242 members, 14 elders, 20 priests, 8 teachers, and 4 deacons, comprising 10 branches.

            Ireland Conference-Consisting of Hillsborough, 55 members, 3 elders, 2 priests, 2 teachers and one deacon.

            Lincolnshire-Louth, 14 members, 1 elder, 2 priests, 1 teacher.

            Wigan-5 members.

            Nottingham-5 members.

            Worcestershire-Represented by elder Smith, Earl's Common, 61 members, 3 elders, 4 priests and one teacher. Penvin, 19 members, 1 elder, 2 priests and one teacher. Broomsgrove, 36 members, 1 elder, 3 priests.

[5 Jun, am]

[T&S 4:333-334]

MONDAY, June 5.

            The adjourned meeting, held at Hayward, Hotel, Bridge Street, being opened with singing, prayer was offered up by elder Charles Miller.

            President Ward then called upon all those whose circumstances would allow them to devote themselves entirely to the work of the ministry, to manifest their willingness to volunteer in the service of God by standing up, when the following names were taken, viz: Osmond Shaw, Thomas Shaw, elder Speakman, elder George Eyres, and Samuel Downes.

            Elder Clark then rose and gave a general invitation to all who had a sincere desire to enter into the priesthood in order to glorify God, to come forth to be ordained. He said it was in accordance with the mind and will of the Father, that they who had a sincere desire to servo God, should be called unto the priesthood, that they might go forth and proclaim the pure principles of eternal truth, even the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            The following then stood up as candidates, viz: John Williams, Joseph Smith and Thomas Jackson.

            The subjoined nominations were then presented to the meeting, and were carried unanimously:-That R. Cowen be ordained elder; T. Pratt, elder; J. Flint, priest; S. Downes, elder; J. Williams, elder; J. Smith, priest J. Nightingale, priest; Peter M'Cue, elder; J. Lee, priest; Thomas Jackson, priest; Samuel Wells, priest; Joseph Walker, elder; Charles Turner, priest; Christopher Riding, priest; Levi Rigg, elder; George Robinson, priest; Geo, Hewitt, teacher; Thomas Jennings, teacher.-The above were then ordained to their respective offices under the hands of elder Ward, Clark Fielding, Miller, Major, Crook and Albiston.

            The following appointments were then made: Elder Barradale was appointed to take the presidency of the Cheltenham branch; elder Rudd to preside over the Nottingham circuit; elder Pritchard to labor in Derbyshire; and it was ordered that the conferences of Birmingham and Macclesfield give every assistance to elder Pritchard in their respective neighborhoods.-Elder Speakman was appointed to labor in conjunction with elder Parker in the Bradford conference; Osmond Shaw to labor at Addingham in Yorkshire; elder George Eyres in Lincolnshire and Hull, in connexion with elder Henry Cuerden; elder Samuel Downes was appointed to labor in Derbyshire in connexion with elder Hibbert. Other appointments not decided up on, being more immediately in connexion with the Manchester conference, were left in the hands of elder Charles Miller.

            We must confess that the teachings from president Ward, and elders Clark and Fielding were rich indeed; they certainly appeared in excellent spirits at the prospect before them; the spirit of love and union was manifested in every countenance, while joy and gladness filled every heart at the varied testimonies borne by the servants of God.

            Thus passed the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in England; revealing the progress of this great work of the Lord in the last days, which has come forth in the exact time predicted by the prophets, and which must roll onward until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ; Even so: Amen.

WILLIAM WALKER,
Clerk.

 

6-9 Oct 1843, Special Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 4:329-332]

MINUTES OF A SPECIAL CONFERENCE

Of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in the City of Nauvoo, commencing on the 6th of October, 1843.

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 4:329]

Friday, October 6th, 10 o'clock A. M.

            The weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the conference was postponed until the next day at 10 o'clock A. M.

[7 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 4:329]

Saturday, 10 o'clock A. M.

            Conference assembled and proceeded to business.

            President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills chosen clerk.

            Opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by elder Almon Babbitt.

            The president stated the items of business to be brought before the Conference, to be,

            1st. The case and standing of elder Sidney Rigdon, counsellor to the First Presidency.

            2d. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.

            Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the saints.

            President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the Conference had to make. He stated his dissatisfaction with elder Sidney Rigdon as a counsellor, not having received any material benefit from his labors or counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the Post Office; a supposed correspondence and connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the Missourians, of a treacherous character: also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.

            President Joseph Smith related to the Conference the detention of documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smiths' visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those, and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counsellor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.

            Elder Almon Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last Conference.

            President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.

            Elder Sidney Rigdon plead, concerning the documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to him-that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it-did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith-that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith-that he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.

            The weather becoming inclement, Conference adjourned until Sunday 10 o'clock A. M.

[8 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 4:330]

Sunday, 8th inst., 10 o'clock, A. M.

            Conference assembled agreeably to adjournment, and opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder William W. Phelps.

            Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defence. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of Quincy, after his escape from Missouri-the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed-and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith concerning their former friendship, associations and sufferings, and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.

            Elder Almon Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esq. Johnson, in which he exonerated elder Sidney Rigdon from the charge or suspicion of having had a treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin.

            President Joseph Smith arose and satisfactorily explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin, which wholly removed suspicion from elder Sidney Rigdon, and from every other person. He expressed entire willingness to have elder Sidney Rigdon retain his station, provided he would magnify his office, and walk and conduct himself in all honesty, righteousness, and integrity; but signified his lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.

            President Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and expressive remarks on the attribute of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls, and conquers-and the propriety and importance of the saint's exercising the same attribute towards their fellows; and especially towards their aged companion and fellow servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.

            Elder Almon Babbitt and pres't. Wm. Law followed with remarks in defence of elder Sidney Rigdon.

            On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted that elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as Counsellor to the First Presidency.

            Singing by the choir-prayer by pres't. Wm. Law.

            Conference adjourned for one hour.

[8 Oct, 3 pm]

[T&S 4:330]

Sunday Three o'clock P. M.

            Conference assembled, but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday 10 o'clock A. M.

[9 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 4:330-331]

Monday 10 o'clock, A. M.

            Conference assembled, and resumed business.

            Singing by the choir-prayer by elder A Cutler.

            The business pertaining to the Temple was then announced by the President as next in order.

            Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the Temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions; also of iron, steel, powder and clothing-giving as his opinion that he walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.

            Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the Temple-earnestly exhorting the saints, here and abroad, to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the Committee, that the work may advance with rapidity.

            President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work-the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion-that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the Temple, or elsewhere.

            On motion by elder William Law, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted, That we, as conference, and individuals, will use all the means, exertions and influence in our power, to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the Temple.

            President Joseph Smith presented and read to the Conference, a communication from Col. Frances M. Higbee, whose conduct had been called in question, in connection with elder Sidney Rigdon, and expressed himself satisfied that Col. Frances M. Higbee was free, even of reproach or suspicion, in that matter.

            Conference adjourned for one hour.

[9 Oct, 2 pm]

[T&S 4:331-332]

Monday, 2 o'clock, P. M.

[President Joseph Smith]

            Conference reassembled, and listened with profound attention, to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of James Adams, Esq., late of this city, and an honorable, worthy, useful, and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He spoke of the importance of our understanding the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life, and of death; and the designs and purposes of God, in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence-that it is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter-the ignorance of the world in reference to their true condition, and relation. Reading the experience of others, or the revelations given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things, can only be obtained by experience in these things, through the ordinance of God set forth for that purpose. He remarked that the disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection, would be indescribably dreadful. That the organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeably to the most perfect order and harmony-that their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to by themselves-subscribed to upon the earth-hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth. He assured the saints that truth in reference to these matters, can, and may be known, through the revelations of God in the way of his ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew church "came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant;" but what they learned, has not been, and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just, &c.? It was the established order of the kingdom of God-the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the saints-hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just, and angels. Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire, or glory. Angels have advanced farther-their light and glory being tabernacled, and hence appear in bodily shape.

            Concerning brother James Adams, he remarked, that it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was, wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil, cannot be reconciled. Judge Adams had been a most intimate friend. He had anointed him to the Patriarchal power to receive the keys of knowledge, and power, by revelation to himself. He had had revelations concerning his departure, and had gone to a more important work of opening up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work-hence they are blessed in departing hence. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings and motions, and are often pained therewith.

            President Smith concluded with exhortations to the church to renew their exertions to forward the work of the Temple, and in walking before the Lord in soberness and righteousness.

            Such is a faint outline of the discourse of President Joseph Smith, which was delivered with his usual feeling and pathos; and was listened to with the most profound and eager attention by the multitude, who hung upon his instructions, anxious to learn and pursue the path of eternal life.

            After singing by the choir, and prayer by the President, Conference adjourned sine die, with the benediction of the President.

JOSEPH SMITH, President.

            GUSTAVUS HILLS, Clerk.

1844

6 Apr 1844, Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 5:522-524, History of the Church6:6:318-326]

[6 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 5:522-524]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

            Conference met pursuant to appointment, on Saturday the 6th of April, 1844.

            Present, President JOSEPH SMITH, HYRUM SMITH, SIDNEY RIGDON and WILLIAM MARKS.

            Of the Twelve, BRIGHAM YOUNG, HEBER C. KIMBALL, WILLARD RICHARDS, WILFORD WOODRUFF, JOHN TAYLOR, and GEORGE A. SMITH.

            The members of the High Council, an immense number of elders, and an innumerable concourse of people.

SATURDAY, April 6, 1844.

            Presidents Joseph, and Hyrum Smith came to the stand at 14 past 10 o'clock, when the meeting was called to order by elder Brigham Young. The choir sung a hymn, after which President Joseph Smith rose to state to the congregation the nature of the business which would have to come before them. He stated that it had been expected by some that the little petty difficulties which have existed, would be brought up and investigated before this conference, but it will not be the case; these things are of too trivial a nature to occupy the attention of so large a body. I intend to give you some instruction on the principles of eternal truth, but will defer it until others have spoken, in consequence of the weakness of my lungs. The elders will give you instruction, and then, (if necessary) will offer such corrections as may be proper to fill up the interstices. Those who feel desirous of sowing the seeds of discord will be disappointed, on this occasion. It is our purpose to build up, and establish the principles of righteousness, and not to break down and destroy. The great Jehovah has ever been with me, and the wisdom of God will direct me in the seventh hour; I feel in closer communion, and better standing with God than ever I felt before in my life, and I am glad of this opportunity to appear in your midst. I thank God for the glorious day that he has given us. In as large a congregation, it is necessary that the greatest order and decorum be observed; I request this at your hands, and believe that you will all keep good order.

            Prayer was offered by W. W. Phelps, after which the choir sung a hymn.

            Elder Sidney Rigdon then rose and said,

[Sidney Rigdon]

[T&S 5:522-524]

      It is with no ordinary degree of satisfaction, I enjoy this privilege this morning; want of health and other circumstances have kept me in silence for nearly the last five years. It can hardly be expected, that when the violence of sickness having used its influence, and the seeds of disease have so long preyed upon me, that I can rise before this congregation. I am now come forth from a bed of sickness, and have enough strength left to appear here for the first time in my true character. I have not come before a conference for the last five years in my true character. I shall consider this important privilege sacred in my family history, during life. I hardly promise myself lungs to make this congregation hear me, I shall do the best I can, and the greatest can do no more. The circumstances by which we are now surrounded points out the principles of my discourse-the history of this church which I have known from its infancy: my text is, "Behold the church of God in the last days." I do not know that I can find it in the Bible; I do not think it is necessary to have Paul to make a text for me; I can make a text for myself; I recollect in the year 1830, I met the whole church of Christ in a little old log house about 20 feet square, near Waterloo, N. Y. and we began to talk about the kingdom of God as if we had the world at our command; we talked with great confidence, and talked big things, although we were not many people, we had big feelings; we knew fourteen years ago that the church would become as large as it is to-day; we were as big then, as we shall ever be; we began to talk like men in authority and power-we looked upon the men of the earth as grasshoppers; if we did not see this people, we saw by vision, the church of God, a thousand times larger; and when men would come in, they would say we wanted to upset the government, although we were not enough to well man a farm, or meet a woman with a milk pail; all the elders, all the members, met in conference, in a room 20 feet square. I recollect elder Phelps being put in jail for reading the Book of Mormon. He came to see us, and expressed great astonishment, and left us apparently pondering in his heart; he afterward came to Kirtland, Ohio, and said he was a convert. Many things were taught, believed, and preached, then, which have since come to pass; we knew the whole world would laugh at us, so we concealed ourselves; and there was much excitement about our secret meetings, charging us with designs against the government, and with laying plans to get money, &c. which never existed in the heads of anyone else, and if we had talked in public, we should have been ridiculed more than we were, the world being entirely ignorant of the testimony of the prophets and without knowledge of what God was about to do; treated all we said with pretended contempt, and much ridicule; and had they have heard all we said, it would have made it worse for us; we talked about the people coming as doves to the windows, that all nations should flock unto it; that they should come bending to the standard of Jesus, saying, our fathers have taught falsehood, and things in which there is no profit; and of whole nations being born in one day; we talked such big things that men could not bear them, and they not only ridiculed us for what we did say in public, but threatened and inflicted much personal abuse, and had they heard all we said, their violence would have been insupportable. God had great things to say for the salvation of the world, which, if they had been told to the public, would have brought persecution upon us unto death; so we were obliged to retire to our secret chambers, and commune ourselves with God. [He here referred to the prayer of elder Phelps concerning our having arrived at the age to choose our own guardian.] If we had told the people what our eyes behold this day, we should not be believed; but the rascals would have shed our blood, if we had only told them what we believed. There we sat in secret and beheld the glorious visions, and powers of the kingdom of heaven, pass and repass; we had not a mighty congregation to shelter us -- if a mob came upon us, we had to run and hide ourselves to save our lives. The time has now come to tell why we held secret meetings. We were maturing plans fourteen years ago which we can now tell; were we maturing plans to corrupt the world, to destroy the peace of society? Let fourteen years experience of the church tell the story. The church never would have been here, if we had not done as we did in secret. The cry of false prophet and imposter rolled upon us. I do not know that anything has taken place in the history of this church, which we did not then believe; it was written upon our hearts, and never could be taken away; it was indelibly engraved, the power beneath yonder heavens could obliterate it. This was the period when God laid the foundation of the church, and he laid it firmly, truly, and upon eternal truth. If any man says it is not the work of God, I know they lie. -- Some of you who know you have a house, how long would it take to make you reason yourself into a belief that you have no house, where you now reside with your family? Neither have we any power whereby we can ever persuade ourselves, that this is not the church of God. We do not care who sinks or swims, or opposes; but we know here is the church of God, and I have authority before God for saying so. I have the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy; I have slept with it, I have walked with it; the idea has never been out of my heart for a moment, and I will reap the glory of it when I leave this world. I defy men, and hell, and devils to put it out of my heart: I defy all, and will triumph in spite of them. I know God, I have gazed upon the glory of God, the throne, visions and glories of God, and the visions of eternity in days gone by. What is a man of God to do, when he sees all the madness, wrath and follies of our persecutors. He will do as God does; he will sit and laugh; one breath from the nostrils of God would blow them out of existence to hell. These were the beginning of good days; shut up in a room, eating nothing but dry johnny cake and buttermilk; every man who had a little farm, or clothes, sold them and distributed what he had among the rest, and did the best they could. I had nothing to eat, nothing to wear, and yet it was the beginning of good days. Some say I want plenty to eat, plenty to drink, plenty to wear and a good house to live in, and say they, then I will believe; but God will not give it, until you have proved yourselves to him. No wonder then that we should be joyful to-day. If the people will do as they are told, I will tell you what to do. Get the visions of heaven, and seek not what you shall eat or what you shall drink, but seek the will of God; get into the presence of God, and then you will have johnny cake and milk and water no more. Would you not be astonished if even now we should tell the glories and the privileges of the saints of God to you, and to the world, we should be ridiculed; and no wonder we shut it up in secret; if we were to tell you when Jehovah looked on, lo it is beauty, it is heaven, it is felicity to look on; I should marvel if it were otherwise; if a man tells you one glory or one message, he is learning another at the same time. Do not be astonished then if we even yet have secret meetings; asking God for things for your benefit. Do not be afraid, go back to the commencement of this church, and see what was concocted then; there was no evil concocted when we first held secret meetings, and it is the same now; has God forgotten to be gracious? to be merciful to mankind? Did he ever concoct anything that was devilish for mankind? He could not do it, I never am afraid of God or man concocting anything to hurt me, I have faith to detect man, even if he did; I would ask God to detect them, and would hold them fast before he should do it. I am not afraid of men or devils. I have none of those fears, jealousies, dreads, foreboding, surmising, &c.; I put my trust in God, and whatever God does for me, is only for my salvation. A man is a bad teamster who runs his team in the worst road. [And showed how much like the gospel.] What I have already said, is only to prepare the way. [Here five of the Pottawattamie tribe appeared with their interpreter, and were assisted to the stand by the president.] I am going to tell of something that surprised me at the beginning of the church; I have handled, heard, seen and known things which I have not yet told. After the church began to grow, it was favored with monstrous wise men; they had so much wisdom that they could dispute what God said, and what his servant said. They were opposed to virtue; they would say they had revelations and visions, and were as certain that God had given it, as I was that the devil had. He referred to the children of Israel who were snivelling and murmuring about their leeks and onions, &c. &c., and so it is in these last days, some men are always yelling about what the church believes, and opposing every good thing. I want devils to gratify themselves, and if howling, yelling, yelping, will do you any good; do it till you are all damned. If calling us devils, &c., will do you any good, let us have the whole of it, and you can then go on your way to hell without a grunt. We hear these things ever since the church existed, they have come up with us, they have had so much more wisdom, they knew all about the kingdom before God revealed it; and they know all things before they are heard; they understand more than God knows. We gather of all kinds, if we get all nations, we get all wisdom, all cunning, and every thing else. The sectarians cannot be as wise as we are, for they have only got the plans of man for salvation, but we have got man's plans, the devil's plans, and the best of all, we have God's plan. I do not know whether there are any of these wise men here this morning; I have merely given this as a part of the history of this church. I am disposed to give some reasons why salvation only belongs to the kingdom of God, and to that alone. I will endeavor to show why salvation belongs to us more peculiarly, in contradistinction of all other bodies; will this be clear enough? I discover one thing, mankind have labored under one universal mistake about this, viz: Salvation was distinct from government; i.e.; that I can build a church without government, and that thing have power to save me. When God sets up a system of salvation, he sets up a system of government; when I speak of a government I mean what I say; I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs. Every man is a government of himself, and infringe upon no other government. A man is not an honorable man if he is not above all law, and above government. I see in our town we have need of government, some study law, only for the purpose of seeing how many feuds, how may broils they can kick up, how much they can disturb the peace of the public, without breaking the law, and then say: "I know my rights and will have them" "I did not know it was the marshal, or I would not have done it." He is no gentleman, gentlemen would not insult a poor man in the street, but would bow to him, as much as those who appear more respectable. No marshal, or any one else should pull me up; we ought to live a great way within the circle of the laws of the land. I would live far above all law. The law of God is far more righteous than the laws of the land; the laws of God are far above the laws of the land. The kingdom of God does not interfere with the laws of the land, but keeps itself by its own laws.

(To be Continued)

[T&S 5:577-579]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

Continuation of last April's Conference.

            [Elder Rigdon here stopped to refresh himself. The choir sung a hymn.]

            Elder John Taylor being called upon to address the congregation, said,

[John Taylor]

[T&S 5:577-579]

      It gives me pleasure to meet and associate with so large an assemblage of the saints. I always feel at home among the brethren. I consider them the honorable of the earth; and if I can do anything to conduce to their happiness, or that will in any wise tend to their edification, I am satisfied. I therefore address this congregation with cheerfulness and pleasure; and if by unfolding any of the principles of truth that I am in possession of, or laying before you any thing pertaining to the kingdom; If my ideas will enlarge your minds or produce beneficial results to any, I shall consider myself on this, as on all other occasions amply repaid. Many things have been spoken by Elder Rigdon concerning the early history of this church. There is no individual who has searched the oracles of eternal truth, but his mind will be touched with the remarks made by our venerable friend which unfold the dispensation of Jehovah, and have a tendency to produce the most thrilling feelings in the bosoms of many who are this day present, and to promote our general edification; he traces with pleasure on the historic page the rise of nations, kingdoms and empires. Historians dwelt with great minuteness on the heroic deeds, the chivalrous acts, the dangers and deliverances; the tact, bravery and heroism of their chieftains, generals and governments. We as republicans, look back to the time when this nation was under the iron rule of Great Britain, and groaned under the power, tyranny and oppression of that powerful nation. We trace with delight, the name of a Washington, a Jefferson, a La Fayette and an Adams, in whose bosoms burnt the spark of liberty. These themes are dwelt upon with delight by our own legislators, our governors and presidents; they are subjects which fire our souls with patriotic ardor. But if these things animate them so much, how much more great, noble and exalted are the things laid before us. They were engaged in founding kingdoms, and empires that were destined to dissolution and decay, and although many of them were great, formidable and powerful, they now exist only in name. Their "cloud capped towers, their solemn temples, are dissolved," and nothing now remains of their former magnificence, or ancient grandeur, but a few dilapidated buildings and broken columns, a few shattered buildings and broken columns, a few shattered fragments remains to tell to this and to other generations, the perishable nature of earthly pomp and worldly glory. They were engaged in founding empires and establishing kingdoms, and powers that had in themselves the seeds of destruction, and were destined to decay. We are laying the foundation of a kingdom that shall last forever;-that shall bloom in time and blossom in eternity. We are engaged in a greater work than ever occupied the attention of mortals; we live in a day that prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight. When we hear the history of the rise of this kingdom, from one who has been with it from its infancy, from the lips of our venerable friend who has taken an active part in all the history of the church, can we be surprised that he should feel animated, and that his soul should burn with heavenly zeal? We see in him a man of God who can contemplate the glories of heaven; the visions of eternity, and who yet looks forward to the opening glories which the great Eloheim has manifested to him, pertaining to righteousness and peace; a man who now beholds the things roll on which he has long since beheld in prophetic vision. Most men have established themselves in authority, by laying desolate other kingdoms, and the destruction of other powers. Their kingdoms have been founded in blood and supported by tyranny and oppression. The greatest chieftains of the earth have obtained their glory, if glory it can be called, by blood, carnage and ruin.-One nation has been built up at the expense and ruin of another, and one man has been made at the expense of another, and yet these great men were called honorable for their thousands, and caused the orphans to weep and the widows to mourn. Men did these things because they could do it, because they had power to desolate nations and spread terror and desolation. They have made themselves immortal as great men. The patriots of this country had indeed a laudable object in view, a plausible excuse for the course they took.-They stood up in defence of their rights, liberty and freedom; but where are now those principles of freedom? Where the laws that protect all men in their religious opinions? where the laws that say a man shall worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience? What say ye, ye saints, ye who are exiles in the land of LIBERTY. How came you here? Can you in this land of equal rights return in safety to your possessions in Missouri? No!-You are exiles from thence, and there is no power, no voice, no arm to redress your grievances. Is this the gracious boon for which your fathers fought, and struggled, and died? Shades of the venerable dead, could you but gaze upon this scene and witness tens of thousands of Americans in exile on Columbia's soil, if pity could touch your bosoms, how would you mourn for the oppressed; if indignation, how would you curse the heartless wretches that have so desecrated and polluted the temple of liberty. "How has the gold become dim, and the fine gold, how has it changed?" Let it not be told among the heathen monarchs of Europe, lest they laugh and say ha! ha! So would we have it, Ye saints, never let it go abroad, that ye are exiles in the land of liberty; lest ye disgrace your republic in the eyes of the nations of the earth; but tell it to those who robbed and plundered, and refused to give you your rights; tell your rulers that all their deeds of fame are tarnished, and their glory is departed. Are we now indeed in a land of liberty of freedom, of equal rights? Would to God I could answer yes; but no! no!! I cannot. They have robbed us, we are stripped of our possessions, many of our friends are slain, and our government says "your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you." Hear it, ye great men, we are here in exile! Here are thousands of men in bondage, in and of liberty, of freedom!! If ye have any patriotism left, shake off your fetters, and come and proclaim us free, and give us our rights. I speak of this government as being one of the best governments, as one of the greatest, purest, and yet, what a melancholy picture. O ye venerable fathers who fought for your liberty, blush for your children, and mourn, mourn over your country's shame. We are now talking about a government which sets herself up as a pattern for the nations of the earth, and yet, O what a picture. If this is the best, the most patriotic, the most free, what is the situation of the rest? Here we speak with national pride of a Washington, a La Fayette, a Monroe, and a Jefferson; who fought for their liberties, and achieved one of the greatest victories ever won, and scarcely has one generation passed away before 15000 citizens petition government for redress of their wrongs, and they turn a deaf ear to their cry. Let us compare this with the Church of Christ, fourteen years ago a few men assembled in a log cabin; they saw the visions of heaven and gazed upon the eternal world; they looked through the rent vista of futurity, and beheld the glories of eternity; they were planting those principles which were concocted in the bosom of Jehovah; they were laying a foundation for the salvation of the world, and those principles which they then planted, have not yet begun to dwindle, but the fire still burns in their bones; the principles are planted in different nations, and are wafted on every breeze. When I gaze upon this company of men, I see those who are actuated by patriotic and noble principles, who will stand up in defence of the oppressed, of whatever country, nation, color, or clime. I see it in their countenances; it is planted by the spirit of God, and they have received it from the great Eloheim, all the power or influence of mobs, priestcraft and corrupt men, cannot quench it, it will burn, it is comprehensive as the designs of God, and as expansive as the universe, and reaches to all the world, no matter whether it was an Indian, a Negro or any other man, or set of men that are oppressed, you would stand forth in their defence. I say unto you, continue to cherish those principles; let them expand, and if the tree of liberty has been blasted in this nation; if it has been gnawed by worms, and already blight has overspread it, we will stand up in defence of our liberties, and proclaim ourselves free in time and in eternity.

            The choir, by request sung 'the red man,' after prayer by Elder J.P. Green, the meeting was adjourned for one hour.

[6 Apr, 2:30 pm]

[T&S 5:579]

APRIL 6th, 1844, afternoon.

            The president arrived at the stand at 1-2 past 2 o'clock, P.M. The choir sung a hymn, after which prayer by Elder J. P. Green, when the choir sung another hymn. Elder Rigdon resumed his history of the Church of Christ.

(For the want of room we postpone president Rigdons remarks for the present.)

[HC 6:297]

            A little before five o'clock the assembly was dismissed without ceremony, until next morning, on the appearance of a shower. The people had scarcely time to retire before a heavy shower of rain, wind, thunder and lightning followed. A splendid double rainbow seen in the heavens.

[HC 7 Apr, 10 am]

[HC 6:297]

Sunday, 7.

            Very pleasant morning. The President arrived at ten o'clock, the largest congregation ever seen in Nauvoo having assembled. The choir sang the hymn, "Ye slumbering nations that have slept."

            President Rigdon offered an affectionate appeal for the prayers of the Saints on behalf of the sick, and they prayer by Elder George J. Adams.

            Choir sang the hymn, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c.

President Joseph Smith.

            The Mayor requested the people to keep good order, and observed to the police, who were round the outskirts of the congregation to keep order, "Policemen, I want you to exercise your authority; and don't say you can't do anything for us, for the constitutional power calls you to keep good order, and God Almighty calls you, and we command you to do it."

            Elder Sidney Rigdon arose and continued his subject of yesterday.

            Choir sang. Benediction. Intermission.

            During the intermission, thirty-five were baptized in the Mississippi river for the remission of their sins.

[7 Apr, 2 pm]

[T&S 5:596-598]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

Continuation of last April's Conference.

            At two o'clock, P. M., Patriarch Hyrum Smith arrived at the stand, and said he wanted to speak something about the Temple.

[Hyrum Smith]

[T&S 5:596-598]

      We want 200,000 shingles, as we shall resume the work on the Temple immediately; all who have not paid their tithing, come on and do it. We want provisions, money, boards, planks, and any thing that is good; we don't want any more old guns or watches. I thought some time ago I would get up a small subscription, so that the sisters might do something. In consequence of some misunderstanding, it has not gone on as at first; it is a matter of my own, I do not ask it as a tithing. I give a privilege for any one to pay a cent a week, or fifty cents a year. I want it by next fall to buy nails and glass. It is difficult to get money, I know that a small subscription will bring in more than a large one; the poor can help in this way. I take the responsibility upon myself, and call again upon the sisters; I call again until I get about $1,000, it only requires 2,000 subscribers. I have sent this subscription to England, and the branches; I am not to be dictated to, by any one except the prophet and God; I want you to pay in your subscriptions to me, and it shall always be said boldly by me-the sisters bought the glass in that house-and their names shall be written in the book of the law of the Lord. It is not a tax but a free will offering to procure something which shall ever be a monument of your works. No member of the Female Relief Society got it up; I am the man that did it; they ought not to infringe upon it; I am not a member of the Female Relief Society; I am one of the committee of the Lord's House. I wish to accomplish something; I wish all the saints to have an opportunity to do something; I want the poor to have a chance with the purse of five dollars.-The widow's two mites, were more in the eyes of the Lord, than the purse of the rich; and the poor woman shall have a seat in the house of God, she who pays her two mites as much as the rich; because it is all they have. I wish all to have a place in that house; I intend to stimulate the brethren; I want to get the roof on this season; I want to get the windows in, in the winter, so that we may be able to dedicate the house of the Lord by this time next year, if nothing more than one room; I will call upon the brethren to do something.

      I cannot make a comparison between the house of God and any thing now in existence. Great things are to grow out of that house; there is a great and mighty power to grow out of it; there is an endowment; knowledge is power, we want knowledge; we have frequently difficulties with persons who profess to be Latter Day Saints; when the sacrament will be administered in the Lord's house, it will do away with a great deal of difficulty that is now in existence. If we can have a privilege and confess our faults unto God and one another every Sabbath day, it will do away with these, you poor sisters shall have a seat in that house; I will stand on the top of the pulpit and proclaim to all what the sisters have done; when you offer up your sacraments every Sabbath, you will feel well a whole week; you will get a great portion of the Spirit of God, enough to last you a week, and you will increase. We are now deprived of the privilege of giving the necessary instruction,--hence we want a house. All the money shall be laid out for what you design it; it shant be paid for any thing else. I am not of the committee; the committee tell me the quarry is blockaded, it is filled with rock; the stone cutters are wanting work; come on with your teams as soon as conference is over. It is not necessary for me to tell who will come and do it; I will prophesy that you will do it. There is not one in the city but what will do right if they know it; only one or two exceptions and they are not worth notice; God will take care of them, and if he don't the devil will. I described them once and you will always know them while you see them, they will keep hopping till they hop out of town. Some are tree toads who climb the trees and are continually croaking.--We are now the most noble people on the face of the globe, and we have no occasion to fear tad-poles. We are designated by the all-seeing eye, designated to do good; not to stoop to any low thing. We are apt to suffer prejudice to get into our hearts on hearing reports, we never should allow it; never should pass our judgment until we hear both sides. I will tell a Dutch anecdote: a certain Dutchman had a cause brought before him and heard one side and he gave in his decision, 'by sure you have got the case;' and when the other party brought their witnesses, he said again, 'by sure and you have got the case too.' If you hear of any one high in authority, that he is rather inclined to apostasy, don't let prejudice arise, but pray for him;--God may feel after him and he may return; never speak reproachfully or disrespectfully, he is in the hand of God, I am not of those peace-makers who take a stand above these little things. It has been intimated we should have investigations this conference, do you think I would trouble this conference with it. If I have a difficulty with a man I will go and settle it, let them settle their difficulties; there is not a man who has had a difficulty, who would trouble this congregation about it; we ask no favors, we can settle it ourselves; don't think anything about persons who are on the eve of apostasy, God is able to take care of them. Let God judge, do your duty, and let men alone.

            I wish to speak about Messrs. Law's steam mill, there has been a great deal of bickering about it. The mill has been a great benefit to the city, no matter how much fault found; it has been the means of building up the city, it has brought in thousands who would not have come here; but as they saw that the Mormons had not got horns, they came, and have got good by it. People would rather come in than starve. The Messrs. Laws have sunk their capital, and done a great deal of good; it is out of character to cast any aspersions on the Messrs. Laws.-When we come to investigate the conspiracy, it is that rascal Jackson who presumed upon them; he supposed he could lead them into any manner of iniquity. I do not believe that the Messrs. Laws would do anything to injure me or any man's life. The men gave in affidavit that Jackson said they would go into it tooth and toe nail; I will not believe they will do it, if Jackson swore it upon a stack of bibles as big as Mount Etna. I make these observations for the purpose of putting down prejudice. If I was as full of the devil as an egg is full of meat, and you undertook to oppress me, you could not drive me, neither if I was full of the Spirit of God. Never undertake to destroy men because they do some evil thing; it is natural for a man to be lead and not driven; put down iniquity by good works; many men speak without any contemplation, but when they have a little contemplation it would not have been spoken. We ought to be careful what we say, and take the example of Jesus, cast over the mantle of charity and try to cover their faults. We are made to enlighten, and not to darken one another save men but not destroy men; do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It is well enough to root out conspiracy, do not fear, but if you are in the right track, having God to guide you, he will save you, for God will save you if he has to destroy the wicked so as by fire.

            I want to put down all false influence; all that brother Joseph said, was all right; but it was said by the rascal Jackson. If I thought I should be saved, and any in the congregation be lost, I should not be happy; for this purpose Jesus effected a resurrection; our Savior is competent to save all from death and hell; I can prove it out of the revelations; I would not serve a God that had not all wisdom and all power. The reason why I feel so good is because I have a big soul, there are men with small bodies who have got souls like Enoch; we have gathered out all the big souls from the ends of the earth; the gospel picks out all the big souls, out of all creation; and we shall have the largest city in the world; It works just like a God. We will gather out all the big souls out of every nation; as soon as the gospel catches hold a big soul it brings them all right up to Zion. There is a thing called an eye star; the gospel is similar; then will have a people big enough to be saved. Popery could not write what Enoch preached; he told the people the Spirit of God took him up into a high mountain; showed him the distress of the people; the destruction of the world, and he said his heart swelled wide as eternity; but Popery could not receive any thing as large as that. Every society are just like them; God Almighty has made men's souls according to the society which he lives in, with very few exceptions, and when men come to live with the Mormons, their souls swell as if they were going to stride the planets, as I stride the Republic of America. I can believe that man can go from planet to planet, a man gets so high in the mansions above.

            A certain good sister came to my house and she was troubled because she had heard so many big things; she thought it weakened her faith. I told her she had too much faith; she believed too much; I will tell you how you may know whether the thing is true or not. When any come to you with a lie, you feel troubled; God will trouble you and will not approbate you in such belief; you had better get some antidote to get rid of it. Humble yourself before God, and ask him for his spirit; and pray to him to judge it for you. It is better not to have so much faith, than to have so much as to believe all the lies. Before this conference closes I want to get all the elders together. I shall make a proclamation; I want to take the line and axe, and hew you, and make you as straight as possible; I will make you as straight as a stretched line. Every elder that goes from Nauvoo to preach the gospel, if he preach any thing else we will silence him through the public print; I want all the elders to meet and to understand, and if they teach any thing but the pure truth we will call them home.

(To be Continued.)

[7 Apr, 3:15 pm]

[T&S 5:612-617]

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

Continuation of last April's Conference.

            The president having arrived; the choir sung a hymn. Elder A. Lyman offered prayer.

            The president then arose and called the attention of the congregation upon the subjects which were contemplated in the fore part of the conference.

[Joseph Smith (King Follett)]

[T&S 5:612-617]

      As the wind blows very hard, it will be hardly possible for me to make you all hear unless there is profound attention. It is of the greatest importance, and the most solemn of any that can occupy our attention, and that is, the subject of the dead; on the decease of our brother Follett, who was crushed to death in a well. I have been requested to speak by his friends and relatives, and inasmuch as there are a great many in this congregation who live in this city, as well as elsewhere, and who have lost friends, I feel disposed to speak on the subject in general, and offer you my ideas so far as I have ability, and so far as I shall be inspired by the Holy Spirit to dwell on this subject. I want your prayers and faith, the instruction of Almighty God and the gift of the Holy Ghost, that I may set forth things that are true, that can easily be comprehended, and shall carry the testimony to your hearts; pray that the Lord may strengthen my lungs, stay the winds and let the prayers of the saints to heaven appear, that it may enter into the ear of the Lord of Sabbath; for the effectual prayers of righteous men availeth much, and I verily believe that your prayers shall be heard before I enter into the investigation fully of the subject that is laying before me. Before entering fully into the investigation, I wish to pave the way: I will make a few preliminaries, in order that you may understand the subject when I come to it. I do not calculate to please your ears with superfluity of words or oratory, or with much learning; but I calculate to edify you with the simple truths from heaven. In the first place, I wish to go back to the beginning of creation; there is the starting point, in order to be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes, decrees, &c. of the great Eloheim, that sits in yonder heavens, it is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong, it is a hard matter to get right. There are a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. They do not comprehend any thing, that which is past, or that which is to come; and consequently, but little above the brute beast. If a man learns nothing more than to eat, drink, sleep, and does not comprehend any of the designs of God, the beast comprehends the same thing; it eats, drinks, sleeps, knows nothing more; yet knows as much as we, unless WE are able to comprehend by the inspiration of Almighty God. I want to go back to the beginning, and so lift your minds into a more lofty sphere, a more exalted understanding; that what the human mind generally understands. I want to ask this congregation, every man, woman and child, to answer the question in their own heart, what kind of a being is God? ask yourselves. I again repeat the question, what kind of a being is God? Does any man or woman know? have any of you seen him, heard him, communed with him? Here is the question that will peradventure from this time henceforth, occupy your attention. The apostle says this is eternal life, to know God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. If any man enquire what kind of a being is God, if he will search diligently his own heart, if the declaration of the apostle be true, he will realize that he has not eternal life, there can be eternal life on no other principle. My first object is, to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and if I should be the man to comprehend God, and explain or convey the principles to your hearts so that the spirits seals it upon you, let every man and woman henceforth put their hand on their mouth and never say any thing against the man of God again; but if I fail, it becomes my duty to renounce all my pretensions to revelations, inspirations, &c., and if all are pretensions to God, they will all be as bad off as I am at any rate. There is not a man but would breathe out an anathema, if they knew I was a false prophet; and some would feel authorized to take away my life. If any man is authorized to take away my life, who says I am a false teacher; then upon the same principle am I authorized to take away the life of every false teacher, and where would be the end of blood, and who would not be the sufferer. But no man is authorized to take away life in consequence of their religion; which all laws and governments ought to tolerate, right or wrong. If I show verily, that I have the truth of God, and show that ninety nine out of a hundred are false teachers, while they pretend to hold the keys of God, and to kill them because they are false teachers, it would deluge the whole world with blood. I want you all to know God, to be familiar with him, and if I can bring you to him, all persecutions against me will never cease; you will know that I am his servant, for I speak as one having authority-What sort of a being was God in the beginning Open your ears and hear all ye ends of the earth; for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and I am going to tell you the designs of God to the human race, and why he interferes with the affairs of man.

      First, God himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves, that is the great secret. If the vail was rent to-day, and the great God, who holds this world in this orbit, and upholds all things by his power; if you were to see him to-day, you would see him in all the person, image and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion and image of God; Adam received instruction, walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another.

      In order to understand the subject of the dead, for the consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary they should understand the character and being of God, for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are the simple and first principles of the gospel, to know for a certainty the character of God, that we may converse with him as one man with another, and that God himself; the Father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible. I wish I had the trump of an arch angel, I could tell the story in such a manner that persecution would cease forever; what did Jesus say? (mark it elder Rigdon;) Jesus said, as the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power; to do what? why what the Father did, that answer is obvious; in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus what are you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up again. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible; the scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom, all the combined powers of earth and hell together, to refute it. Here then is enteral life, to know the only wise and true God. You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves; to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done; by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as doth those who sit enthroned in everlasting power; and I want you to know that God in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me; it is the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourner, when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child or dear relative, to know, that although the earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved, that they shall rise in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs is with Jesus Christ. What is it? to inherit the same glory, the same power and the same exaltation, until you ascend the throne of eternal power the same as those who are gone before. What did Jesus do? why I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father, so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory, so that Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before; it is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the gospel, about which so much hath been said. When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and go on until you learn the last principle; it will be a great while before you have learned the last. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it is a great thing to learn salvation beyond the grave. I suppose I am not allowed to go into an investigation of any thing that is not contained in the Bible, and I think there are so many wise men here, who would put me to death for treason; so I shall turn commentator to-day; I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible; I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of creation in the Bible, Berosheit. I want to analyze the word; baith, in, by, through, in, and every thing else. Rosh, the head. Sheit, grammatical termination. When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the baith there. A man, a Jew without any authority, thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head. It read first, 'The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods,' that is the true meaning of the words. Baurau, signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. No man can learn you more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council. I will simplify it in the English language. Oh ye lawyers! ye doctors! who have persecuted me; I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. The head God called together the Gods, and set in grand council. The grand counsellors sat in yonder heavens, and contemplated the creation of the worlds that were created at that time. When I say doctors and lawyers, I mean the doctors and lawyers of the scripture. I have done so hitherto, to let the lawyers flutter, and every body laugh at them. Some learned doctor might take a notion to say, the scriptures say thus and so, and are not to be altered, and I am going to show you an error. I have an old book of the New Testament in the Hebrew, Latin, German and Greek. I have been reading the German and find it to be the most correct, and it corresponds nearest to the revelations I have given for the last fourteen years. It tells about Jachoboy the son of Zebedee; it means Jacob; in the English New Testament it is James.--Now if Jacob had the keys, you might talk about James through all eternity, and never get the keys. In the 21st verse of the 4th chapter of Matthew, it gives the word Jacob instead of James. How can we escape the damnation of hell except God reveal to us; men bind us with chains; Latin says Jachabod means Jacob;-Hebrew says it means Jacob; Greek says Jacob; German says Jacob. I thank God I have got this book, and thank him more for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have got the oldest book in the world, but I have got the oldest book in my heart. I have all the four testaments, come here ye learned men, and read if you can. I should not have introduced this testimony were it not to back up the word Rosh, the head, Father of the Gods. I should not have brought it up only to show that I am right. When we begin to learn in this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. When we know how to come to him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us and tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us. Now I ask all the learned men who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation say, that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, and the reason is they are unlearned; they account it blasphemy to contradict the idea, they will call you a fool.-I know more than all the world put together and the Holy Ghost within me comprehends more than all the world, and I will associate with it. The word create came from the word baurau; it does not mean so; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos; chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element, are principles that can never be destroyed. They may be organized and re-organized; but not destroyed.

      I have another subject to dwell upon and it is impossible for me to say much, but I shall just touch upon them; for time will not permit me to say all; so I must come to the resurrection of the dead, the soul, the mind of man, the immortal spirit. All men say God created it in the beginning. The very idea lessens man in my estimation; I do not believe the doctrine, I know better. Hear it all ye ends of the world, for God has told me so. I will make a man appear a fool before I get through, if you don't believe it. I am going to tell of things more noble-we say that God himself is a self existing God; who told you so? it is correct enough, but how did it get into your heads? Who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principles? (refers to the old Bible,) how does it read in the Hebrew? It don't say so in the Hebrew, it says God made man out of the earth, and put into him Adam's spirit, and so became a living body.

      The mind of man is as immortal as God himself. I know that my testimony is true, hence when I talk to these mourners; what have they lost, they are only separated from their bodies for a short season; their spirits existed co equal with God, and they now exist in a place where they converse together, the same as we do on the earth. Is it logic to say that a spirit is immortal, and yet have a beginning? Because if a spirit have a beginning it will have an end; good logic. I want to reason more on the spirit of man, for I am dwelling on the body of man, on the subject of the dead. I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man, the immortal spirit, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; but as the Lord lives there would be an end.-All the fools, learned and wise men, from the beginning of creation, who say that man had a beginning, proves that he must have an end and then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But, if I am right I might with boldness proclaim from the house tops, that God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself: intelligence exists upon a self existent principle, it is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it. All the spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. The first principles of man are self existent with God; that God himself finds himself in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was greater, and because he saw proper to institute laws, whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself, that they might have one glory upon another, in all that knowledge, power, and glory, &c., in order to save the world of spirits. I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life, that are given to me, I know you taste it and I know you believe it. You say honey is sweet and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life; I know it is good, and when I tell you of these things, that were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive it as sweet, and I rejoice more and more.

      I want to talk more of the relation of man to God. I will open your eyes in relation to your dead; all things whatsoever God of his infinite wisdom has seen proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle; but are revealed to us as if we had no bodies at all, and those revelations which will save our dead will save our bodies; and God reveals them to us in view of no eternal dissolution of the body; hence the responsibility, the awful responsibility, that rests upon us in relation to our dead: for all the spirits who have not obeyed the gospel in the flesh, must either obey the gospel or be damned. Solemn thought, dreadful thought. Is there nothing to be done: no salvation for our fathers and friends who have died and not obeyed the decrees of the Son of Man? Would to God that I had forty days and nights to tell you all, I would let you know that I am not a fallen prophet. What kind of characters are those who can be saved although their bodies are decaying in the grave? When his commandments teach us, it is in view of eternity. The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us, is to seek after our dead-The apostle says, they without us cannot be made perfect. Now I will speak of them:-I say to you Paul, you cannot be perfect without us: it is necessary that those who are gone before, and those who come after us should have salvation in common with us, and thus hath God made it obligatory to man. Hence God said he should send Elijah, &c.; I have a declaration to make as to the provisions which God hath made to suit the conditions of man; made from before the foundation of the world. What has Jesus said? All sins and all blasphemies, every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, there is a salvation for him either in this world, or the world to come. Hence God hath made a provision, that every spirit in the eternal world can be ferreted out and saved, unless he has committed that unpardonable sin, which can not be remitted to him. That God has wrought out a salvation for all men, unless they have committed a certain sin. Every man who has got a friend in the eternal world can save him unless he has committed the unpardonable sin, and so you can see how far you can be a savior. A man can not commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, and there is a way possible for escape. Knowledge saves a man, and in the world of spirits a man cannot be exalted but by knowledge; so long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. A man is his own tormenter, and is his own condemner: hence the saying they shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone-so is the torment of man. I know the scriptures; I understand them. I said no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, but they must do it in this world: hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men in order to triumph over the devil: for if it did not catch him in one place, it would in another, for he stood up as a Savior.

      The contention in heaven was, Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved, and the devil said he could save them all; the grand council gave in for Jesus Christ; so the devil rebelled against God and fell, and all who put up their heads for him. All sins shall be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost: after a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost there is no repentance for him, he has got to say that the sun does not shine, while he sees it, he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens were open to him, and from that time they begin to be enemies, like many of the apostates of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. When a man begins to be an enemy, the hunts me. They seek to kill me; they thirst for my blood; they never cease. He has the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life: the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot bring them to repentance. Awful is the consequence. I advise all of you to be careful what you do, you may by an bye find out that you have been deceived. Stay yourselves, do not give way. You may find out that some one has laid a snare for you. Be cautious; await! when you find a spirit that wants bloodshed, murder, the same is not of God, but is of the devil. Out of the abundance of the heart man speaketh. The man that tells you words of life, is the man that can save you. I want you against all evil characters, who sin against the Holy Ghost, for there is no redemption for them in this world, or in the world to come.

      I can enter into the mysteries; I can enter largely into the eternal worlds: for Jesus said, in my father's house there are many mansions &c. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, &c. We have reason to have the greatest hope and consolations for our dead, for we have aided them in the first principles; for we have seen them walk in our midst, and seen them sink asleep in the arms of Jesus. And hence is the glory of the sun. You mourners have occasion to rejoice; (speaking of the death of Elder King Follett,) for your husband is gone to wait until the resurrection; and your expectations and hope are far above what man can conceive: for why has God revealed it to us? I am authorized to say by the authority of the Holy Ghost, that you have no occasion to fear, for he is gone to the home of the just. Don't mourn: don't weep. I know it by the testimony of the Holy Ghost that is within me. Rejoice O Israel! your friends shall triumph gloriously, while their murderers shall welter for ages. I say this for the benefit of strangers. I have a father, brothers, and friends who are gone to a world of spirits. They are only absent for a moment; they are in the spirit, and when we depart we shall hail our mothers, fathers, friends, and all whom we love. There will be no fear of mobs, &c., but all will be an eternity of felicity. Mothers you shall have your children, for they shall have eternal life: for their debt is paid, there is no damnation awaits them, for they are in the spirit.-As the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead and be forever living in the learning of God, it shall be the child, the same as it was before it died out of your arms. Children dwell and exercise power in the same form as they laid them down. The baptism of water without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it is of no use: they are necessary. He must be born of water and the spirits in order to get into the kingdom of God.

      In the German, the text bears me out the same as the revelations which I have given for the last fourteen years. I have the testimony to put in their teeth; my testimony has been true all the time. You will find it in the declaration of John the Baptist, (reads from the German), John says I baptize you with water, but when Jesus comes, who has the power, he shall administer the baptism of fire, and the Holy Ghost. Great God! where is now all the sectarian world! and if this testimony is true, they are all damned as clearly as anathema can do it. I know the text is true. I call upon all you Germans, who know that it is true to say aye, (loud shouts of aye.) Alexander Campbell, how are you going to save them with water alone? for John said his baptism was nothing without the baptism of Jesus Christ. There is one God, one Father, one Jesus, one hope of our calling, one baptism-all these three baptisms only make one. I have the truth and am at the defiance of the world to contradict me, if they can. I have now preached a little Latin, a little Hebrew, Greek and German, and I have fulfilled all.-I am not so big a fool as many have taken me to me. The Germans know that I read the German correct.

      Hear it all ye ends of the earth all ye sinners, repent! repent! turn to God, for your religion won't save you, and you will be damned; I do not say how long; but those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world, or in the world to come; they shall die the second death; as they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world so they shall rise to that resurrection, which is as the lake of fire and brimstone: some shall rise to the everlasting burning of God, and some shall rise to the damnation of their own filthiness-as exquisite as the lake of fire and brimstone.

      I have intended my remarks to all; both rich and poor, bond and free, great and small, I have no enmity against any man. I love you all. I am your best friend, and if persons miss their mark, it is their own fault. If I reprove a man and he hates me, he is a fool, for I love all men, especially these my brethren and sisters. I rejoice in bearing the testimony of my aged friends. You never knew my heart; no man knows my history; I cannot tell it. I shall never undertake it; if I had not experienced what I have I should not have known it myself. I never did harm any man since I have been born in the world. My voice is always for peace, I cannot lie down until all my work is finished. I never think any evil, nor any thing to the harm of my fellow man.-When I am called at the trump of the ark-angel, and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then. I add no more. God bless you all. Amen.

            The choir sung a hymn at half past 5 o'clock and dismissed with a benediction.

(To be continued.)

[this was never continued in the Times and Seasons]

[8 Apr, 9:45 am]

[HC 6:318-320]

Monday April 8 1844.-[Conference Report Continued.]

            At three-quarters past 9 A.M., President Joseph Smith took his seat on the stand and requested the choir to sing a hymn. He called upon Elder Brigham Young to read 1st Corinthians, 15th chapter, as his own lungs were injured.

            Elder Brigham Young said-to continue the subject of President Smith's discourse yesterday, I shall commence by reading the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, from an old Bible; and requested W. W. Phelps to read it.

            Prayer by Elder Brigham Young, after which the choir sang a hymn.

[Joseph Smith]

[HC 6:318-320]

President Joseph Smith's Remarks-The Whole of America Zion.

      President Joseph Smith said:-It is just as impossible, for me to continue the subject of yesterday as to raise the dead. My lungs are worn out. There is a time to all things, and I must wait. I will give it up, and leave the time to those who can make you hear, and I will continue the subject of my discourse some other time. I want to make a proclamation to the Elders. I wanted you to stay, in order that I might make this proclamation. You know very well that the Lord has led this Church by revelation. I have another revelation in relation to economy in the Church-a great, grand, and glorious revelation. I shall not be able to dwell as largely upon it now as at some other time; but I will give you the first principles. You know there has been great discussion in relation to Zion-where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the land. When Elders shall take up and examine the old prophecies in the Bible, they will see it.

      The declaration this morning is, that as soon as the Temple and baptismal font are prepared, we calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings and anointings, and attend to those last and more impressive ordinances, without which we cannot obtain celestial thrones. But there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose. There was a proclamation made during the time that the foundation of the Temple was laid to that effect, and there are provisions made until the work is completed, so that men may receive their endowments and be made kings and priests unto the Most High God, having nothing to do with temporal things, but their whole time will be taken up with things pertaining to the house of God. There must, however, be a place built expressly for that purpose, and for men to be baptized for their dead. It must be built in this the central place; for every man who wishes to save his father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends, must go through all the ordinances for each one of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washings and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself.

      I have received instructions from the Lord that from henceforth wherever the Elders of Israel shall build up churches and branches unto the Lord throughout the States, there shall be a stake of Zion. In the great cities, as Boston, New York, &c., there shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation, and I reserved it to the last, and designed it to be understood that this work shall commence after the washings, anointings and endowments have been performed here.

      The Lord has an established law in relation to the matter: there must be a particular spot for the salvation of our dead. I verily believe there will be a place, and hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families, do their work by being baptized and attending to the other ordinances for their dead, and then may go back again to live and wait till they go to receive their reward. I shall leave my brethren to enlarge on this subject: it is my duty to teach the doctrine. I would teach it more fully-the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not willing to let me gratify you; but I must teach the Elders, and they should teach you. God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him.

            Elder G. J. Adams preached a discourse which occupied three hours, and which could be heard a great distance.

            President Joseph Smith turned over the conference into the hands of the Twelve.

            Choir sang a hymn. Prayer.

[8 Apr, 3:30 pm]

[HC 6:320-321]

            President Hyrum Smith called the conference to order at twenty-five minutes to four P.M., and spoke to the assembly one hour and a half.

[Hyrum Smith]

[HC 6:320-321

      He treated upon the subject of Elders preaching abroad. He said it was a matter of consequence that the Elders of Israel should know what they were about when they go to preach the Gospel. They should, like Paul, be ready to give a reason for the hope of their calling. When they are sent to preach the Gospel, they should preach the Gospel and nothing else, if they wish to stand approved themselves. The Elders are sent into the world to preach faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost and they should let the mysteries alone.

      God has commanded you to preach repentance to this generation; and if this generation will not receive the first principles of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon, they will receive nothing greater. Just go and do as you are told and God will bless you.

      It is the power of God that is going to convert the world, and nothing but the power of God. Every man who knows me knows that I have taught these principles from the beginning. It is the honest and pure in heart that will harken to the everlasting covenant. They are those who are noble and good; they will feed and clothe you and receive your testimony; and we want the Elders to gather out the good seed to Nauvoo. The day will come when you will see the wicked flee when no man pursueth. I want you to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Preach principles that will stand the test of ages; teach them good precepts and save souls, go forth as men of God, and you will find friends wherever you go. Drink deep of the Spirit of Truth and a great and mighty work shall be wrought in the world; hundreds and tens of thousands shall flock to the standard and go up to Zion.

      Many other remarks were made by the speaker.

 

            After which Sidney Rigdon made a few remarks, and concurred in what Brother Hyrum had said.

            Twelve minutes to six, adjourned to April 9th, at eight o'clock, A.M.

[9 Apr, 8 am]

[HC 6:321-325]

Special Meeting of Elders.

            Tuesday, 9.-[Conference Report Continued]. At 8 A.M., the Elders assembled at the stand, (President Brigham Young presiding,) and were addressed by Elder Amasa Lyman; after which: President Brigham Young said-

[Brigham Young]

[HC 6:321-322]

Address of Brigham Young.

      What has been given is correct; the speech and conduct of Elders one towards another is frequently wrong; one Elder will speak evil of another; and while you trample others you will sink yourself. A man has sinking principles; but if his feelings are elevated, he will build up others and build up himself. Just as sure as one Elder tries to build himself upon the destruction of another, he will surely sink himself.

      I would like to sit and hear the brethren teach for a week; but as business is pressing, we must hurry through. Preach repentance to this generation. Faith must go before repentance, and of course all men must follow the course and obey the laws and ordinances for the remission of sins, so as to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then your mission is done. Let a man who goes into the vineyard build up all he can. If a man preaches anything in error, pray to God that no man may remember it any more. No Elder will correct another in public before unbelievers unless he has the sinking principle. I call all the Elders together to witness that I always use charity, for it covers a multitude of sins.

North and South America Zion.

      Let us obey the proclamation of Joseph Smith concerning the Elders going forth into the vineyard to build up the Temple, get their endowments, and be prepared to go forth and preach the Gospel. You may build up Zion, and learn to be men, and not children. It was a perfect sweepstakes when the Prophet called North and South America Zion. Let us go to and build the Temple with all our might, that we may build up the kingdom when established and her cords lengthened. It is a perfect knock-down to the devil's kingdom. There is not a faithful Elder who cannot, if he is humble and diligent, build up the Church. There are many men who will give you large sums to build a Stake of Zion where they live. It proves the words of the Prophet of the last days.

      The Priesthood is fitted to every capacity in the world. There are blessings and conditions in that Priesthood that suit every man. This will suit the condition of thousands, because it is as broad as the heavens, deep as hell, and wide as eternity.

      I am asked all sorts of questions about making gods and devils, and organizing the eternal worlds; but we could not get it precisely into our understandings so as to make them. The God we serve is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is no need of breaking the law of the land if you keep the law of the Lord. I want a wife that can take care of my children when I am away, who can pray, lay on hands, anoint with oil, and baffle the enemy; and this is a spiritual wife.

      The sweepstakes is a perfect knock-down to the devil. We will build up churches and establish Zion and her stakes. This is a fire which, cannot be put out: it has spread far faster than ever it did before. If you kick us and cuff us, we will turn the world upside down, and make the cart draw the horse. We want to build the Temple and have the roof on this fall, in the name of Israel's God. There are hundreds of Elders who will sell their property to build up the Temple. Let us pay up our tithing. If there are any men who have not paid their tithing, they will not get in there. Let the branches send teams with provisions to work all the year.

      We are acquainted with the views of Gen. Smith, the Democrats and Whigs and all factions. It is now time to have a President of the United States. Elders will be sent to preach the Gospel and electioneer. The government belongs to God. No man can draw the dividing line between the government of God and the government of the children of men. You can't touch the Gospel without infringing upon the common avocations of men. They may have helps and governments in the Church, but it is all one at last.

[Hyrum Smith]

[HC 6:322-324]

Address of Hyrum Smith the Patriarch.

      Patriarch Hyrum Smith said: I never knew a proclamation to be understood at once. President Brigham Young wished to draw the attention of the brethren, first to build the Temple and get your washings, anointings, and endowments; after that to build up branches throughout the nations. We must do all we can to build up the Temple, and after that to build churches. The gathering will continue here until the Temple is so far finished that the Elders can get their endowments; and after that the gathering will be from the nations to North and South America, which is the land of Zion. North and South America, are the symbols of the wings. The gathering from the old countries will always be to headquarters, and I have no doubt this conference will do a great deal of good.

      We have every power and principle to teach the people. Say what God says, and say no more. Never deviate one fraction from what God tells you. Elder Rigdon's remarks were very correct. Give out the simple principles. A man never fails who only says what he knows; and if any man says more, and can't give reasons, he falls short. Preach the first principles of the Gospel-preach them over again: you will find that day after day new ideas and additional light concerning them will be revealed to you. You can enlarge upon them so as to comprehend them clearly. You will then be able to make them more plainly understood by those who teach, so that you will meet with scarcely any honest man but will obey them, and none who can oppose. Adduce sufficient reason to prove all things, and you can convert every honest man in the world. The knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not prevalent in the world, although it is written in the Holy Book. You can prove it by the Holy Book they profess to believe in, and your arguments will be so strong and convincing, that people will hear and obey it by thousands. The Savior says that to you it is given to know the mysteries of God, but to the world it is not given. You have power; you are authorized to put down every foolish thing you hear. A wise man will put it out of existence as he goes along; for light cleaveth unto light, knowledge to knowledge, and intelligence to intelligence.

      We engage in the election the same as in any other principle: you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this it is a sin: to vote for wicked men, it would be sin. Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs. Damn the rod of tyranny; curse it. Let every man use his liberties according to the Constitution. Don't fear man or devil; electioneer with all people, male and female, and exhort them to do the thing that is right. We want a President of the U. S., not a party President, but a President of the whole people; for a party President disfranchises the opposite party. Have a President who will maintain every man in his rights.

      I wish all of you to do all the good you can. We will try and convert the nations into one solid union. I despise the principle that divides the nation into party and faction. I want it to grow up like a green bay tree. Damn the system of splitting up the nation into opposite belligerent parties. Whatever are the rights of men guaranteed by the Constitution of these United States, let them have them. Then, if we were all in union, no one dare attempt to put a warlike foot on our soil. I don't like to see the rights of Americans trampled down. I am opposed to the policy of all such persons as would allow Great Britain or any other power to take from us Oregon or any portion of our national territory; and damn all who attempt it. Lift up your voices like thunder: there is power and influence enough among us to put in a President. I don't wonder at the old Carthagenian lawyer being afraid of Joseph Smith being elected.

            [A unanimous vote was passed by the immense assembly for Joseph Smith to be the candidate for the next President.]

[Heber C. Kimball]

[HC 6:324-325]

Address of Heber C. Kimball.

      Elder Heber C. Kimball arose and said-What Brother Hyrum has told you is God's truth, and will eventually come to pass. As he was making his observations to the Elders, it made me think of the first time that I went out into the vineyard to preach. I dwelt on one subject till it branched like unto a tree that was cultivated, until the branches shot forth in all directions. Suppose you had only one seed to plant, and that seed was an acorn, and you spend your time in cultivating it till it comes forth a great and mighty tree, branching forth with many branches, and bearing fruit abundantly after its own kind. So it is with the first principles of the Gospel, they branch out in all directions, unfolding new light continually. They are eternal principles. I never preached anything else but the first principles. When first we went to England, we preached nothing else, and never even touched on the gathering, as there was no place of gathering, the Church having been driven from Jackson County and also from Kirtland, and the Prophets, Patriarchs, Apostles and Saints were wandering in the wilderness seeking for a home; but as soon as the people were baptized and received the Holy Ghost, the most of them had the spirit of prophecy, and prophesied of coming to this land, as being the land of Zion; and the time would come that they should come here. Yet we never taught the doctrine of the gathering or Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

      If you tell the people to stay, they will gather here stronger than ever. If you want to cut anything off, you should know how to restore. You should never cut off the ears of the people until you are able to make them others. It is no matter what way you convert them so you do convert them to believe the doctrines of the very Bible they have always professed to believe. It is no use attempting to teach them other things until you can make them believe the principles contained in the Bible which they have been taught to reverence and believe from their infancy. It teaches the gathering and all the principles of the Gospel necessary to be taught to the unbelieving world. This is the thrashing floor, where the wheat is gathered to be thrashed. There are a great many green heads, and they of course have to be pelted a little harder. After the wheat is thrashed, it has to go through the fanning-mill, and then the screen, and then the smut-mill; then it has to be ground and to be bolted: but many bolt away and leave. If you get a cudgeling, don't be mad, for your heads are green. We are going to arrange a plan for Conferences, and we design to send Elders to all the different States to get up meetings and protracted meetings, and electioneer for Joseph to be the next President.

      A great many of the Elders will necessarily have to leave their families, and the mothers will have to assume the responsibility of governing and taking care of the children to a much greater extent than when their husbands were at home. I therefore exhort them to be humble, faithful, and diligent, seeking to the Lord for wisdom to rear up their children in righteousness and prepare them to roll on the work of the Lord when their fathers shall have been worn out in the ministry. The mothers, therefore, are the persons who will more or less have to train the children.

            Twenty minutes to 11: A call was made for the volunteers to go preaching to pass out to the green. A great company moved out and returned to the right of the stand, and were numbered 244.

            Twenty minutes to 1: Adjourned for one hour.

[9 Apr, 2:30 pm]

[HC 6:325-326]

            Met according to adjournment. The names of the volunteers were called, and places assigned to each.

[Brigham Young]

[HC 6:325-326]

Brigham Young's Instruction to the Elders.

      President Brigham Young said: Take care of yourselves, be wise, be humble, and you will prosper. I curse all who degrade themselves with corruption and licentiousness, as many have done. Magnify your calling, keep yourselves pure and innocent, and your path shall be clear as the horizon. We have all manner of prejudices to contend with. We thank God for the Gospel, the Book of Mormon, and the Temple, and sing glory to God; and yet there are characters among us who from mere covetousness will squeeze a sixpence two inches long, and we have all their iniquity to bear.

      We have the honor to be the first fruits of this dispensation, and have to contend with floods of oppression. Go humbly and prayerfully, trusting and believing in God, and what you desire to do you will accomplish. Cease not to ask the Father what you shall do, and He will give you the Spirit. You know not the day of your visitation. What is asked for in the name of Jesus Christ will be granted. J. C. Bennett's power fell like the lightning. God was asked not to let Joe Duncan be governor, and it was so. We asked the Lord to deliver us from Governor Reynolds, of Missouri; and he shot himself, and has gone to hell. As for Squire Warren, of Quincy, it takes two of him to make a shadow.

      The Lord is cutting off the bitterest branches. Look at the explosion of the big gun on board of the Princeton war-steamer at Washington. God will deliver His faithful Saints. You will be innocent, and do a good work: you will come back, and bring your sheaves with you, rejoicing. Every man has the privilege of practicing godliness and virtue, and of manifesting himself as a servant of the Most High God. Doctor Foster lost his money by gambling, and joined blacklegs. Those men who say there is evil in the Church are evil themselves. This doctrine is the best for any man to practice, and will do him good. Ask of God that you may have wisdom to do all things. If you hear anything of an Elder preaching false doctrine, ask of God in full faith that it may be taken off the minds of the people.

            A contribution was taken up for President Joseph Smith, $100 was raised, and another $100 loaned.

 

8 Aug 1844, Special Meeting, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 5:637-638]

[T&S 8 Aug, 2 pm]

[T&S 5:637-638]

SPECIAL MEETING.

            On the 8th of August, 1844, at a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, PRESIDENT BRIGHAM YOUNG called the audience to order, and arraigned the several quorums according to their standing, and the rules of the church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to choose a guardian, or trustee for said church.

[President Young]

            Elder Phelps opened the meeting by prayer, and President Young then proceeded to speak, and gave his views of the present situation of the church, now that the prophet and patriarch were taken from our midst by the wickedness of our enemies. For the first time since he became a member of the church; a servant of God, a messenger to the nations in the nineteenth century; for the first time in the kingdom of God, the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, chosen by revelation, in this last dispensation of the gospel for the winding up scene, present themselves before the saints, to stand in their lot according to appointment. While the prophet lived, we all walked by 'sight;' he is taken from us and we must now walk by 'faith.' After he had explained matters so satisfactorily that every saint could see that Elijah's mantle had truly fallen upon the 'Twelve,' he asked the saints what they wanted. Do you want a guardian, a prophet, a spokesman, or what do you want? If you want any of these officers, signify it by raising the right hand. Not a hand was raised.

            He then gave the saints his views of what the Lord wanted. Here are the 'Twelve,' appointed by the finger of God, who holds the keys of the priesthood, and the authority to set in order and regulate the church in all the world. Here is elder Amasa Lyman and elder Sidney Rigdon; they were councillors in the first presidency, and they are councillors to the Twelve still; if they keep their places; but if either wishes to act as 'spokesman' for the prophet Joseph, he must go behind the veil where Joseph is. He continued his remarks nearly an hour, opening by the spirit of God, the eyes, ears and hearts of the saints to the subject before them, and to their duty and the glory of God.

[Amasa Lyman]

            ELDER AMASA LYMAN followed, and fully accorded with the instructions and views of elder Young. I have been at the back of the prophet Joseph, and I shall be at the back of the 'Twelve.' There is no need of choosing a guardian or head, the apostles have the power, as they had anciently, and this is the power that turns the key and will bear off the kingdom of God in all the world, triumphantly; and I shall help them obtain that glory, that eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, and the heart of man hath not conceived. His remarks were continued in the full fruition of the spirit, that whispers: union is strength, and peace is joy.

[W. W. Phelps]

            ELDER PHELPS spoke next, and continued the same spirit and feeling, having known many of the elders for fourteen years, and had seen them take their lives in their hands, without purse or script, in summer and in winter, through good and through evil report, for the salvation of souls, and for the benefit of Zion, without the hope of reward; save pleasing God, and obeying his commandments;-had seen them harness for war when wicked men sought their lives and endeavored to destroy their wives and children; and at all times they were willing to set by counsel; they will do it now; this lake of faces does not seem so pleasant without indicating good; and the elders who have stood on the right and left of our departed prophet, knowing the authority and power of the priesthood, will honor it.-Elder Rigdon must know how he obtained his endowment, or what he has; for he has not received all, only a small part. Let him and the whole of Israel rejoice this day, for if they roar that Temple and are faithful, they shall all be endowed, (men and women,) as God will, till they can save themselves and their progenitors, as well as secure their posterity.-Fear not concerning a prophet; Joseph held the keys in this world, and holds them in the world to come, and counsels for you now. I understand the revelations, and know that in them all things are written concerning the Twelve.

[Parley P. Pratt]

            ELDER P. P. PRATT said what had been said, was well said, and went into the merits of the subject, with his usual animation. Says he, I know we can all live happy if we deal with honest men: I do not like the practice when any one is sick or in difficulty, to run to a doctor or a lawyer: run to the very worst men to be cured, or helped out of difficulty! Let me die a natural death, and suffer wrong rather than hire a doctor to kill me, or a lawyer to fleece me and leave me to the beggarly elements of the world. As to merchants, I say nothing of them; you know what I mean.

[Brigham Young]

            ELDER YOUNG again resumed: I do not ask this audience to take my counsel; act for yourselves; if elder Rigdon is your choice manifest it: if the Twelve be the men to counsel you to finish the great work laid out by our departed prophet, say so; and do not break your covenant by murmuring hereafter. When the whole subject was properly explained and understood, and counselor Rigdon refused to have his name voted for as a spokesman or guardian, the question was put, 'all in favor of supporting the Twelve in their calling, (every quorum, man and woman,) signify it by the uplifted hand;' and the vote was unanimous, no hand being raised in the negative. The next vote was that the Twelve should select and appoint two bishops to act as trustees for the church, according to law. This vote was unanimous also. Another unanimous vote was passed to use every exertion to forward the building of the Temple, and to strengthen the hands of the committee. The revelation in relation to tithing was referred to, and the manifestation of every saint seemed to be, we will do as the Lord hath commanded; and the assembly was dismissed with the blessings of the Lord.

 

[History of the Church 7:231-243]

 

[HC 8 Aug, 10 am]

 

            "Thursday, August 8th, 1844.-At a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in Nauvoo, at 10 a. m. on Thursday, August 8, 1844, by the request of President William Marks, (who was then presiding over that stake of Zion) to choose a guardian, or President and Trustee, Sidney Rigdon took his position in a wagon, about two rods in front of the stand, and harangued the saints for about one and a half hours, upon choosing a guardian for the church. The meeting was then dismissed, when President Brigham Young gave out an appointment for the brethren to assemble at 2 p.m.

[HC 8 Aug, 2 pm]

[HC 7:231-236]

            At the appointed time the brethren came together. Present, of the Twelve, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith. The several quorums were organized on and around the stand according to order.

The Remarks of President Young in Behalf of the Claim of the Twelve to Lead the Church in the Absence of the First Presidency

            The meeting being opened, President Brigham Young arose and said:--

[Brigham Young]

      'Attention all! This congregation makes me think of the days of King Benjamin, the multitude being so great that all could not hear. I request the brethren not to have any feelings for being convened this afternoon, for it is necessary; we want you all to be still and give attention, that all may hear. Let none complain because of the situation of the congregation, we will do the best we can.

      For the first time in my life, for the first time in your lives, for the first time in the kingdom of God in the 19th century, without a Prophet at our head, do I step forth to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum of the Twelve, as Apostles of Jesus Christ unto this generation-Apostles whom God has called by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, who are ordained and anointed to bear off the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.

      This people have hitherto walked by sight and not by faith. You have had the Prophet in your midst. Do you all understand? You have walked by sight and without much pleading to the Lord to know whether things were right or not.

      Heretofore you have had a Prophet as the mouth of the Lord to speak to you, but he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, not by sight.

      The first position I take in behalf of the Twelve and the people is, to ask a few questions. I ask the Latter-day Saints: do you, as individuals, at this time, want to choose a Prophet or a guardian? Inasmuch as our Prophet and Patriarch are taken from our midst, do you want some one to guard, to guide and lead you through this world into the kingdom of God, or not? All that want some person to be a guardian or a Prophet, a spokesman or something else, signify it by raising the right hand. (No votes).

      When I came to this stand I had peculiar feelings and impressions. The faces of this people seem to say, we want a shepherd to guide and lead us through this world. All that want to draw away a party from the church after them, let them do it if they can, but they will not prosper.

      If any man thinks he has influence among this people to lead away a party, let him try it, and he will find out that there is power with the Apostles which will carry them off victorious through all the world, and build up and defend the church and kingdom of God.

      What do the people want? I feel as though I wanted the privilege to weep and mourn for thirty days at least, then rise up, shake myself, and tell the people what the Lord wants of them; although my heart is too full of mourning to launch forth into business transactions and the organization of the church, I feel compelled this day to step forth in the discharge of those duties God has placed upon me.

      I now wish to speak of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the church is organized, and you want to know how it is organized, I will tell you. I know your feelings-do you want me to tell your feelings?

      Here is President Rigdon, who was counselor to Joseph. I ask, where are Joseph and Hyrum? They are gone beyond the veil; and if Elder Rigdon wants to act as his counselor, he must go beyond the veil where he is.

      There has been much said about President Rigdon being President of the Church, and leading the people, being the head, etc. Brother Rigdon has come 1,600 miles to tell you what he wants to do for you. If the people want President Rigdon to lead them they may have him; but I say unto you that the Quorum of the Twelve have the keys of the kingdom of God in all the world.

      The Twelve are appointed by the finger of God. Here is Brigham, have his knees ever faltered? Have his lips ever quivered? Here is Heber and the rest of the Twelve, an independent body who have the keys of the priesthood-the keys of the kingdom of God to deliver to all the world: this is true, so help me God. They stand next to Joseph, and are as the First Presidency of the Church.

      I do not know whether my enemies will take my life or not, and I do not care, for I want to be with the man I love.

      You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer and revelator: God must do this. You are like children without a father and sheep without a shepherd. You must not appoint any man at our head; if you should, the Twelve must ordain him. You cannot appoint a man at our head; but if you do want any other man or men to lead you, take them and we will go our way to build up the kingdom in all the world.

      I know who are Joseph's friends, and who are his enemies. I know where the keys of the kingdom are, and where they will eternally be. You cannot call a man to be a prophet; you cannot take Elder Rigdon and place him above the Twelve; if so, he must be ordained by them.

      I tell you there is an overanxiety to hurry matters here. You cannot take any man and put him at the head; you would scatter the saints to the four winds, you would sever the priesthood. So long as we remain as we are, the heavenly Head is in constant cooperation with us; and if you go out of that course, God will have nothing to do with you.

      Again, perhaps some think that our beloved Brother Rigdon would not be honored, would not be looked to as a friend; but if he does right and remains faithful he will not act against our counsel nor we against his, but act together, and we shall be as one.

      I again repeat, no man can stand at our head, except God reveals it from the heavens.

      I have spared no pains to learn my lesson of the kingdom in this world and in the eternal worlds; and if it were not so, I could go and live in peace; but for the gospel and your sakes I shall stand in my place. We are liable to be killed all the day long. You have never lived by faith.

      Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a great work, and we will build upon it; you have never seen the quorums built one upon another. There is an almighty foundation laid, and we can build a kingdom such as there never was in the world: we can build a kingdom faster than Satan can kill the saints off.

      What do you want? Do you want a patriarch for the whole church? To this we are perfectly willing. If Brother Samuel H. Smith had been living, it would have been his right and privilege; but he is dead, he is gone to Joseph and Hyrum, he is out of the reach of bullets and spears, and he can waft himself with his brothers, his friends and the saints.

      Do you want a patriarch? Here is brother William [Smith] left; here is Uncle John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph left; it is their right. The right of patriarchal blessings belongs to Joseph's family.

      Do you want a Trustee-in-Trust? Has there been a bishop who has stood in his lot yet? What is his business? To take charge of the temporal affairs, so that the Twelve and the elders may go on their business. Joseph condescended to do their business for them. Joseph condescended to offer himself for president of the United States, and it was a great condescension.

      Do you want a spokesman? Here are Elder Rigdon, Brother Amasa Lyman [whom Joseph expected to take as a counselor] and myself. Do you want the church properly organized, or do you want a spokesman to be chief cook and bottle-washer? Elder Rigdon claims to be spokesman to the Prophet. Very well, he was; but can he now act in that office? If he wants now to be a spokesman to the Prophet, he must go to the other side of the veil, for the Prophet is there, but Elder Rigdon is here. Why will Elder Rigdon be a fool? Who knows anything of the priesthood, or of the organization of the kingdom of God. I am plain.

      Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, and let those who have the keys of the priesthood go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear them?

      If there is a spokesman, if he is a king and priest, let him go and build up a kingdom unto himself; that is his right and it is the right of many here, but the Twelve are at the head of it.

      I want to live on the earth and spread truth through all the world. You saints of latter-days want things right. If 10,000 men rise up and say they have the Prophet Joseph Smith's shoes, I know they are impostors. In the priesthood you have a right to build up a kingdom, if you know how the church is organized.

      Now, if you want Sidney Rigdon or William Law to lead you, or anybody else, you are welcome to them; but I tell you, in the name of the Lord that no man can put another between the Twelve and the Prophet Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was their file leader, and he has committed into their hands the keys of the kingdom in this last dispensation, for all the world; don't put a thread between the priesthood and God.

      I will ask, who has stood next to Joseph and Hyrum? I have, and I will stand next to him. We have a head, and that head is the Apostleship, the spirit and power of Joseph, and we can now begin to see the necessity of that Apostleship.

      Brother Rigdon was at his side-not above. No man has a right to counsel the Twelve but Joseph Smith. Think of these things. You cannot appoint a prophet; but if you let the Twelve remain and act in their place, the keys of the kingdom are with them and they can manage the affairs of the church and direct all things aright.

      Now, all this does not lessen the character of President Rigdon: let him magnify his calling, and Joseph will want him beyond the veil-let him be careful what he does, lest that thread which binds us together is cut asunder. May God bless you all.'

      (Much more was said by President Young, but not written).

SPEECH OF AMASA M. LYMAN

            Amasa Lyman said:-

[Amasa Lyman]

[HC 7:236-237]

      'I do not rise to electioneer. I am gratified with the open, frank and plain exposition of President Young. He has seen the relation I bear to my deceased brother [i. e. Joseph Smith]. I never did conceive it gave me a precedence to go before the Twelve.

      I do not make exceptions to anything he has said. I believe there is no power, or officer, or means wanted to carry on the work, but what is in the Twelve. I am satisfied that no man can carry on the work, but the power that is in the Twelve, as has been stated.

      There is one thing to secure the salvation of this people, and that is not in union alone, it is for you to know the right and be united-it has been presented to you by President Young, and I will back him up. All I design to do is to redeem my pledge.

      President Young has stood next to the Prophet Joseph, with the Twelve, and I have stood next to them, and I will stand next to them. I have been at the back of Joseph Smith, and will be at the back of the Twelve forever, and then we will be saved.

      There is no need of a President, we have a head here. What is that head? The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the head. We now see the necessity of the Apostleship.

      I might rise up as well as any other man to ask for the Presidency, but I could not do it without endangering my salvation. This is the power that turns the key to bestow salvation through all the land, in the way that Joseph commenced it, the first one called to do the same in all the world. If Joseph Smith had any power to bear off the kingdom of God, the Twelve have the same.

      I could not advocate a choosing of a President, and myself a candidate; so then you know the place I occupy is, to stand to the Twelve the same as the Twelve did to Joseph, either on one side or the other. I do not want to go before them or to fall asleep. I want to see the kingdom roll forth by our united faith and efforts.'

 

            President Rigdon called upon W. W. Phelps to speak in his behalf, as he could not speak.

SPEECH OF ELDER W. W. PHELPS - NO SUPPORT TO SIDNEY RIGDON

            W. W. Phelps arose and said:-

[W. W. Phelps]

[HC 7:237-238]

      'With the knowledge that I have I cannot suppose but that this congregation will act aright this day. I believe enough has been said to prepare the minds of the people to act.

      I have known many of them for 14 years, and I have always known them to submit with deference to the authorities of the church. I have seen the elders of Israel and the people-take their lives in their hands and go without purse or scrip in winter and in summer. I have seen them prepare for war, and ready to pour out their hearts' blood, and that is an evidence that they will walk by counsel.

      I am happy to see this little lake of faces, and to see the same spirit and disposition manifested here today, as it was the day after the bloody tragedy, when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were brought home dead to this city. Then you submitted to the law's slow delay, and handed the matter over to God; and I see the same thing today-you are now determined as one man to sustain the authorities of the church, and I am happy that the men who were on Joseph's right and left hand submit themselves to the authority of the priesthood.

      I have feelings about this, especially for President Rigdon, and I want to say that there is a quorum that the Twelve belong to, and that the people will receive an endowment. I brought President Rigdon into that quorum, and he received in part the blessings. I could not bear the thought of President Rigdon going into the world without his endowment. He did obtain part, and I hope he will submit.

      I want Brother Amasa to stand on the side of the Twelve, and they are wanted there still-let them go on and sustain them in that high office. You cannot put in a guardian of the church.

      We have hitherto walked by sight, and if a man wanted to know anything he had only to go to Brother Joseph. Joseph has gone, but he has not left us comfortless.

      I want to say that Brother Joseph came and enlightened me two days after he was buried. He came the same as when he was alive, and in a moment appeared to me in his own house. He said, 'Tell the drivers to drive on.' I asked if the building was on wheels? He said, 'certainly'. I spoke, and away it went. We drove all round the hills and valleys. He then told the drivers to drive on over the river into Iowa. I told him Devil Creek was before us. He said, 'Drive over Devil Creek; I don't care for Devil Creek or any other creek;' and we did so. Then I awoke.

      There is a combination of persons in this city who are in continual intercourse with William and Wilson Law, who are at the bottom of the matter to destroy all that stand for Joseph, and there are persons now in this city who are only wanting power to murder all the persons that still hold on to Joseph; but let us go ahead and build up the Temple, and then you will be endowed. When the Temple is completed all the honorable mothers in Israel will be endowed, as well as the elders.

      If you want to do right, uphold the Twelve. If they die, I am willing to die with them; but do your duty and you will be endowed. I will sustain the Twelve as long as I have breath.

      When Joseph was going away he said he was going to die, and I said I was willing to die with him; but as I am now alive, as a lawyer in Israel, I am determined to live.

      I want you all to recollect that Joseph and Hyrum have only been removed from the earth, and they now counsel and converse with the Gods beyond the reach of powder and ball.'

REMARKS OF ELDER PARLEY P. PRATT

            Parley P. Pratt said:-

[Parley P. Pratt]

[HC 7:238-239]

      'What has been said has been well said. If there are men here who are our enemies, I'll tell you when they will cease to be here: they will be here while you will deal with them. If I exchange property or deal with men, I do it with those whom I know to be faithful.

      If there are wicked men here, it is because we support them. Stop dealing with them, and they will go away. Will I support them? No, I would deal with all honest men whom I know to be such.

      I am willing to do good to all men, especially to the household of faith. Our enemies will cease to dwell here when you cease to deal with them. Mobs and wicked men will cease when you cease to support them.

      I know we can all live and be happy too, when we deal with honest men. If a man wants a doctor or a lawyer, he will send directly for the worst man he can find.
I would die a natural death sooner than I would have a wicked doctor to help me off. I would go without sueing all the days of my life before I would go to a lawyer to sue. I will not say anything about the merchants, because you all know them.'

President Brigham Young's Second Speech

            President Brigham Young again arose and said;-

[Brigham Young]

[HC 7:239-242]

      'There is more business than can be done this afternoon, but we can accomplish all we want to have done without calling this convention of the whole church. I am going to present to you the leading items.

      I do not ask you to take my counsel or advice alone, but every one of you act for yourselves; but if Brother Rigdon is the person you want to lead you, vote for him, but not unless you intend to follow him and support him as you did Joseph. Do not say so without you mean to take his counsel hereafter.

      And I would say the same for the Twelve, don't make a covenant to support them unless you intend to abide by their counsel; and if they do not counsel you as you please, don't turn round and oppose them.

      I want every man, before he enters into a covenant, to know what he is going to do; but we want to know if this people will support the priesthood in the name of Israel's God. If you say you will, do so.

      We want men appointed to take charge of the business that did lay on the shoulders of Joseph. Let me say to you that this kingdom will spread more than ever.

      The Twelve have the power now-the seventies, the elders and all of you can have power to go and build up the kingdom in the name of Israel's God. Nauvoo will not hold all the people that will come into the kingdom.

      We want to build the Temple, so as to get our endowment; and if we do our best, and Satan will not let us build it, we will go into the wilderness and we will receive the endowment, for we will receive an endowment anyhow.

      Will you abide our counsel? I again say, my soul for any man's, if they will abide our counsel, that they will go right into heaven. We have all the signs and tokens to give to the porter at the door, and he will let us in.

      I will ask you as quorums, Do you want Brother Rigdon to stand forward as your leader, your guide, your spokesman. President Rigdon wants me to bring up the other question first, and that is, Does the church want, and is it their only desire to sustain the Twelve as the First Presidency of this people?

      Here are the Apostles, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants-they are written on the tablet of my heart. If the church want the Twelve to stand as the head, the First Presidency of the Church, and at the head of this kingdom in all the world, stand next to Joseph, walk up into their calling, and hold the keys of this kingdom, every man, every women, every quorum is now put in order, and you are now the sole controllers of it.

      All that are in favor of this, in all the congregation of the saints, manifest it by holding up the right hand. (There was a universal vote). If there are any of the contrary mind, every man and every woman who does not want the Twelve to preside, lift up your hands in like manner. (No hands up). This supersedes the other question, and trying it by quorums.

      We feel as though we could take Brother Rigdon in our bosom along with us; we want such men as Brother Rigdon. He has been sent away by Brother Joseph to build up a kingdom; let him keep the instructions and calling; let him raise up a mighty kingdom in Pittsburgh, and we will lift up his hands to Almighty God. I think we may have a printing office and a gathering there. If the devil still tries to kill us he will have enough to do.

      The next is President Marks. Our feelings are to let him stand as president of the stake, as heretofore. We can build the Temple, etc.

      You did not know who you had amongst you. Joseph so loved this people that he gave his life for them; Hyrum loved his brother and this people unto death. Joseph and Hyrum have given their lives for the church. But very few knew Joseph's character; he loved you unto death-you did not know it until after his death: he has now sealed his testimony with his blood.

      If the Twelve had been here we would not have seen him given up-he should not have been given up. He was in your midst, but you did not know him; he has been taken away, for the people are not worthy of him.

      The world is wide. I can preach in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, etc. I can preach in all the world, and the devils cannot find us. I'll swear to you I will not be given up.

      There is much to be done. You have men among you who sleep with one eye open. The foundation is laid by our Prophet, and we will build thereon; no other foundation can be laid but that which is laid, and we will have our endowment, if the Lord will.

      As the authorities do not want us to do military duty, don't do it. If it is necessary, my neck is ready for the knife; as for myself, I am determined to build up the kingdom of God: and by and by there will be a gleaning of grapes, and it may be said, 'To your tents, O Israel'.

      We can build on the foundation that was laid by the Prophet. Joseph has finished his work, and all the devils in hell and all the mobbers on earth could not take his life until he had accomplished his work. God said, I will put a veil over his eyes and lead him up to the slaughter like a sheep to be killed, for the people are not worthy of him, though God loves this people.

      Let no man suppose that the kingdom is rent from you; that it is not organized. If all the quorums of the church were slain, except the high priests, they would rise up with the keys of the kingdom, and have the powers of the priesthood upon them, and build up the kingdom, and the devil cannot help himself.

      You can go to a healthy country, buy the land, and don't let a cursed scoundrel get in your midst. Let there be good men, good women, and whenever a man comes with a wheelbarrow-full of goods don't sell him land, don't let him a house, nor buy of him.

      Suppose we had ten thousand such places, and increasing in greatness, perfectly free from these poor devils, we should feel better than we do now. Let us all be humble and get our endowments-all be humble, industrious and prudent, what sort of a kingdom would it be? The foundation is laid for more than we can think or talk about today.

      Is it the will of this congregation that they will be tithed until the Temple is finished, as they have hitherto been? If so, signify it by the uplifted hand. (The vote was unanimous).

      The men will act that have never acted before, and they will have the power and authority to do it. Is it the mind of this congregation to loose the hands of the Twelve, and enable us to go and preach to all the world? We want to know the feelings of the people. Is it your will to support the Twelve in all the world in their missions? (The congregation sustained this question by a unanimous vote). Will you leave it to the Twelve to dictate about the finances of the church? and will it be the mind of this people that the Twelve teach what will be the duties of the bishops in handling the affairs of the church? I want this, because twelve men can do it just as well as calling this immense congregation together at any other time. (A unanimous vote).

      We shall have a patriarch, and the right is in the family of Joseph Smith, his brothers, his sons, or some one of his relations. Here is Uncle John, he has been ordained a patriarch. Brother Samuel would have taken the office if he had been alive; it would have been his right; the right is in Uncle John, or one of his brothers (read sec. 3, par. 17, Doctrine and Covenants.) I know that it would have belonged to Samuel. But as it is, if you leave it to the Twelve, they will wait until they know who is the man. Will you leave it to the Twelve, and they dictate the matter. (A unanimous vote). I know it will be let alone for the present.

      I feel to bring up Brother Rigdon; we are of one mind with him and he with us. Will this congregation uphold him in the place he occupies by the prayer of faith and let him be one with us and we with him. (Unanimous). The Twelve will dictate and see to other matters. There will be a committee for the Temple; and now let men stand to their posts and be faithful.'

            Adjourned to Oct. 6, Conference.

            Benediction by Elder Parley P. Pratt.

 

8 Sep 1844, Trial of Elder Rigdon, Nauvoo meeting ground.
[Times and Seasons 5:647-655, 660-667, 686-687]

[8 Sep, 10 am]

[T&S 5:647-655]

TIMES AND SEASONS.

CITY OF NAUVOO,

September 15, 1844.

 

TRIAL OF ELDER RIGDON

Minutes of a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held on the meeting ground in the city of Nauvoo, on Sunday, Sept. 8th, 1844.

            Present, of the quorum of the Twelve, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, P. P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, John Taylor and Amasa Lyman.

            The High Council organized themselves with Bishop Newel K. Whitney at their head, as follows: William Marks, President of the Stake, and Charles C. Rich, Councillor; Samuel Bent, James Alfred, Lewis D. Wilson, Alpheus Cutler, David Fullmer, George W. Harris, Thomas Grover, Aaron Johnson, Henry G. Sherwood, also Reynolds Cahoon, Asahel Smith and Ezra T. Benson, in the place of three absent members.

            At 10 minutes after 10 o'clock, President Young requested the choir to sing a hymn, which was done; and the services opened by prayer from elder Orson Hyde, after which the choir sung another hymn.

 

            President Young then arose and addressed the people in substance as follows:

[Brigham Young]

[T&S 5:647-649]

      I will call the attention of the congregation to the subject which is designed to be laid before you to-day. But I will first make a request that the police will attend to the instructions given them by the Mayor this morning, and that is, to see that there is perfect order on the outside of the congregation. We are not afraid of disturbance here, but there is generally some disposed to talk on the outside, which prevents those from hearing who are near them, and we wish all to hear what is said from the stand.

      I have frequently thought lately of Paul's words when he said 'much every way,' 'some for Paul, some for Apollos, some for Cephas and some for Christ:' and I believe there are a great many here for Christ. I will make the application of Paul's words to us: 'Much every way.' Some for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph's measures; and some for Lyman Wight, some for James Emmet and some for Sidney Rigdon, and I suppose some for the Twelve.

      The business of the day will result in this thing: all those who are for Joseph and Hyrum, the Book of Mormon, book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Temple and Joseph's measures, and for the Twelve; they being one party; will be called upon to manifest their principles openly and boldly. Then we wish all who are of the opposite parties to enjoy the same liberty, and to be as decided and bold, and to show their principles as boldly, and be as decided as they are in their secret meetings and private councils. If they are for Sidney Rigdon; and believe he is the man to be the first president and the leader of this people, we wish them to manifest it as freely as they do in other places; because this will form another party.

      We want all those who are for Lyman Wight and his measures, to show themselves openly and boldly; and all those for James Emmet and his measures, to show themselves. We wish them to withdraw to day without fear and to be as bold here as they are in other places. They may as well show themselves boldly, for I know where they live, and I know their names: I can point them out if necessary. Those who wish to tarry and build up the city and build the Temple, and carry out the measures and revelations of our martyred prophet, we wish to know who they are. Now all those who decline going either way, but secretly slander the character of Joseph Smith and the Twelve, my fellowship will be withdrawn from them without any further ceremony. If there are not more than ten men who hang on to the truth, and to Joseph and the Temple, and are willing to do right in all things, let me be one of that number. If there should be but ten left, and their lives should be threatened; threatened with destruction by mobs, the Temple not be built, &c., because they are determined to do right, let me be one that is mar[648]tyred for the truth. I have travelled these many years in the midst of poverty and tribulation, and that too with blood in my shoes, month after month, to sustain and to preach this gospel and build up this kingdom; and God forbid that I should now turn round and seek to destroy that which I have been laboring to build up.

      It is written in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, that the president can be tried before a bishop and twelve high priests, or the high council of the church. There are many present this morning who were present at the organization of that quorum in Kirtland. We have here before us this morning, the high council, and bishop Whitney at their head, and we will try Sidney Rigdon before this council and let them take an action on his case this morning; and then we will present it to the church, and let the church also take an action upon it. I am willing that you should know that my feelings for Sidney Rigdon as a man, as a private citizen, are of the best kind. I have loved that man and always had the very best feelings for him; I have stood in defence of his life and his house in Kirtland, and have lain on the floor, night after night, and week after week, to defend him. There are those who are following Sidney for whom my heart is grieved, I esteem them as good citizens. But when it touches the salvation of the people, I am the man that walks to the line.

      I am informed that elder Rigdon is sick; I am also informed that he and his party have had a council this morning, and have concluded not to say any thing in their own defence, thinking that would be best for them. I have no idea that elder Rigdon is any more sick than I am: any how, we have a right to try his case, for he had sufficient notice to prepare himself if he had been disposed. We gave him notice last Tuesday evening, and had it published in the Neighbor, and was he sick he could have sent us word to have the case deferred. I heard elder Rigdon's discourse last Sunday, myself; I heard him pour blessings upon this people in an unbounded degree; I heard him encourage the building up of this city and the Temple, he said he was one with us, and left his blessing upon the congregation. The congregation says to him: 'go in peace.' I said upon the back of his statements, you see that brother Rigdon is with us. I have not seen that brother Rigdon has been with us since he returned from Pittsburgh; I have known that he was not with us in spirit, but I took him at his word. The spirit reveals many things which it would not do to tell the public, until it can be proved. But to come to the point. On Tuesday last, I heard that elder Rigdon had a meeting the night previous, and had ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings. I concluded to go and see elder Rigdon, and asked elder Hyde to go with me. We went into his house, and after the usual compliments, I set down directly opposite him, and took hold of his hand. I looked him right in the face and asked him if he had a meeting last night, here, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings? He replied no, we had no meeting here; had we brother Soby?

      'Well, did you have a meeting anywhere, brother Rigdon, in which men were ordained to be prophets, priests and kings?'

      'Well, I don't know; did we have a meeting last night, brother Soby? Yes, I believe there was one last night; wasn't there brother Soby, up at your house?'

      I saw the disposition of elder Rigdon to conceal the truth and equivocate, and I determined to know the whole secret. I said to him again, 'Elder Rigdon, did you not ordain those men at that meeting last night?'

      He replied, 'yes, I suppose I did.'

      I then asked brother Rigdon, by what authority he ordained prophets, priests and kings?

      With a very significant air he replied 'oh, I know about that!'

      I will not attempt to describe the feelings I had, nor the look of his countenance, but he equivocated very much. He said there was no meeting here last night, and then finally said, I believe there was a meeting at brother Soby's. I questioned him till he acknowledged that they ordained men to be prophets, priests and kings.

      I then asked brother Rigdon; 'do you not think, really, that you hold keys and authority above any man, or set of men in this church, even the Twelve?'

      Says he, 'I never taught any such doctrine, did I, brother Soby?'

      Says I, 'brother Rigdon, tell me the truth, do you not think so?'

      He replied, 'yes I do.'

      Says I, 'that tells the whole story. Brother Joseph never undertook such important business as you are engaged in, without consulting his brethren, and especially the Twelve, if they were present.' I felt delicate in asking elder Rigdon these questions, but I knew it was my duty to find out the secret of the whole matter. To evade answering the questions I put to him, he finally said don't crowd upon my feelings too much; my feelings are tender, and [649] I don't wish to be crowded. I then proposed to him, that myself and the brethren of the Twelve would call in the evening and converse with him further on the subject, to which he agreed. In the evening eight of the Twelve together with bishop Whitney, went to elder Rigdon's and conversed a while; and finding matters as before stated, we concluded we would go over to Dr. Richards' and there council together what was best to do on the subject. In our council we deemed it necessary to demand his license, and say to him he could not hold it any longer, unless he retracted from his present course and repent of his wickedness. A committee of three was chosen, who went over and demanded his license, but he refused to give it up, at the same time saying, 'I did not receive it from you, neither shall I give it up to you.' On the strength of this, we published a notice in the Neighbor that there would be an action on his case before the church to-day.

      We have now the quorum before us, before which he will be tried, with the oldest bishop at their head; and I shall leave the subject for the brethren to take it up, and it is left for us to decide whether we are Latter Day Saints or not.

      President Young said further that the Twelve are to be regarded as witnesses in this trial, and not judges. We present ourselves before the High Council as witnesses, and we are prepared to bring other testimony forward if necessary. There may be some who will say that this is not a fair trial, because the opposite party are not here. They have had sufficient notice and time to make their objections, and if they don't appear to make their defence it will prove to me that they are guilty. Elder Rigdon has not conducted himself like a man of God, he has not conducted like a prophet of God, nor a counsellor to the first president, since he came here. We prefer these charges against him, and the High Council will be obliged to act.

[Orson Hyde]

[T&S 5-649-651]

      Elder Orson Hyde arose and said as follows: I thought I would present to your view, some things which have transpired since the death of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were murdered by the mob. I was in New Haven when I first heard the news, but hardly crediting the report; I went from thence to New York, where I learned the same things, I then concluded I would start to Boston. When I arrived at Boston I met with President Young and one or two others of the Twelve. We held a council together and it was decided to write to Elder Rigdon at Pittsburgh. I was appointed to write the letter. I informed Elder Rigdon of our conclusions, and stated to him that we had decided to return immediately to Nauvoo, and that we should go by the lakes, inasmuch as we deemed it safer and quicker to go that way, than to go through Pittsburgh. I stated also that it was the desire of the Twelve, that Elder Rigdon and Elder Page should meet us at Nauvoo, and after we had rested and mourned for our martyred brethren, we would sit down together and hold a council on the very ground where sleeps the ashes of our deceased friends. This letter was received by Elder Rigdon as we have since learned. Well, what does he do? He comes directly to Nauvoo. He arrived before the Twelve could get there. He immediately entered into measures to call the church together to appoint a Guardian, and was very anxious to crowd an action before the Twelve arrived, when he knew it was the request of the Twelve to sit in council together with him before any action was taken before the public. He represented to the congregation that it was necessary that he should return home immediately on account of the situation of his family. Providentially the Twelve came before he had accomplished his designs, and an action was then taken before the public, and he was defeated. The church unanimously voted to sustain the Twelve in their offices as appointed by President Joseph Smith and the church-since that action was taken Elder Rigdon has shown no more anxiety to return to Pittsburgh. Now I would ask this congregation, if Elder Rigdon had known that he was commanded to take the lead of this people, would he have any reason to fear his success, if he had been sure God had appointed him? Were the Twelve jealous that they should not stand in their place? I heard no such thing. We wanted to sit in council together, and felt that whatever the spirit dictated that should be our course. There is a way by which all revelations purporting to be from God through any man can be tested. Brother Joseph gave us the plan, says he, when all the quorums are assembled and organized in order, let the revelation be presented to the quorums, if it pass one let it go to another, and if it pass that, to another, and so on until it has passed all the quorums; and if it pass the whole without running against a snag, you may know it is of God. But if it runs against a snag, then says he, it wants enquiring into: you must see to it. It is known to some who are present that there is a quorum organized where revelation can be tested. Brother Joseph said, let no rev[650]elation go to the people until it has been tested here. Now I would ask, did Elder Rigdon call the quorum together and there lay his revelation before it, to have it tested? No, he did not wait to call the quorum; neither did he call the authorities together that were here.--He endeavored to ensnare the people and allure their minds by his flowery eloquence; but the plan was defeated. The voice of the people was in favor of sustaining the Twelve to be their leaders. I tell you it is no enviable place for one of that quorum to stand in, and act as the leaders of this people. The shafts of the enemy are always aimed at the head first.-Brother Joseph said some time before he was murdered. "If I am taken away, upon you, the Twelve, will rest the responsibility of leading this people, and do not be bluffed off by any man. Go forward in the path of your duty though you walk into death. If you will be bold and maintain your ground the great God will sustain you." And now inasmuch as a charge has been laid upon us, it will be inquired in a day to come if we have been faithful to the charge, and we are responsible for what has been laid upon us.

      After the Twelve returned I went to see Elder Rigdon and requested him to meet us in council; I invited him to attend but he said he was sick; well, I don't know but he was sick, but I am informed he went the same day and hold a meeting somewhere outside the city. -- To-day, there is an excuse. He says he is sick, perhaps it is so. In our conversation on Tuesday evening, when he said he had the keys and power he said he did not claim jurisdiction over the Twelve, he claimed jurisdiction over no man. Says I, Elder Rigdon, if the Twelve were to transgress would you call them to account? He replied no, I have no jurisdiction over them. But was Brother Joseph here and he was to see the Twelve do wrong, we would not have time to wink more than twice, before he would be upon us with a rod and drive us back to the path of duty again. Elder Rigdon says he claims no jurisdiction over the Twelve, nor the Twelve over him. Says I Elder Rigdon such a course as this will lead to a division of the church. He replied there will be a good many churches built up all over the world, I asked if all these churches would be subject to one common head. He answered they would not. Elder Young replied, then there will be many bodies. He replied, Oh no! I then said where there are many heads there is no head at all; and a thing that has got many heads must be a hydra -- a monster: a house divided against itself cannot stand. Elder Rigdon is now going to work to make a division, and yet he said on the stand, he did not want to make a division. When any man comes here with a revelation purporting to be from God, we feel in duty bound to question its validity. This is a kind of furnace to prove all things, and Elder Rigdon don't like to come into the furnace.

      I will now give some testimony which has been handed to me concerning what Elder Rigdon has said. Those who have testified here are ready to testify to the same before the congregation if it necessary.

      I shall omit names unless called upon, and then they shall be forthcoming. One of Mr. Rigdon's party said to this brother, you are a pretty strong Twelve man I believe: are you not? He answered: I am no party man but I am desirous to obtain the truth. Mr. Rigdon's friend then said, if you will not tell it to the twelve, I will tell you of our plans. He then communicated unto me their designs. The substance of which was as follows: that Elder Rigdon was going to feel of the minds of the branches, and then of the people of Nauvoo, until he got strong enough to make a party, and if he found that he could raise influence to divide the people he would do so, and let the remainder, follow the Twelve.

      Elder Hyde continued and said: this was said previous to his discourse at La Harpe; then, he comes here, and says I have no authority, I have no jurisdiction over this people whatever. We knew by the spirit that this was in Elder Rigdon's heart before, and we wanted bring it out. This shows that the whole plan was matured at the time he said he did not want to divide the church -- he had no jurisdiction, &c., and he let out the roots of it on Tuesday evening, when we conversed with him. When we demanded his license, he said, "I did not receive it from you, neither shall I give it up to you." He then threatened to turn traitor. His own language was, inasmuch as you have demanded my license, I shall feel it my duty to publish all your secret meetings, and all the history of the secret works of this church, in the public journals. He intimated that it would bring a mob upon us, says he. I know what effect it will have; there is a rod and a scourge awaits this people. Says I, Elder Rigdon if you want the honor of bringing distress upon this people, you may have it, you may have the honor of it here, and you may have the honor of it in eternity; and every effort you make to bring distress upon this people, will recoil back upon your own head. I have been told since, he was angry and did not [651] mean to do as he said; but I would ask this congregation, can a man say what is not in his heart? I say he cannot, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Elder Young says he can prove that Elder Rigdon made use of the same expression previous to our visiting him last Tuesday.) I replied to him and said, we have counted the cost and it can't cost us more than our lives, and we have got them ready to pay. Now what was the idea conveyed by Elder Rigdon's expressions, it was this, if you will let me alone, and not oppose me in my measures, although you are a wicked and iniquitous people, we will be hail fellows well met, and all fellowship together; but if you oppose me, I will expose all your secret wickedness, I will expose all your iniquity. Now I don't know of any man in this church that has gone deeper into matters than he did in Far West in his oration on the 4th of July. He was the cause of our troubles in Missouri, and although Brother Joseph tried to restrain him, he would take his own course, and if he goes to exposing the secrets of this church, as he says, the world will throw him down and trample him under their feet.

      Before I went east on the 4th of April last, we were in council with Brother Joseph almost every day for weeks, says Brother Joseph in one of those councils there is something going to happen; I don't know what it is, but the Lord bids me to hasten and give you your endowment before the temple is finished. He conducted us through every ordinance of the holy priesthood, and when he had gone through with all the ordinances he rejoiced very much, and says, now if they kill me you have got all the keys, and all the ordinances and you can confer them upon others, and the hosts of Satan will not be able to tear down the kingdom, as fast as you will be able to build it up; and now says he on your shoulders will the responsibility of leading this people rest, for the Lord is going to let me rest a while. Now why did he say to the Twelve on YOUR shoulders will this responsibility rest, why did he not mention Brother Hyrum? The spirit knew that Hyrum would be taken with him, and hence he did not mention his name; Elder Rigdon's name was not mentioned, although he was here all the time, but he did not attend our councils.

      When we were coming away last Tuesday evening, Elder Rigdon said you are not led by the Lord, and I have known it for a long time that you were not led by the Lord. In his discourse before the people the first Sunday after he came here, he stated that Joseph Smith yet holds the keys of this kingdom, for he had seen it since he was dead. When Elder Rigdon made this remark, says I to him, I defy any man to show that we have adopted any measure, only what Joseph has directed us. We have all the while sought to carry out these measures which he has labored at such pains to establish. Now if Brother Joseph yet holds the keys of this kingdom, I would ask how is any man going to get by Joseph into the celestial kingdom of God, if they oppose and seek to destroy the principles laid down by Brother Joseph. They can't get over it neither can they get by him. I will now leave the subject with Brother Parley for he is a witness in the matter.

[Parley P. Pratt]

[T&S 5:651-654]

      Elder Parley P. Pratt arose to give his testimony concerning this case. He said in the first place I will say that there is not man present, save one, who has been acquainted with Elder Rigdon longer than I have. Elder Hyde knew him before I did. I have been in church fellowship with him for 15 or 16 years. I was a member of the same church with him before we heard this gospel; I was the first man who presented the Book of Mormon to him, and bore testimony to him concerning the gospel. I witnessed him coming into this church, I have feelings for him as a friend of the strongest kind, and ever have felt an interest for him, I would be amongst the first to rejoice to see him walk up as a counsellor with us. I have no feelings but in his favor. But the salvation of this church is of far more importance than anything else, and we are determined to walk up to our duty, let it come against whom it may. After Brother Rigdon came from Pittsburgh, I waited on him to bid him welcome, but he was so crowded with friends shaking hands and welcoming him back that I said to him Elder Rigdon, you are busy to day, we will not interrupt you to-day, but to-morrow morning the few of the Twelve who are here will want to meet with you, and sit down in council together. We expect to hear you preach. In the morning I called upon him to go with me to Brother Taylor's, as we had to hold our councils at Elder Taylor's, he being confined to his bed, by the wounds he received from the mob. He made an excuse, saying, that he was engaged with a strange gentleman, and could not leave him then, but would come when he got through. We waited until it was almost meeting time, and instead of coming to meet with us, he went directly to the meeting. He came here and preached, and related his vision or revelation to appoint a guardian.--We still deferred and waited to meet with him in council, until, to our astonishment, without [652] our knowledge he caused an appointment to be made for the next Thursday for the church to choose their guardian; and this to in the absence of the more part of the quorum of the Twelve, and even without consulting the high council of the church. I knew such a course would divide the church, and I protested against it, and determined to come to the stand if the motion was to proceed and dismiss the meeting. I fortunately happened that the Twelve came in time to attend the meeting which was changed by them into a special conference. We made another effort to get Elder Rigdon to sit in council with the quorum of the Twelve. We met at the time appointed and waited something like three hours before he came. He finally came and we then asked him to give us the relation of his vision or revelation, which he did. He said it was shown to him that there were no authorities left in the church who could act. When Joseph was alive the people had confidence in the quorums, but now they had not that confidence; the people must choose some man they can have confidence in, to act. Said I to him, Elder Rigdon, there never was a time when the people were more willing to hearken to council and be agreed, than they are now.-Said I, has not the Almighty God established authorities in this church by Joseph Smith, such as the quorum of the Twelve, the high council and other quorums, and have they not power to act, and will they not be damned if they do not act; and will the people not be damned if they do not give heed to these authorities? He answered, yes; when not twenty minutes before he said there was no authorities in the church! Said I, Elder Rigdon, I object to that meeting you got up, in the name of the Twelve. It is got up without the consent or advice of those of the Twelve who are here, at present we don't need to adopt any new measures, we only need to carry out the measures which God has revealed, and when we have done this, God will give us more; and on these grounds, I object to the meeting. Says he, there is no need to appoint another officer. We have only to sustain the officers, as they are already organized; and I pledge myself there shall be no other business brought up on Thursday, only the regular prayer meeting. When I had got the pledge from him I told the people that Thursday's meeting would only be a prayer meeting. But after this some of the people went to him and he turned round again, and said it was a business meeting. I know that he said no business should be done at that meeting, and afterwards said it should be a business meeting. I then saw that this was a deep and a cunning plan laid to divide the best people that ever lived.

      On last Sunday we heard preaching all day about things along way ahead terrible battles to be fought somewhere by the brook Kedron. Their preaching gave me a text which I want to preach from, it is somewhere in Webster's Spelling Book, and I suppose the little boys can tell me where. However it is a story of a "country maid and her milk pail," &c. The moral was that when men suffer their imaginations to be amused with things along way ahead, they suffer loss by neglecting those things which immediately concern them. -- The great God said through Joseph -- build this temple; I give you a sufficient time to built it, and if you do not build it by the appointed time, you shall be rejected as a people with your dead. I thought we were concerned in building up this place and defending it, and while we were immediately concerned in all these important matters, the day was spent in talking about Queen Victoria, battles, &c., and things which were calculated to draw our minds away from those things wherein our eternal interest is at stake. When he blessed the people I said amen, and when he said our persecutions were about over, and cried peace, peace, I hoped it would be so, if we could get it. He did, by hard straining get it out that we might go on and build the temple and build up the city.

      On Tuesday as has been stated we went to Elder Rigdon's house, when I had heard that he had been ordaining men to unheard of offices. These men were in no quorum, and under nobody's direction, nor authority, but Elder Rigdon's own revelations. We protested against it. He claimed he had authority and keys over any one else. By and bye we had more of his revelations. Says he, I saw all this before I left Pittsburgh. I then charged him with endeavoring to palm upon the people, false revelations and lies in the name of the Lord. He then gave us another slice of his revelation, in addition to what he had already told us. It was that he was to help to fight a bloody battle in some appointed place, the particulars of which had been revealed to him.--This battle was not to be a war of words, not a battle with the tongue, but says he, "with the 'sword.' and it will be a bloody battle; the great God has revealed it to me, and no one shall beat me out of it!" Says I to him, if you build up churches and ordain men to preach who are not subject to the Twelve, how are they to be governed. Suppose the Twelve, [653] having authority to regulate all the churches in all the world according to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, should publish an epistle to the churches, they will say, who are the Twelve? We are not under the authority of the Twelve. Will not this be the result?

      I asked the question to one of his new prophets, do you consider yourself under the direction of the Twelve? He hesitated a while and replied, "I hope Elder Rigdon and the Twelve will be united and walk together, if not I shall not be under the direction of the Twelve, only so far as they agree with Elder Rigdon. I shall be under the directions of the revelations as given to Elder Rigdon, I regard him as my prophet, seer, and revelator." And the old revelations require us to build this temple, that we may receive our endowment, and all the ordinances and priesthood, whereby we may save ourselves and our dead. The new revelation is to draw the people to Pittsburgh, and scatter them abroad; and do any thing and every thing but that which the old revelations bid us do. Some of the brethren, Elders Young, and Orson Pratt, and others then said to him that the matter must be settled before he went away to Pittsburgh, either one way or the other. We labored with him till near twelve o'clock, but the split seemed only to grow wider and wider. Says I, Elder Rigdon, if the God of heaven has sent me to tell what will be, you will never fulfill your revelation; I have no more confidence in your revelations than I have in Gladden Bishop's. One said he would marry the Queen of England, and the other said he would take her by the nose. Now brethren it was for this ordaining men to unheard of offices in an illegal manner, and the proceedings of their secret meetings, that the fellowship of the Twelve was withdrawn from Elder Rigdon. I was one of the committee who went to demand his license, and acted as spokesman. I made the demand in a respectful manner, taking care not to do any thing intentionally to wound his feelings. When I demanded his license he refused to give it up as has already been observed, and says he, I shall now take the liberty to publish to the world, all the secret works of this church, and stir up the world against you, and says he, I know the result both on you and the church, and myself, this was letting out a little more of his revelation.-He then said, I have sat and laughed in my sleeve at the proceedings of the Twelve this evening, for they have been fulfilling in this last act, the vision I had at Pittsburgh. I knew you would withdraw fellowship from me, I knew you would oppose me, in all my movements. It was shown to me in the vision before I left Pittsburgh. Thought I to myself, O consistency, where hast thou fled? Here are revelations manufactured as fast as they are needed to suit the circumstances.

      Last Sunday elder Rigdon said we were a blessed people. Now he says he has known ever since before he left Pittsburgh, that this same blessed people would cut him off before he left them.

      He further said, 'I am not going to injure this people; I don't want to make a division,' and soon after said, 'I know this people have not been led by the Lord for a long time.' He was talking about exposing our secrets; elder Hyde then said he was glad he had got at the roots of his feelings; elder Rigdon replied 'I don't do it with a design to injure this people, as before stated.'

      Now the quorum of the Twelve have not offered a new revelation from the time of the massacre of our beloved brethren, Joseph and Hyrum, but we have spent all our time, early and late, to do the things the God of heaven commanded us to do through brother Joseph. Here are the principles of brother Joseph, our prophet, who laid the foundation of this work, and the Twelve have labored to carry them out. We have not said, go to Black river, nor to Prairie du Chien, nor to Pittsburgh, but we have said take the sword of the spirit, and do the things commanded and enjoined by brother Joseph. Only think of the idea, after blessing the congregation in the manner he did last Sabbath, in two days after he says this people have not been led by the Lord for a long time, and I have known it: And why? Because we fulfilled his own revelation by cutting him off from the church; but if we had not cut him off nor opposed him in his secret corner of treachery and apostasy, we should have been a very good people, and we would all fellowship together.

      I will here read from the book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 102, new edition, paragraph 11, to show concerning the legal authorities of this church: (See D.C.)

      Now you ask where is the proper authority and power for us to look to? We answer here is a power and authority equal to the first presidency; equal and nothing more. But suppose you uphold elder Rigdon's theory, what have you got? You have got one of the quorum which does not even form a majority, and consequently has no power to act. But if it would make no odds who you look to for your leaders, if they are not chosen and upheld by the faith and prayer of the church, and then they [654] must walk according to the revelations, or there is no power in their appointment. I say and bear testimony that the things revealed to Sidney Rigdon touching the great battles to be fought some where; the secret meetings; the ordination of officers, and the government of this church, is a revelation of falsehood and delusion, calculated to lead the people astray. It will result in open apostasy, and is designed to bring destruction upon us, or else it will result in speedy repentance and a turning round to the principles and revelations laid down by our martyred prophet.

[Orson Hyde]

[T&S 5:654]

      Elder O. Hyde arose again and said he wanted to relate a little story. It is only about two minutes long, and I think it will serve to illustrate the present position of this church. Elder Rigdon's remarks not only authorized, but courted a division of the church, and at the same time he acknowledged that he had no jurisdiction over the church whatever. The story is this, 'in the days of King Solomon there were two women who lived in the same house, and had each a child. One night one of the women overlay her child, and when she awoke her child was dead. As soon as she discovered this, she took her own dead child and placed it by the side of the mother of the living child, and took the living child to herself. When the mother of the living child awoke in the morning to give her child suck, behold it was dead; but when she had considered it, she found it was not her child; and the other woman said nay: but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said no; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.-They then referred the matter to King Solomon, who said, the one saith this is my son that liveth and thy son is dead. And the other saith, nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is living. And the King said, 'bring me a sword,' and they brought a sword before the King, and the King said; 'divide the living child in two, and give the half to the one and a half to the other.' But the woman whose the living child was, said to the King, 'O my lord the King, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it;' for her bowels yearned over her son. But the other said, 'let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.' Now brethren the Twelve say let not the child be divided,-but elder Rigdon says let the child be divided, for I profess to have no claim or jurisdiction over it; and I believe if the great God would speak from heaven this morning, he would say to the Twelve, you are the mother, (or rather the father) of the living child, and the church shall not be divided, for I say it in the name of the great God. I say let not the child be divided; let it live; and all the congregation said amen.

[Amasa Lyman]

[T&S 654-655]

      Elder Amasa Lyman said, so far as I am acquainted with what has been said, it is correct, and the most of it has been under my own observation. It would therefore be useless to recapitulate. But there are some things connected with the history of this event that should speak to the understanding of the individuals to whom this case is to be submitted. The Twelve have already told their mind on the subject and have acted upon it. There is a curiosity connected with the revelation of this individual, who is so favored of heaven as to have gathered the rays of light from the upper world; intelligence and wonderful things, that other men never thought of. Even Gladden Bishop never thought of such wonderful things. Now where has this individual been for these years past? Has he been laboring to support and uphold the man whom God has appointed to bring forth this work? Has he been endeavoring for the last four or five years to build up the principles taught and laid down by the man of God? Here are men present who have travelled through the length and breadth of these United States, and to Europe, and some who have travelled as far as Palestine to carry out and establish the principles which have been laid down by our deceased prophet, and yet the great God has not made known to any of these men the wonderful things made know in this revelation. Neither has elder Marks or the Twelve received any such wonderful revelation. But this man who has been asleep all the while, when he was not sick, to sleep and smoke his pipe, and take his drink; correspond with John C. Bennett, and other mean, corrupt men. This is the character of the man on whom shines the light of revelation; this is the man who says the Twelve have gone astray and this church is not led by the Lord. This man is made generalissimo of all the armies of the Gentiles, on both sides I suppose; this is the man who is to fight these wonderful battles till the blood of the slain flow as high as the horse's bridles in the brook Kedron. Elder Brigham, nor any of the Twelve did not get this wonderful power; they have not got the same spirit. But these men who obtain these great revelations carry the spirit about with them; you can smell it as soon as you come near enough to feel their breath. Elder Rigdon's plan is to divide the church, although he claims no jurisdiction.

      This wonderful spirit of revelation has fallen on a great many. Here is a revelation [655] come from Michigan, which points out a Mr. Strang, as the one to take the lead of this people. So brother Sidney is not the only man who proposes to have been appointed to lead this church. The devil seems to have set a good many hooks and baited them very nice, that some may be sure to catch. Here is another revelation come from the wonderful town of Appanooce; but the Twelve are so wicked they cannot get it. The great John C. Bennett said at the conference when he first came here, that he sustained the same position in first presidency as the Holy Ghost does to the Father and the Son. He now says that elder Rigdon is to take the presidency, and he is appointed to elder Rigdon's place. Now you see it is impossible for this people to go after them all. When elder Rigdon was in Pittsburgh he saw a great many things, and I dare venture to say, that when the news reaches him of your action to day, it will bring another slice of his revelation; he no doubt saw it before he left Pittsburgh. It is plain beyond a doubt that elder Rigdon came here with a spirit as corrupt as hell; because the effects produced by all his movements are as corrupt as can be. He first told the people he came here to do one thing, afterwards he said he would do another quite opposite. He said God had sent him here to see that the church was built up to Joseph, and the least departure from this, he said, was sure to result in the destruction of the church. He said, wo, wo, wo unto this people if they do not make a right choice. Again he says he saw that the people would reject him. He said there was an important passage in the scriptures which had to be fulfilled. He did nor tell us what it was, but we learned that it was that part of Isaiah's prophecy where he says, 'the stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.' Now it appears that Isaiah's prophecy must be proved true, if it has to ruin the whole church to do it. The Temple must be forsaken and not be finished, and all that Joseph has done must be rejected, to carry out his notion that he (Sidney) was some great one. For the last four or five years we have never heard of Sidney's getting a revelation, but as soon as brother Joseph is out of the way, he can manufacture one to allure the people and destroy them. Now after he has given his testimony to the world; after finding fault with God because he happened to get into jail in Missouri; and because he was poor: yet this is the man that can get such wonderful revelations. Brother Parley and Brigham suffered in Missouri, but did not find fault with God; they don't get such wonderful things.-Now this is the man who has got the keys of conquest; the keys of David, keys which the Twelve never heard was to be given to man, who had, in a manner, cursed God to his face. It may be plead that Sidney Rigdon may be mistaken. If he should, it is not the first time he has been mistaken in his revelations. But Joseph Smith never was mistaken in his revelations. He never commenced to do a thing and when he had got it half done, turn round and quit it.

(To be Continued.)

[T&S 5:660-661]

CONTINUATION OF ELDER RIGDON'S TRIAL

      Sidney's first revelation in Kirtland was telling the people that the kingdom was rent from them, and they might as well all go home for they were rejected. The saints felt very bad and were almost distracted. When brother Joseph came home, (who was absent at the time) he called Sidney into council and there told him he had lied in the name of the Lord; and says he, 'you had better give up your license and divest yourself of all the authority you can, for you will go into the hands of Satan, and he will handle you as one man handleth another, and the less authority you have the better for you.' Sidney gave up two licenses to brother Whitney, (who has got them at this day) and according to his own testimony, he was handled by Satan just as brother Joseph said, and weltered in the most extreme agony for about two or three months, and then brother Joseph seeing that he had repented, said that he had suffered enough and restored him again. He made a tremendous blunder at the first revelation, but we would hardly suppose that a man who has been in the church so long as Sidney has, would make such a monstrous blunder as he has made this time. The object of Sidney's revelation was to divide the church and scatter it. Brother Joseph has said at different times, that if elder Rigdon was to lead the church twelve months, he would lead them to the devil. When he attempted to lead the people in Kirtland, it [661] was to lead them to the devil, and when he made the attempt this time, it was for the same purpose. When he was making his flowery sermon and endeavoring to captivate the people by his eloquence, they looked, and when he had got through, behold they had seen nothing; and when he found that there were those who were on the alert, and that there were men in whose ears the God of heaven would whisper, and they would discover his principles, he could not stand it; he was going to run; he was in a wonderful hurry to get back to Pittsburgh. He was determined not to let brother Young pull the things out of him. I presume the atmosphere did not feel very congenial to his spirit. After we had been and spent the evening with him last Tuesday and had concluded to demand his license, he then said he was going to publish the history of all the secrets of this church. I think if he don't give a straighter history than he has given in his revelation, we shall not need to be at the trouble to go abroad and contradict it, for he will contradict himself. He took a position when he first came here, but since that he has left the ground entirely. If he talks with one of brother Joseph's friends, he will say, 'I admit that Joseph held the keys of the kingdom at his death,' but if he talks with those who are not Joseph's friends, he will say, 'I knew he was not led of God for a long time.' In our council in the Seventies' Hall, he said that this vision was a continuation of the vision recorded in the book of Doctrine and Covenants. There was however this difference, the one in the Doctrine and Covenants was an open vision, but the vision he received in Pittsburgh was a mental vision, a vision presented to the mind. Now it seems very likely that while brother Sidney was maturing his plans in Pittsburgh, and laying his schemes as to what course he would pursue, it was very natural to see that the church would cut him off. There are many who seem to be in difficulty concerning Sidney Rigdon's standing in the church during the time he has been wallowing in his filth and corruption for four or five years past. I know how he has stood, but I rather some one else would tell it, I shall therefore leave the subject.

[John Taylor]

[T&S 5:661-662]

      Elder John Taylor arose and said, I wish to make a few remarks, and to give in my testimony in this case. There has already been much said, sufficient to criminate Elder Rigdon, and to prove satisfactorily to the minds of every unprejudiced person, that he is unworthy of the confidence we have reposed in him; that he has dishonored his high and holy calling, and has in every way disqualified himself to act in that relationship to the church, which he has heretofore sustained. We did not investigate his conduct or character previous to the conference before alluded to, in order to prove this; his own acts and deeds since his return from Pittsburgh, as they have been set forth before this conference, are sufficient to establish that fact. It may be supposed by some that the Twelve are enemies to Elder Rigdon. So far from this, they have courted his company. They invited him frequently to their councils, and have shown every mark of esteem deference and respect, which his long standing in the church, his years, his talent and his calling would entitle him to. They have been extremely solicitous to cultivate a friendly feeling, and not till they were forced with overwhelming testimony, have they taken steps in the matter; but they have a duty to God and to this church to perform; and whatever may be their personal predilections, prejudices or feelings; they feel bound by the relationship they sustain to this church and to God, to lay aside all private feelings and secondary considerations in the fulfillment of the great work that they are called upon to perform.

      Elder Rigdon was appointed by President Smith to go to Pittsburgh and build up a church; but he was expressly forbid to take any one with him. Now I would ask, has Elder Rigdon accomplished his mission? Has he sought to build up the church according to President Smith's order? No. He has been holding secret meetings; he has ordained men illegally, and contrary to the order of the priesthood; he has been ordaining men to the offices of prophets, priests and kings; whereas he does not hold that office himself; who does not know that this is wrong? There is not an officer belonging to the church but what is acquainted with this fact. Can a teacher ordain a priest? Can a priest ordain an elder? Can an elder ordain a high priest, or any of the former ordain an apostle? You all know they could not, it is contrary to the order of God; and yet we find that President Rigdon, a man who ought to know better-who does know better-has been ordaining men to office that he does not hold himself: and yet he has come to us with a revelation to lead this church to the Celestial kingdom of God; and even if he had the authority to ordain these men, he could not do it in and of himself without the accompanying ordinances, and under the circumstances which he did. There are numbers here who can bear witness to the truth of what I now say. These things go plainly to show that his mind is enveloped in darkness, that he [662] is ignorant and blinded by the devil, and incompetent to fulfill the work which he has undertaken.

      There are some who would insinuate that we should be merciful; we have been as merciful as we could be in the fulfillment of our official duties. But if we pass over such gross violations of the ordinances of God's house, and such departures from the revelations of God; if such ordinations and organizations are suffered to proceed, we shall, as a people, soon be destroyed. I see men in this congregation who have received illegal ordinations, ordinations imparted through a perversion of the priesthood, and through the influence of an improper spirit. Who wants to see their friends destroyed in this way? A man may receive a spirit in a few minutes, the which it will take him years to get entirely rid of. I don't want any man with such a spirit to put his hands on my head, or on the head of any of my brethren.

      Some people talk as though they considered these things very little matters; but is was for a transgression of this kind that Satan and his angels was cast out of heaven, and it is those very principles that have destroyed the church in every age of the world. It was not for drunkenness, theft nor any other act of immorality that Satan was hurled from heaven, but for resisting authority, and trying to subvert the order of God. And this is the thing that Elder Rigdon is guilty of; which is calculated to lead men to destruction. I consider that this conference has had evidence enough before it in relation to the matter. We have tried him who said he was a prophet, and sent of God with revelations to this church, and found him a liar. I feel sorry for him as a man, but I also feel sorry for others whom he is leading astray. What has been the cause of all our difficulties? Why, a little difference of feeling, a little difference of opinion, a little difference of spirit, and this little difference has finally ended in bloodshed and murder. I do not blame those men who shot our beloved brethren, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, one hundredth part as much as William and Wilson Law, the Fosters and the Higbees: it is true they are murderers, but I consider that those men who pointed their guns at me, are not so steeped in crime, nor half so guilty before God, as those men who were their instigators, their aiders and abettors. They are the men who are the most guilty before God, and of them will their blood be required.

[W. W. Phelps]

[T&S 5:662-663]

      Elder W. W. Phelps said, it becomes necessary on this occasion that you should be acquainted with all the facts in the case. I am knowing myself to most of the facts. Perhaps I have taken a greater interest, and have been better disposed towards Sidney Rigdon than many would suppose under existing circumstances. I have endeavored to be his friend in every situation I could. When I learned he had arrived from Pittsburgh I went to see him, and tried to find out his views and calculations on the subject, but in all his conduct there appeared to be something wrong, a reluctance to communicate. I have had as good a privilege of knowing the whole of Joseph Smith's revelations as any other man, and I know that the Twelve are the first in authority after the first presidency. Secondly, the Twelve are the travelling high council, to regulate all the affairs of all the churches in all the world. Now I would ask this congregation, are you willing to throw away this authority for one man? What have you gathered here for? You have gathered here to build up a city; to build up a kingdom, and shall we come up to this time, and then throw away the revelations and all the measures laid down by Brother Joseph? No! verily no!

      There are a few in authority in this place who have been sustaining Sidney Rigdon although the church voted to sustain the Twelve. I would give them all the advice I am able, to save them; and will read a revelation which was given November 19, 1833.

"Kirtland Nov. 19, 1833.

      And again, blessed be Brother Sidney, also, notwithstanding he shall be high and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth beneath his burden that learneth his master's will by the stroke of the rod, thus saith the Lord. Yet the Lord will have mercy on him, and he shall bring forth much fruit; even as the vine of the choice grape, when her clusters are ripe, before the time of the gleaning of the vintage; and the Lord shall make his heart merry as with sweet wine, because of him who putteth forth his hand, and lifteth him up out of deep mire, and pointeth him out the way, and guideth his feet when he stumbles, and humbleth him in his pride. Blessed are his generations; nevertheless one shall hunt after them as a man hunteth after an ass that hath strayed in the wilderness, and straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus shall the Lord watch over his generation, that they may be saved; even so, Amen."

      Now I want he should be dealt with in justice, but yet with mercy, for I know that what you do here this day, will be sealed in heaven, [663] until the day of redemption and it will be impossible to get it off. You will perceive by this prophecy, that all this has to come upon him. He will stumble and be cast into the mire; his family will stray away, &c. I think enough has been said to make the matter plain to the minds of the people. He has come and lied in the name of the Lord. He has told me two stories. He said he wanted to form an intimacy with the Twelve, but he has never taken one step to do it, but has in every instance endeavored to shun them. The devil has blinded his eyes, and he has endeavored to blind the minds of the people against those revelations that have been our guide since we came into this church. Those revelations that said we should build the temple, in order to save ourselves and our dead, and bring to pass those keys and blessings which will secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings which all, since the days of Adam, had lived and died for. The Lord has said that the church would be able to judge those who were prophets and those who were not. The first thing Elder Rigdon endeavored to press upon the minds of the people, was the idea that it belonged to some person to rise up and build up the church to Joseph Smith, but there is no such thing written in the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. This church has been built up to Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith always taught us that there is no other name whereby we can be saved but in and through the name of Jesus Christ.

      It is one part of the portion of this people to be tried to the centre, and you will learn to judge men when they come before you. There will be men who cannot endure a celestial law, and consequently, they cannot obtain a celestial glory. Brother Sidney is endeavoring to draw off a party, and he will be like those who are spoken of in the vision: some for Paul, some for Apollos, some for Cephas, &c., and many will have to go to outer darkness and there tarry till they have paid the uttermost farthing. Is there one person here who wishes to batter away a certainty for an uncertainty and go to perdition? If any man comes to you to lay on hands suddenly, don't suffer them to do it, lest ye be deceived. Recollect this "an apostle is an elder" and he has authority to ordain elders, priests, &c. Be wise and lay hands suddenly on no man; neither suffer any one to lay hands suddenly on you. It takes a majority of any quorum, according to the order of God, as declared in the Doctrine and Covenants, which I hold in my hand, and the common consent of the whole church, to make any act valid; every ordination, therefore made by Sidney Rigdon, he being one only out of a quorum of three, even if he had not otherwise transgressed, is illegal. I therefore in the authority of the holy priesthood, and as one who cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance, declare his late revelations, and his extraordinary ordinations of prophets, priests and kings among the Gentiles, holding the keys of David,-of the devil; and let all the people say: Amen.

[Heber C. Kimball]

[T&S 5:663-664]

      Elder Heber C. Kimball arose and said he was sick and could scarcely speak, but he could not forbear to offer his testimony on this subject. You have already had the testimony of my brethren, and I feel disposed to offer my testimony. I have been in all their councils since they returned home. I was with the brethren at Elder Rigdon's last Tuesday, but I don't know that I can do any thing more than confirm what they have said. They have related things as they transpired, as near as I can recollect, and I cannot do more than confirm their testimony. As to Elder Rigdon's course there is scarce any one that can give a relation of it. Elder Rigdon is a man I have always respected as a man, but I have not respected his course for more than five years past.-Brethren, I have known his course and was aware of it all the while. When I have gone abroad to preach and have returned again, I would not have the privilege of sleeping, before Brother Joseph would call us to council; and there is not a thing of importance which was ever done, but Brother Joseph counselled with us. Elder Rigdon after he came from Pittsburgh never attended council only when he could not avoid it. He has no authority only what he receives from the church, if he was one with us, why was he not in our councils? He was not in the council pertaining to the High Priesthood until just before he started for Pittsburgh. Brother Phelps was the means of bringing him in, but he has not got the same authority as others; there are more than thirty men who have got higher authority than he has. elder Rigdon has intimated that if we opposed him we should have a mob on us.-Brethren, if I have to be martyred for the truth, amen to it! If I have to go as Joseph and Hyrum did, it will be a short work. Elder Rigdon has not been in good standing as a counsellor to Brother Joseph for some years. Brother Joseph shook him off at the conference a year ago, he said he would carry him no more; if the church wanted to carry him they might, but he should not. Joseph said, he had no more authority in his office as counsellor. El[664]der Amasa Lyman was appointed in his stead, and all the power and authority and blessings which Elder Rigdon ever had, was put on the head of Brother Amasa. Brother Hyrum plead to have Elder Rigdon restored, he said try him a little longer, try him another year; Brother Joseph would not receive him again but shook him off. The church voted to try him again, and it was the church that received him and not Brother Joseph. If Elder Rigdon was in good standing, why has he not been with Bro. Joseph in all his councils. He has not acted as a councillor in Bro. Joseph's councils for five years, but the Twelve have, they have never forsaken him. Now when Bro. Joseph is gone, he comes and sets us aside. I have handled with my hands, and have heard with my ears, the things of eternal reality, but I never betrayed Bro. Joseph.

      Brethren, as it was in the days of Moses, so it is now. When Moses went into the Holy of Holies, he pulled off his shoes; Bro. Joseph has passed behind the vail and he pulled off his shoes, and some one else puts them on, until he passes the vail to Bro. Joseph. President Young is our president, and our head, and he puts the shoes on first. If Brother Hyrum had remained here, he would have put them on Hyrum is gone with Joseph and is still his counsellor. The Twelve have received the keys of the kingdom and as long as there is one of them left, he will hold them in preference to any one else. I wish the people would hear and be wise, and those who have been upholding Brother Sidney, would turn about before they go into everlasting despair. Here is John C. Bennett, and Wm. and Wilson Law. Robert D. Foster and the Higbee's, are all the while seeking to come back and if they cannot accomplish their purposes they will seek to take our lives. We stand forth as the shepherds of the sheep, and we want to lead you into green pastures, that you may be healthy and strong. There are men here brethren who have got authority, but we don't want to mention their names, for the enemy will try to kill them.

[Brigham Young]

[T&S 5:664-665]

      President Young arose again and said he wanted to read some testimony which had been presented to him relative to this case, but did not wish to mention the names of the individuals at the present time, if it could be dispensed with. He continued: honest men may be deceived for a time, but they will generally see their error and turn about. There are some who are trolling off and wanting to make divisions amongst us. Brother Sidney says, "if we go to opposing him he will tell all of our secrets!" but I would say, oh don't, Brother Sidney! don't tell our secrets, oh don't!But if he tells of our secrets, we will tell of his-tit for tat. He has had long visions in Pittsburgh revealing to him wonderful iniquity amongst the saints. Now, if he knows of so much iniquity, and has got such wonderful power, why don't he purge it out? He professes to have got "the keys of David." Wonderful power, and revelations, and he will publish our iniquity! Oh dear, Brother Sidney, don't publish our iniquity! Now don't! John C. Bennett said in his exposure, he knew all of Brother Joseph's secrets, and he would publish them. Joseph H. Jackson, says he has published all Joseph's secrets, but nobody believes their tales, because they lie! and if Sidney Rigdon undertakes to publish all of our secrets, as he says, he will lie the first jump he takes. If Sidney Rigdon knew of all this iniquity why did he not publish it sooner? If there is so much iniquity in this church, as you talk of, Elder Rigdon, and you have known of it so long, you are a black hearted wretch because you have not published it sooner. If there is not this iniquity you talk of, you are a blackhearted wretch, for endeavoring to bring a mob upon us and murder innocent men, women and children! Any man that says the Twelve are bogus makers, or adulterers, or wicked men, is a liar; and all who say such things shall have the fate of liars, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Who is there that has seen us do such things? No man. The spirit that I am of tramples such slanderous wickedness under my feet. And if they take my life I will go where they cannot hurt me.

      Brother Joseph did cast off Sidney, and his power and authority was taken from him, and put upon Amasa Lyman. We told Brother Sidney to come along with us, and if he will do this we will build him up. Let him do as Elder Amasa Lyman has done. Now we don't expect ever to move without revelation and they that have the keys of the kingdom can get revelation. If any thing would make me fight it would be to hear any one heap charges on Brother Joseph who is dead. They cannot let the dead alone so great is their corruption and wickedness.

      Here is another secret leaked out of their secret meetings. They say the man of sin spoken of in the revelations, is the Twelve. A pretty large man I should say. Now this is the testimony we present before this council to know if we are to fellowship Elder Rigdon any longer.

      I shall now wait and see if there is any one [665] to produce testimony in favor of the opposite side of the question.

[William Marks]

[T&S 5:665-666]

      President Wm. Marks arose and said he felt disposed to say a few words in defence of Elder Rigdon. There has been a strong team against him. They all seem to speak against him and there is nothing said in his favor. I feel to take up the opposite side of the question and say something in his defence, for I have always been a friend to Elder Rigdon. It has always been the case before this High Council, that there are two sides to the question; there are some to speak in favor of the accused, but there seems to be only one side to this subject. There has been many things said which I know nothing about. But as it has always been the case before the High Council that some should speak in the defence of the accused, I feel to volunteer to speak in his behalf. It is no more than right that both sides should be represented. I don't wish to justify any man in an error, but there is a trial before this church and council. In regard to his character there has been many things said which appear to be objectionable, but I can do some of them away. I hear objections to his authority, and to his conduct for four or five years past. There were charges brought before the conference, last fall, and one or two days spent in hearing of them, and it seemed to me, that every exertion was made that could be made, to criminate him and cut him off. There was time given to bring all the charges that could be got at, but there was not a single particle of the charges sustained, if I recollect right, as to proving him guilty of committing any of the acts specified in the charges. Now I think if Brother Rigdon was restored at that time we ought not to go beyond the conference to fetch up charges to day; but here are charges fetched up for years back. It is known that he was restored to full faith and fellowship last fall. I have heard Brother Joseph say repeatedly since that time, that all things was right between them. Just before Elder Rigdon left here I heard Bro. Joseph say that all things were right between them. Sister Emma had a good many feelings against Elder Rigdon, but they are all done away. She has said within a few months, and in fact within one week, that she was on as good terms with Elder Rigdon as she had ever been since he was a member of the church.

      As respects his not presenting his vision or revelation before the first quorum, I can say, that Elder Rigdon did not know that this order was introduced. Brother Joseph told us that he, for the future whenever there was a revelation to be presented to the church he should first present it to that quorum, and then if it passed the first quorum, it should be presented to the church. But Brother Rigdon did not know this, for he was only just brought into the quorum before he left to go to Pittsburgh.

      There have been many things said of his course since he came from Pittsburgh which I know nothing of, as to his wishing to lead this people, I don't know anything about it. And as to his revelations being from the devil, I am sure I don't know whether they are from God or the devil. The Twelve and the High Council both know that my mind differs from theirs respecting the organization. I had always been taught that the first presidency would remain and always be with the church. I had always understood that the church would be imperfect without a quorum of three to stand as a first presidency, and I cannot find any law to say that this quorum should ever be dropped. I laid my hands on Brother Sidney with Brother Joseph and he ordained him to be a "prophet and a seer and revelator," and to be equal with him in holding the keys and authority of this kingdom. I have known this for two years, and according to my understanding he has not lost it through transgression. I still feel that he is a member of the quorum of the first presidency, and I always expected that the quorum would be filled up the same as at the commencement. I always felt that there was a power and responsibility in that quorum which did not exist any where else. I will read an extract from the 84th section of the book of Doctrine and Covenants: "Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come: nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another." This is what I ever supposed would be the case that through him the oracles should be given to another who should be a prophet, and a seer and revelator, and through him to the church. I have always felt since last special conference that the order was not according to this pattern. Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were appointed to stand equal with Joseph in this kingdom; and I always supposed that one would receive the oracles from Joseph and give them to the church. Now brethren, I have searched diligently to get at the right of the matter, and I know I am honest and wish to know how it should be.

      I will read another extract from the Doctrine and Covenants, which you will find on the ninety sixth page. I never supposed that this quorum could be disorganized while there was one or two left. I have ever felt that Elder [666] Rigdon sustains his authority; I never believed he had lost it through transgression; I believe he is the man to receive the oracles from Brother Joseph and give them to the church; all I want is to have the thing right, and when I believe it is right, I am as ready to confess it as any other man. (Read several extracts from D. & C.)

      When this organization is broken up there is a quorum broken up which is of great power and authority, and I always thought it ought to have been continued. The church has always supposed that the Twelve were to bear the gospel to all the world, and when they are absent, who will preside over the church? We know that it tis necessary for individuals to preside over the whole church. Now, we are losing this office and power and authority, but I feel as though we don't want to lose any thing. I feel that we ought to keep up the organization, if it is right to do so.

      When Elder Rigdon first came from Pittsburgh he said it was his place to receive the oracles, but there was a delicacy in Brother Rigdon in presenting his claims to the people; he supposed there would have been some individuals who would have taken up the case. It appears from what has been stated this morning, that questions have been put which seems to bring a contradiction. If Elder Rigdon has done any thing worthy of being severed from the church, I feel to go with the church, and to be satisfied with what they do. I don't know that I can see any thing worthy of cutting him off at the present time. Probably I am prejudiced in his favor; if it is wrong I hope the brethren will forgive me. When I have set with the High Council I have always tried to divest myself of prejudice. I am willing that the High Council and church should act on his case, if they think best. I felt as though there was a great many men here who were saying hard things against him and nobody to speak a word for him, and I have volunteered to say a few words in his defence.

      I have had a conversation with Elder Rigdon and I cannot find that he has committed a crime. The church has never cut off any person without a crime was proven against him. Now is there a man in the church who has received the ordination of a prophet, seer and revelator? If there is I want to see him.-There has men been ordained prophets, priests and kings, but I have never heard of any one being ordained a seer and revelator. I think I am knowing to all the ordinations, but I don't know of a man who has been ordained to the office and calling Brother Sidney has; and if he is cut off, who will we have to obtain revelations? A man must be in possession of this power to be able to ordain a prophet, and a seer and a revelator. If there is a man ordained to lead this people, I do not know it. I don't believe there are sufficient revelations given to lead this people, and I am fully of the belief that this people cannot build up the kingdom except it is done by revelation.

[Brigham Young]

[T&S 5:666-667]

      President Young arose and replied I feel it a duty to make some remarks in reply to what Brother Marks has said with regard to Brother Rigdon's character. I have not been beyond the last fall conference to fetch evidence.-There was enough brought forward at the conference, and abundance more could have been presented, but Brother Hyrum plead so hard it was kept back. Brother Rigdon did enough when he came from Missouri, to cut him off from the priesthood. He said he never would follow Brother Joseph's revelations any more, contrary to his own convenience. He said Jesus Christ was a fool to him in sufferings; was this not enough to cut him off? There was enough to cut him off long ago, but Brother Marks has endeavored to soft soap the people. I have known that Brother Marks "had no evidence but the written word" But if this people have no evidence but the written word, it is quite time to go to the river and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Who cannot see that Elder Rigdon would sacrifice this people? Brother Marks says, if there are any ordained to offices equal with Elder Rigdon he don't know it. He don't know all the ordinations, nor he wont till he knows something more than the written word.

      I know the reason why Brother Joseph said all was right between him and Elder Rigdon; he (Rigdon) was whining all the while because of his sufferings. He wanted to go back to Kirtland. Brother Hyrum went to Brother Joseph and plead with him again, and begged of Joseph to "bless him-hold on to him, for I believe he will yet straighten out," and he finally got him ordained. But did he help Brother Joseph after this? No. There was then another revelation given for him to move his family near to Brother Joseph. He finally did, but did he then go to Brother Joseph and assist him in his councils? He did not.

      If I had the same feelings towards this people that Elder Rigdon and some others have I should hope you would cast us off to day. Elder Rigdon is now preaching secretly to the people, to have them go back to Pittsburgh-go back to the "leeks and onions." He has prophesied in the name of God that we wont [667] build this temple. As has been previously stated, Elder Rigdon was not in our councils before he went away. But, Brother Hyrum used to go and see him, and labor with him, and Sidney would make great promises, which would cause Hyrum to come and plead with Joseph again, and say, Brother Joseph bless him, he will come back &c. He is going contrary to Joseph's instructions, and he shall not lead the innocent to destruction; I say it in the name of Israel's God. His orders was to go to Pittsburgh and build up a kingdom, but he was positively prohibited from taking any one with him from this place, but, now he wants to divide the people and take them somewhere, to the mountains near Pittsburgh. Elder Rigdon can go to Carthage, and to Warsaw, and he is in no danger from the mob; but can a prophet of God go there with safety? No, he cannot.-If I was to lay down my authority in this church, they would soon say, Mr. Young how do you do, I approve of your course. As to Elder Rigdon's revelations, they are from the same source as Oliver Olney's, Gladden Bishop, Mr. Strang's, &c. They are from the Devil. John C. Bennett passed up the river last Tuesday, and called at the upper landing. He sent a messenger to Elder Rigdon and wished to see him, and Elder Rigdon would have gone had not a Mr. Lawrence, (who professes no kind of religion) rebuked him. If you make Sidney Rigdon your president and leader, you will soon have John C. Bennett here, with the Laws and Festers and all the murderous clan. Elder Rigdon was the prime cause of our troubles in Missouri, by his fourth of July oration. He is liable to be deceived, and has already been deceived. As to a person not knowing more than the written word, let me tell you that there are keys that the written word never spoke of, nor never will.

      All I ask of men or women to do, is, if they believe in Sidney Rigdon and want him to lead them, I want they should be bold enough to go with him, and not say they want to tarry with the church. They say they believe in Joseph Smith, and at the same time all their operations are to destroy and tear down what he has built up.

            Elder P. P. Pratt briefly referred the people to the plea of Elder Marks, "that he did not know any thing to cut Elder Rigdon off." He referred the people to the testimony before them concerning his revelation to destroy this people and yet he has not done enough for Elder Marks.

[T&S 5:685-687]

CONCLUSION OF ELDER RIGDON'S TRIAL

            Elder W. W. Phelps read from the same revelation which was first read by Elder Marks, [686] he read the same Elder Marks did, and added, "even to the church" which Elder Marks omitted to read. He also referred to the other quotations by Elder Marks, plainly showing that they were not to the point. He read from new edition, page 414. He said Brother Marks apologized for Elder Rigdon, inasmuch as he did not know where to present his revelation, but Elder Marks knew and he could have told Elder Rigdon; it looks a little like "nimble practice." As to the instructions pertaining to the first presidency, they will be explained hereafter.

            Elder Marks arose to reply to the charge of his having given out the appointment to choose a guardian at Elder Rigdon's request. He said he did not understand the object of the meeting when he gave out the appointment.

            Elder Hyde stated that a short time before the difficulties, President Joseph Smith in one of their councils, told the Twelve that he had given them all the keys and ordinances which had been committed to him.

            At this stage of the business their was a call for the question, from many parts of the congregation, whereupon, President Young without further ceremony submitted the case to Bishop Whitney and the High Council.

[Bishop Whitney]

            The Bishop gave a privilege to the High Council to offer any remarks they thought proper; but, no one attempting to speak, he said he might give a relation of Elder Rigdon's history for near twenty years past, but I deem it unnecessary. I have had some conversation with Elder Rigdon since he returned from Pittsburgh. I have also been present when others conversed with him; but, I am to decide on the testimony as it has been presented. I was well acquainted with Elder Rigdon a number of years before he came into this church. I never had any confidence in Brother Sidney as a revelator, and why? because I have so repeatedly heard Brother Joseph rebuke him for speaking in the name of the Lord, what was not so. He was always either in the bottom of the cellar or up in the garret window. At the time his license was taken in Kirtland he was more sanguine than he is now. The people were excited very much at that time, Brother Joseph was away, and when he returned and learned what Sidney had been doing, he took him into council, told him to give up his license to the bishop, and divest himself of all the authority he could, for, said he, the less authority you have the better it will be for you. It has been repeatedly the case when he has been speaking to the church that Joseph has rebuked him for it. The bishop then briefly referred to Elder Mark's objection to our fetching testimony beyond the conference, &c., and then continued: I feel that Brother Rigdon came here with a bad spirit, and has delivered a revelation. If such things as are contained in his revelation, have been revealed to him, it is from a source with which we want nothing to do. When he first came here I thought he was deceived, but since last Tuesday evening, I have been convinced that he is dishonest. He made many evasive replies to the interrogatories of the Twelve, and I think his calculation is to scatter this people, because his theory comes in opposition to President Joseph Smith's revelations. It has been proved that he prophesied that we should not build this Temple, I believe he is an evil designing man. He is dishonest, and he has lied to carry out his theory. He preached one thing one day and the contrary another. He did not reconcile his preaching to me. I asked him to reconcile it, but he did not do it. I feel to sustain the Twelve in withdrawing their fellowship, and I think the High Council and the church ought to sustain the decision of the Twelve. He concluded by calling upon the High Council to manifest if they were satisfied with his decision, and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

            Elder Hyde arose and said he was not satisfied with the motion; it is not explicit enough.

            Elder W. W. Phelps arose and offered a motion, that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the church, and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until he repents.

            Bishop Whitney then presented the motion to the High Council, and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

            Elder W. W. Phelps then offered the same motion to the church, upon which President Young arose and requested the congregation to place themselves so that they could see all who voted. We want to know who goes for Sidney and who are for the Twelve. He then called upon the church to signify whether they was in favor of the motion. The vote was unanimous, excepting a few of Elder Rigdon's party, numbering about ten.

            He then requested those who were for Sidney Rigdon to manifest it, and as before stated there was about ten.

            Elder Phelps then motioned, that all who have voted to follow Elder Rigdon should be suspended until they can have a trial before the High Council.

            An amendment was offered, as follows: "or shall hereafter be found advocating his principles."[687]

            The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

            Elder Young arose and delivered Sidney Rigdon over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord, and all the people said, amen.

            Elder Hyde motioned that James Emmett and Zachariah Wilson, and those who go with them, shall be disfellowshipped, until they repent, but at the request of Elder Young the motion was withdrawn.

            Elder Hyde again rose and stated that Elder Samuel James had promised to preach a funeral sermon at the request of Pres't Young. He came at the time appointed and preached any thing but a funeral sermon, and after he got through he said, if Brigham Young wanted a funeral sermon preached, he might preach it himself. He considered that this was unchristian like conduct, and he moved that Samuel James be disfellowshipped from the church. The vote was unanimous.

            He further said, whereas Jared Carter has gone on some mission, contrary to council, under the new revelation, I move that fellowship be withdrawn from him, and that it be published in the next Neighbor and Times and Season. The vote was unanimous.

            Elder Amasa Lyman motioned that Samuel Bennett be cut off from the church, for having received a false ordination. The vote was unanimous.

            Elder Lyman motioned that Leonard Soby be cut off for the same cause, with Samuel Bennett. The vote was unanimous.

            It was motioned and seconded, that Joseph H. Newton, be cut off from the church. The vote was unanimous.

            It was motioned and seconded, that John A. Forgeus be cut off from the church. The vote was unanimous.

            It was motioned and seconded, that President Marks, express his feelings at the proceedings of this meeting.

            He arose and said he was willing to be satisfied with the action of the church on the case.

            Resolved, that these minutes be published in the Neighbor and Times and Seasons.

            At 4 o'clock P. M. the meeting dismissed with a blessing from Elder W. W. Phelps.

 

6-8 Oct 1844, October Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 5:682-685]

[6 Oct, 10 am]

[T&S 5:682-684]

OCTOBER CONFERENCE MINUTES.

City of Nauvoo Oct. 6 1844.

            Thousands having arrived on the ground by ten o'clock A. M. Elder P. P. Pratt called the people to order Singing by the choir. Prayer by Elder Phelps. Some instructions were given by Elder Pratt, when President B. Young having arrived, arose to lay before the brethren the matters to be attended to during the conference:

[Brigham Young]

[T&S 5:682-684]

 This day will be devoted to preaching and instruction, and we will attend to business to-morrow. If the Twelve could have had their desires when they returned home, they would have set their houses in order, and devoted themselves to fasting and prayer. It has not been the Twelve who desired to have business which pertains to this conference, transacted previous, it was others who urged it on. Some elders who have known the organization of the church from the beginning, have faltered and become darkened. We feel to give the necessary instruction pertaining to the church, and how it has been led &c. It is necessary that the saints should also be instructed relative to building the temple, and spreading the principles of truth from sea to sea, and from land to land until it shall have been preached to all nations, and then according to the testimony of the ancients, the end will come. When the Lord commences to work upon the earth he always does it by revealing his will to some man on the earth, and he to others. The church is built up by revelation, given from day to day according to the requirements of the people. The Lord will not cease to give revelations to the people, unless, the people trample on his laws and forsake and reject him. I request that the Latter-day Saints may pray that we may have the outpouring of the spirit that we may hear, and I wish them to pray for me that I may have strength, and that I may make every principle I speak upon, so perfectly plain, that we may all understand as quick as when we talk together upon our daily matters.

      This church has been led by revelation, and unless we forsake the Lord entirely, so that the priesthood is taken from us, it will be led by revelation all the time. The question arises with some who has the right to revelation? I will not ascend any higher than a priest, and ask the priest what is your right? You have the right to receive the administration of angels. If an angel was to come to you and tell you what the Lord was going to do in this day, you would say you had a revelation. The president of the priests have a right to the Urim and Thummim, which gives all revelation. He has the right of receiving visits from angels. Every priest then in the church has the right of receiving revelations. Every member has the right of receiving revelations for themselves, both male and female. It is the very life of the church of the living God, in all ages of the world. The spirit of truth is sent forth into all the world to reprove the world of sin and righteousness, and of a judgment to come. If we were here to-day and had never heard this gospel, and a man was to come bounding into our midst, saying, he had come to preach the gospel, to tell us that God was about to restore the priesthood and save the people, &c.; it would be your privilege, and my privilege to ask God in the name of Jesus Christ, as individuals, concerning this thing, whether it was of God, and get a testimony from God that it was true, and this would be revelation. Let us take some of these old fathers for an example, they have heard the gospel, they have been baptized &c.. had hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost-he has got a family of children, he has been led all his days by his own spirit, but now begins to come to understand he has the right to bow before the Lord and receive instruction from God, from day to day, how to manage his family, his farm, his merchandize, and to govern all the affairs of his house. I will take some of my younger brethren who have received the gospel, they have been ordained an elder to hold the keys, &c. What is your privilege? It is your privilege to go and preach the gospel to the world, and to go by the power of the Holy Ghost, and you have no right to go without it. You have been ordained to go forth and build up the kingdom to a certain extent. No man ever preached a gospel discourse, nor never will, unless, he does it by revelation. You will do it by the Holy Ghost, or when you tell the history of the gospel and gospel will not be there. It has got to be done by revelation or the gospel you have not got, and when you preach, the people will still be left without the gospel.-There never was a prophet on the earth that dictated to the people, but he dictated their temporal affairs as well as spiritual. It is the right of an individual to get revelations to guide himself. It is the right of the head of a family to get revelations to guide and govern his family. It is the right of an elder when he has built up a church to get revelations to guide and lead that people until he leads them and delivers them up to his superiors. An elder will always be a little in advance of those whom he has raised up if he is faithful.

      He next showed how the saints are delivered up in their progress from those who give them up to the High Council, and from the High Council to the prophet, and from the prophet to the son, the elder brother, and from the son to his father. Is the keys of the kingdom taken from Joseph? On no; well then he still lives. He that believes in Jesus as Joseph did, they will never die. They may lay down their lives, but they still hold the keys. You are not going to be led without revelation. The prophet has stepped behind the vail and you have the right to obtain revelations for your own salvation. Who stood next to the prophet when he was here. You have all acknowledged that the Twelve were the presidents of the whole church when Joseph was not; and now he has stepped behind the vail, he is not here, and the Twelve are the presidents of the whole church. When did Joseph become a prophet? I can tell you, when he became an apostle. Years and years before he had the right of holding the keys of the Aaronic priesthood, he was a prophet, even before he was baptized. There has been a perfect flood of revelation poured from this stand all the time and you did not know it. Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a prophet, that he lived and died a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of anti-christ.

      It is the test of our fellowship to believe and confess that Joseph lived and died a prophet of God in good standing; and I don't want any one to fellowship the Twelve who says that Joseph is fallen. If you don't know whose right it is to give revelations, I will tell you. It is I. There never has a man stood between Joseph and the Twelve, and unless we apostatize there never will. If Hyrum had lived he would not have stood between Joseph and the Twelve but he would have stood for Joseph.-Did Joseph ordain any man to take his place? He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum, but, Hyrum fell a martyr before Joseph did. If Hyrum had lived he would have acted for Joseph, and then when we had gone up, the Twelve would have set down at Joseph right hand, and Hyrum on the left hand. The bible says God hath set in the church, first apostles, then comes prophets, afterwards, because the keys and power of the apostleship are greater than that of the prophets. Sidney Rigdon cannot hold the keys without Joseph, if he had held the keys with Joseph and been faithful he would have been with us. If the Twelve do not apostatize they carry the keys of this kingdom wherever they go. He concluded by requesting all the brethren to tarry with us until all the business is through.

            The meeting adjourned by blessing from Elder H. C. Kimball, until 2 o'clock.

[T&S 6 Oct, 2 pm]

[T&S 5:684-685]

            Two o'clock P. M. The meeting was opened as usual by singing, and prayer by Elder W. W. Phelps, after which Elder John Taylor arose and addressed the people.

[John Taylor]

[T&S 5:684-685]

He said it was with peculiar feelings that he arose to address the congregation. This is the first general conference that has been held, where your beloved prophet and patriarch are not present. When I look at the many difficulties and severe trials we have passed through it fills me with peculiar feelings. I feel happy to see that the people still seem determined to hold on to those principles which have been given to us through revelation. Nothing shall separate us from those principles which we have imbibed, neither life nor death. By the voice of Jehovah we have been sustained and will be sustained so long as we put our trust in him. We have not followed "cunningly devised fables," but those principles which have come from God. So long as we are sustained and upheld by the arm of Jehovah, we shall stand: mobs may rage, and the rulers may imagine vain things; but God has said, touch not mine anointed and do my people no harm; and if harm does befall them, wo to that man by whom it comes. If our prophets have been taken, they are gone to plead our cause before the Father. And if we are deprived of their persons, presence and council, that is no reason why we should be deprived of the council of God to direct us in all our movements whilst pressing our journey here below. We are in possession of the same principles, the same priesthood, the same medium of communication and intelligence, and of those things which will not only secure our happiness here, but hereafter. When we speak of these matters, we speak of things which we know assuredly, and although our prophet and patriarch are taken, all things pertaining to our salvation will roll on and progress with as great rapidity, and can be as effectually secured and accomplished as if they were here themselves. God has secured to us those things in relation to our salvation which has been in his bosom since the world began. He has in his providence seen fit to call our brethren to himself; but he has left others to take their places, who can teach us principles and lead us to those things whereby we may ultimately be clothed with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life. If we had built upon a false foundation we might have made a mistake in relation to our gathering together to be instructed; but we have not; our present revelations agree with the past. The prophets said that the people would gather together, "those who had made a covenant with God by sacrifice" and the word and purposes of God must stand unchanged, they do not rest upon any mere casualty. Did the prophet ever tell us that if a certain man should happen to die we should scatter abroad? No! no such thing ever emanated from the lips of God. We assembled together to fulfill the revelations of the Great Jehovah, to bring about the dispensation of the fulness of times, to build up a Zion to the Most High, that he might be glorified. We assembled here to bring about great events, to fulfil the things spoken of by the prophets and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the everlasting kingdom of God. Shall we then be led about by the foolish notions of any man? No! we will not, but we will accomplish those things which are commanded us. We will not be diverted from our course, though earth and hell oppose. Shall we fear the puny arm of man, or the prating of a wretched mobocrat? No! What have we to fear? We have nothing but God to fear.

      It is true we have not much to live for, and if we have no hope beyond the grave we should be of all men most miserable. We are oppressed, and slandered and persecuted all the day long; all that I care for is to do the will of God, and secure to myself all those blessings which the gospel will warrant me, I have been brought to the gates of death, but I don't fear it; I care nothing about it. You feel as I do in relation to these matters, for your conduct has proven it during the late difficulties. I know that the majority of the people are endeavoring to serve God with all their hearts, and are they not prepared to die? There is nothing in death we have to fear; it is not half as much to die as it is to be persecuted all the day long. Our great object then is to accomplish the thing that we set out for. When we gathered together we expected to meet tribulation; the elders that preached to you told you this or else they did not do their duty.-We have been told there would be earthquakes in divers places, and pestilence, and war, and persecution, and distress, and famine. Do these things move us? If the bud is so bitter I wonder what the fruit will be.-Don't you expect to be worse off than you are now? John saw an innumerable company and wanted to know where they come from; it was told to him that they are they which came out of great tribulation. That is the path we have got to tread. The scripture says: 'wo unto you when all men shall speak well of you;' but that curse has never come upon us, for there are some few here and there who will not speak well of you. But 'blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for Christ's sake.' Do you think there is any more evil that they have not said? If there is, let it come. What is it that makes you be evil spoken of? you used to have a good name and reputation where you resided; what is the reason you are now so much spoken against?-You have dared to believe the gospel; you have dared to obey it; and that is the reason why the world hates you. I know there is not a better set of men than these by which I am surrounded; I know there is not a more virtuous set of people on the earth, and yet all manner of evil is spoken of you. Shall we cry and go mourning all the day long? No, we will rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is our reward in heaven. I feel to rejoice; we have cause to rejoice for all manner of evil is spoken against us falsely, and I will say hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. What did we know of God, of religion, of heaven or hell, until it was made known to us through this gospel? We knew nothing. Why are we taking so much pains to build that Temple? That we may fulfil certain ordinances, and receive certain endowments and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the eternal world. Every man, woman and child within the sound of my voice, are interested in the building of that Temple. We know very little as a people yet, we don't know so much as the former day saints. The Savior said to his disciples, 'whither I go ye know, and the way ye know;' but how many of you know the locality of the Savior and the way to go to him? I know there are some here who know how to save themselves and their families, and it is this which occupies their attention all the day long, and it was this which occupied the attention of our beloved prophet. Abraham obtained promises through the gospel, from God, for himself and his posterity. There were some upon this continent who also obtained promises, in consequence of which the Book of Mormon came forth! The first thing we have got to do is to build the Temple, where we can receive those blessings which we so much desire. Never mind mobocrats, but let us do what God has commanded us. You that are living at a distance, don't fear these cursed scoundrels; we are all in the hands of God; we are all the servants of God; and we are going forth to do the things of God.

      He exhorted the saints to be virtuous, humble and faithful, and concluded by blessing the saints.

      He said further, in relation to the baptisms for the dead, that it would be better for the saints to go on and build the Temple before we urge our baptisms too much. There are cases which require being attended to, and there are provisions made for them; but as a general thing he would advise them not to be in too great a hurry. He said one of the clerks had asked whether any should be baptized who had not paid their tithing; it is our duty to pay our tithing, one tenth of all we possess, and then one tenth of our increase, and a man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. It is as easy for a man who has ten thousand dollars to pay one thousand, as it is for a man who has but a little to pay one tenth. It is our duty to pay our tithing. If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends. It is a man's duty to attend to these things. The poor are not going to be deprived of these blessings because they are poor; no, God never reaps where he has not sown. This command is harder for the rich than the poor; a man who has one million dollars, if he should give one hundred thousand, he would think he was beggared forever. The Savior said, how hardly do they that have riches enter the kingdom of heaven.

            Bishop Miller arose to say that on yesterday the bishops had to go in debt to get some wood to save some poor from suffering; and they wanted to take up a collection to pay the amount; he was opposed to taking up a collection in the congregation, but necessity required it on this occasion.

            After the collection was taken up the conference adjourned until to morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

(To be Continued.)

[T&S 7 Oct, 10 am*]

[T&S 5:691-693]

CONFERENCE MINUTES

October Conference Minutes.

[Concluded.]

Monday Oct. 7th, 10 o'clock, A.M. 1844.

            Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt, after which President Young arose to exhort the Saints to keep their minds on the business before them, and not to be in a hurry to get away.

            The first business that we shall attend to, will be to present the several quorums before the conference, for the purpose of taking an expression of the brethren and sisters, whether they will sustain the officers according to their several appointments.

            I shall therefore give way, and I am to hear motions and present them to the conference for their action: wherefore,

            It was motioned by Elder Heber C. Kimball, that we as a church endeavor to carry out the principles and measures heretofore adopted and laid down by Joseph Smith as far as in us lies, praying Almighty God to help us to do it. This motion was put to the conference by President Young and carried unanimously.

            President Young said by way of explanation, that, this is as much as to say that we receive and acknowledge Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God; being called of God and maintaining his integrity and acceptance until death.

            Elder H.C. Kimball then moved that we carry out all the measures of Hyrum Smith, the Prophet and Patriarch of the church, so far as in us lies, by the help of God.

            This motion was also carried unanimously.

            President Young said, this is an acknowledgement that he lived approved of God and died a martyr for the truth.

            Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young the president of the quorum of the Twelve, as one of the Twelve and first presidency of the church.

            This motion was duly seconded, and put to the church by Elder John Smith and carried unanimously.

            Moved by President John Smith and seconded, that we receive Elder Heber C. Kimball as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Hyde as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Parley P. Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Wm. Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John E. Page as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Willard Richards as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Wilford Woodruff as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John Taylor as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder George A. Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved by Elder H. C. Kimball that Elder Amasa Lyman stand in his lot. The motion was seconded.

            President Young said by way of explanation that Elder Amasa Lyman is one of the Twelve, just in the same relationship as he sustained to the first presidency. He is one in our midst and a councillor with us.

            The motion was then presented and carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, and after some discussion, carried unanimously that Elder Lyman Wight be sustained in his office, to fill the place of Elder D. W. Patten, (martyred,) but not to take his crown, for that, as the Lord has said, no man can take.

            Elder Snow moved that George Miller be received as the president of the High Priests quorum. Carried unanimously.

            President Miller moved that Noah Packard and Wm. Snow be sustained as councillors. Carried unanimously.

            President John Smith moved that William Marks be sustained in his calling as president of this stake.

            Elder W. W. Phelps objected inasmuch as the High Council had dropped him from their quorum.

            Elder S. Bent explained and said the reason why the High Council dropped Elder Marks, was because he did not acknowledge the authority of the Twelve, but the authority of Elder Rigdon.

            President Young said that a president of a stake could be dropped without taking his standing from him in the church. But not so with the first presidency or the Twelve. A president of a stake is only called for the time being, if you drop him he will fall back into the High Priests quorum.

`               The motion was then put, but there was only two votes. The contrary vote was put and carried by an overwhelming majority.

            Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder John Smith stand as the president of this stake. Carried unanimously.

            President Young then said, the Macedonia church must select their own man for a president, as Elder John Smith is coming here.

            President John Smith moved that Elder C. Rich be one of his council. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that S. Bent, James Allred, Dunbar Wilson, George W. Harris, Wm. Huntington sen., Newel Knight, Alpheus Cutler, Aaron Johnson, Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Ezra T. Benson, and David Fulmer, be sustained as the high council. Carried unanimously.

            Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder Joseph Young stand as first president over all the quorums of the seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Levi W. Hancock be sustained as one of the presidents of seventies. Carried unanimously.

Moved and seconded, that Daniel S. Miles be sustained as one of the presidents of seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Zerah Pulsipher, be sustained as one of the presidents of seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Josiah Butterfield be cut off from the church. Carried unanimously.

            President Young showed that it was because he had got a little money, and was lifted up.

            Move and seconded, that Henry Herriman be sustained as one of the presidents of seventies. Carried unanimously.

            President Young said, that the seventies had dropped James Foster, and cut him off, and we need not take an action upon his case.

            Moved and seconded, that Jedediah M. Grant take the place of J. Butterfield in the quorum of seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Elder H. C. Kimball moved that N. K. Whitney stand as our first bishop, in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.-Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that George Miller stand as second bishop. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Samuel Williams retain his office as president of the elders quorum. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Jesse Baker and Joshua Smith be sustained as his council. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Stephen M. Farnsworth retain his office as president of the priests. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that E. Averett retain his standing as president of the teachers. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Jonathan H. Hale, Isaac Higbee, John Murdock, David Evans, Hezekiah Peck, Daniel Carns, Jacob Foutz, Tarlton Lewis, and Israel Calkins, be sustained as bishops in their several wards. Carried unanimously.

[Parley P. Pratt]

            President Young being fatigued gave place for Elder P. P. Pratt, who got up to preach his 'old sermon,' viz: that we continue our united and ceaseless exertions to build this temple. He referred to the discoveries of Elders Rigdon and Samuel James. They said nothing about building the temple, the city, feeding the poor, &c. We heard a great deal about the mount of Olives brook Kedron -- Queen Victoria -- great battles, &c. This brought to my mind a good text in Webster's spelling book, the "country maid and the milk pail." He then went on to shew the importance of building the temple. He bore testimony that the people had hearkened to the voice of the Lord and to his commandments, and that they were still hearkening, and consequently we should be sustained here until we shall complete the temple and receive our endowment. He showed the consequences if we did not build it, "that we should be rejected as a people with our dead." When the elders go abroad to teach the people, let them teach what we have to do, and what is depending on us and not spend their time in quoting multitudes of scripture to prove one point. We want to build up Nauvoo, never mind Gog and Magog, the brook Kedron, &c., never mind the old countries; God has something to do there by and by, but not just now. He recommended the brethren to make improvements and enlarge themselves without fear, for we shall not be moved till God suffers it. We are the only people who do not fear death, we have no need to fear it. He next said he would give the people a little religious advice. He advised those who had means to go to getting sheep to consume the vegetation and raise wool, by which means our women would be well employed in manufacturing the wool.-He said in a proper time we will have gold and silver, and food and clothing, and palaces in abundance, we will create it, by our labor.

            President Young advised the saints to come after intermission prepared to tarry till evening if necessary. They have much instruction to give and want an opportunity to give it. He advised the saints to call and get O. Pratt's Mormon Almanac which is something new.--After some few exhortations he closed the meeting till 2 o'clock by blessing.

[T&S 7 Oct, 2 pm]

[T&S 5:693-695]

TWO O'CLOCK, P. M.

            Meeting opened by singing, and prayer by Elder John Taylor, after which Elder Taylor presented a communication from Mr. Small declaring his full faith in Elder Rigdon's doctrine. Moved and seconded, that he be cut off from the church. Carried unanimously.

[Elder H. C. Kimball]

            Elder H. C. Kimball addressed the congregation on the principles of salvation by the celestial law. He went on to show the order of the resurrection and that there are different orders or degrees, wherever death finds us the resurrection will take hold us We desire to obtain a fulness of celestial glory, but many will be disappointed. It is for this that we pray every day that the Lord will spare our lives that we may obtain it. President Joseph never rested till he had endowed the Twelve with all the power of the priesthood, because he was about to pass within the vail. He designed that we should give it to you and you cannot be saved without it. You cannot obtain these things until that house is built. I and my brethren are willing to do all that lays in our power to finish that house for your benefit, that you may go where Joseph is gone.-We have got to carry out Joseph's measures and you have got to assist us. When Jesus was upon the earth his time was spent in endowing the twelve apostles that they might do the things he had left undone and carry out his measures, and upon the same principle we carry out Joseph's measures. We have no rest-don't sleep half as much as you do. We need your prayers. It is necessary to put away all wickedness from our midst, all grog shops and bad houses. Drunkenness and such things will be our overthrow if we are ever overthrown. The best way to put these things away is to never frequent such places. It is necessary for us to put away all this frolicking and dancing over the blood of the prophet, where it was drenched in the blood from the coffin. When the prophet had a dance at his house he said every thing against it he could, and now men go and practice the same things. Shall we put these things away? I say yea. We have got an ungodly race here among us who are leading our young people away.-They will open their doors and let men go in and say every thing against the Twelve and the church they are capable of. I never frequent such places; I cast them far from me. Are you not under the same obligations and responsibility, ye elders, high priests, teachers, deacons, and members?

            He then went on to show that the saints could not obtain the blessings they want until the temple is finished. We want all to pay their tithing that they may receive the blessings.

            President Young arose and said that it had been moved and seconded that Asahel Smith should be ordained to the office of Patriarch. He went on to show that the right to the office of Patriarch to the whole church belonged to William Smith as a legal right by descent.-Uncle Asahel ought to receive the office of Patriarch in the church.

            The motion was put and carried unanimously.

[President Young]

            President Young wanted to say a few words on the principles of tithing. There has been so much inquiry it becomes irksome: the law is for a man to pay one tenth of all he possesses for the erecting of the house of God, the spread of the gospel, and the support of the priesthood. When a man comes into the church he wants to know if he must reckon his clothing, bad debts, lands, &c. It is the law to give one tenth of what he has got, and then one tenth of his increase or one tenth of his time. A man comes and says he was sick six months and what is required of me? Why go and pay your tithing for the time you are able to work. Some say they have been preaching and want to know if that don't pay their tithing? Well, it will if you want to have it so. He then went on to recommend the brethren not to sell their grain but to bring it into the city and store it, and not take it to Warsaw. He next referred to L. Wight's going away because he was a coward, but he will come back and his company, and James Emmett and his company will come back. How easy would it be for the Lord if an army of mobs was to come within one mile of this place, to turn the north-west winds upon them and with snow, hail and rain, make them so that they would be glad to take care of themselves and leave us alone. He then referred to the Missourians when Joseph and others went to jail, snapping their guns at the brethren but they would not go off, &c. The Lord never let a prophet fall on the earth until he had accomplished his work; and the Lord did not take Joseph until he had finished his work, and it is the greatest blessing to Joseph and Hyrum, God could bestow to take them away, for they had suffered enough. They are not the only martyrs that will have to die for the truth. There are men before me to-day who will be martyrs, and who will have to seal their testimony with their blood. I believe this people is the best people of their age that ever lived on the earth, the church of Enoch not excepted. We want you to come on with your tithes and offerings to build this temple, and when it is finished we want you to spend a year in it and we will tell you things you never thought of.

            The Twelve then proceeded to ordain Asahel Smith as follows:

            Brother Asahel Smith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we lay our hands upon your head to ordain you to the office of Patriarch in this last church of Jesus Christ, and we bestow upon you the keys and power, and the right and authority of blessing as a Patriarch in the church of Jesus Christ and we say unto thee, thou shalt be a father to many. Thou shalt feel the spirit of the Lord more than thou hast ever done heretofore.-Thy heart shall be enlarged, and it shall be thy delight to bless thy family, and thy posterity, and the fatherless and widow; and the spirit of the Lord will rest upon you to predict upon the heads of those on whom you lay your hands, things that shall be hereafter even in the eternal world. We ask thee O Lord in the name of Jesus Christ that thou would send thy spirit upon this thy servant, that his heart may circumscribe the wisdom and knowledge of this world, and be enlarged so as to comprehend the things of eternity. We say unto thee, thou art blessed: thou art of the royal blood, and of thy lineage shall arise great and powerful men in the earth. We seal upon you the powers we have mentioned with the keys thereof upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ. Thou art the anointed of the Lord, one who shall stand in the latter days and be a pillar in the church of the living God, and one in whom the saints of God may trust to ask council. These blessings we seal upon you in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.

            President Young then said, we want the conference to continue to-morrow for business. We want the high priests quorum together.-President Miller will organize them on the right of the stand.

            The presidents of seventies will organize all the seventies. We want to select a number of high priests to go through the states to preside over congressional districts. Then we want to have the elders quorum organized that we can take out of the elders quorum and fill up the seventies. We want all the seventies to be here and their presidents. We want them organized and begin to fill up the second quorum and then the third and the fourth to the tenth. The business of the day will be to ordain the presidents of the seventies and then fill the quorum of seventies from the elders quorum, and select men from the quorum of high priests to go abroad and preside.

            The conference then adjourned until to morrow at nine o'clock, by blessing from President John Smith.

[T&S 8 Oct, 9 am]

[T&S 695-696]

Tuesday morning, Oct. 8th, 1844.

[Elder John Taylor]

            Previous to opening the services of the day, Elder John Taylor made some remarks on our temporal economy. He proceeded to say that we have the means of wealth within ourselves. We have mechanics of every description, from every country; men who are capable of carrying through any branch of manufacture. We want capital to commence with; but it is not necessary to wait for a very large amount, for it is safer to go to work with small means, than with an immense sum; for a rich man is very apt to overlook himself, and for want of proper calculation often scatters his means without accomplishing any benefit to community. We can be made rich by our own enterprise and labor. Look at Great Britain; how have they obtained it? They have obtained it by encouraging their own manufacturers. It is true the poor are oppressed there; but is not the manufactures that oppress the people. We are not going to start any thing on a large scale; our calculation is to have the saints manufacture every thing we need in Nauvoo, and all kinds of useful articles to send abroad through the States and bring money here. Franklin says, time is money, and we want to spend our time in something that is useful and beneficial. Since we come here we have labored under every disadvantage. We have purchased Nauvoo, and much of the surrounding country, which has taken all our money. We have no need now to purchase more land; we now want to hit upon a plan to enable you to take your hands out of your pockets and build work shops and other places of industry. We have silk weavers, and cotton weavers, and every kind of mechanics that can be thought of. We want these to come together and we want those who have money to lay it out and find them work. We have men here who can take the raw silk and from that carry it through every process and manufacture the shawls and dresses our women wear. We want to purchase raw cotton and manufacture it into wearing apparel, &c. If we can manufacture cotton, silk and woollen goods, we can keep our money at home; we will encourage home manufacture, as the Quakers do. We want all the cutlers to get together and manufacture our knives and forks, &c., &c. I know that we, as a community can manufacture every thing we need. But I must now desist as the time to commence meeting has arrived.

            Elder H. C. Kimball now appeared and took charge of the meeting, which was opened by singing and prayer, by Elder W. W. Phelps.

            Elder George A. Smith moved that all in the elder's quorum under the age of thirty five should be ordained into the seventies', if they are in good standing, and worthy, and will except it. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

            Elder H. C. Kimball stated that President Joseph Young's wife was very sick and he wished to have her blessed, that brother Young might tarry and perform the duties of his office, and if the congregation would bless her let them say amen, and all the congregation said, amen.

            He then recommended all those elders who are under the age of thirty five, and also all the priests, teachers deacons, and members, who are recommended to be ordained, to withdraw and receive an ordination into the seventies, which was done.
President B. Young then appeared and proceeded to select men from the high priest's quorum, to go abroad in all the congressional districts of the United States, to preside over the branches of the church, as follows:

David Evans                            Joseph Holbrook
A. O. Smoot                            John Lawson
Edson Whipple                        Abel Lamb
Harvey Green                          J.H. Hale
J.S. Fulmer                              G.D. Watt
J.G. Divine                              J.W. Johnson
J.H. Johnson                           L.T. Coons
Lester Brooks                          J.L. Robinson
J.B. Nobles                             Howard Corey
Rufus Fisher                           M. Serrine
D.B. Huntington                     Pelatiah Brown
Jefferson Hunt                        E.H. Groves
Lorenzo Snow                         G.P. Dykes
William Snow                         Willard Snow
Noah Packard                          Wm. Felshaw
A.L. Tippets                            Winslow Farr
J.C. Kingsbury                        Shadrach Roundy
 Jacob Foutz                           S.B. Stoddard
 Peter Haws                            E.D. Wolley
Thomas Gates                         Solomon Hancock
Simeon Carter                         Abraham Palmer
Albert Brown                          James Brown
Levi Gifford                            R. McBride
Elijah Fordham                        W.D. Pratt
Edward Fisher                         Martin H. Peck
Franklin D. Richards               Morris Phelps
Isaac Clark                              D. McArthur
J.S. Holman                            Archibald Patten
Wandell Mace                         L.H. Ferry
Charles Thompson                  Charles Crisman
 John Murdock                       Lyman Stoddard
 John Chase                            Arnold Stevens
A.L. Lamoreaux                      David Fulmer
E.T. Benson                            Joseph Allen
Thomas Grover                       Andrew Perkins
C.L. Whitney                           Daniel Carter
Addison Everett                      Wm. G. Perkins
 Moses Clawson                     Graham Coltrin
William Parks                          D.H. Redfield
George Colson                        Titus Billings
H.W. Miller                             Harvey Olumstead
Isaac Higbee                            Daniel Stanton
Daniel Carns

            President Young explained the object for which these high priests were being sent out, and informed then that it was not the design to go out and tarry six months and then return, but to go and settle down, where they can take their families and tarry until the Temple is built, and then come and get their endowment, and return to their families and build up a stake as large as this.

            President Young then selected from the elder's quorum some to be ordained high priests, whose names for the want of room are omitted for the present.

            He also selected a number more to go into the seventies' after which the remainder of the morning was spent in calling out the several quorums of seventies, and giving charges to the several presidents.

            Brother Joseph L. Heywood was ordained under the hands of Elder B. Young, H.C. Kimball and P. P. Pratt, to be a bishop to the church in Quincy, Illinois.

            Previous to adjournment the presidents of the seventies, ordained upwards of 400 into the quorums of the seventies, and the president of the high priests' quorum ordained 40 into their quorum.

            The meeting then adjourned until 2 o'clock, P.M.

[T&S 8 Oct, 2 pm]

[T&S 5:696-697]

TWO O'CLOCK, P.M.

            Conference resumed business. Those presidents of the seventies who were present and had not received an ordination to the presidency over the seventies, were called out and ordained, under the hands of President Joseph Young and others.

            The remainder of the afternoon was spent in filling up the quorums of seventies, and at the close, 11 quorums were filled and properly organized, and about 40 elders organized as a part of the twelfth quorum.

[President B. Young]

            President B. Young then said that the elders, young men who are capable of preaching, will be ordained; but do not be anxious. You must now magnify your calling. Elders who go to borrowing horses or money, and running away with it, will be cut off from the church without any ceremony. They will not have as much lenity as heretofore. The seventies will have to be subject to their presidents and council. We do not want any man to go to preaching until he is sent. If an elder wants to go to preaching, let him go into the seventies. You are all apostles to the nations, to carry the gospel; and when we send you to build up the kingdom, we will give you the keys, and power and authority. If the people will let us alone we will convert the world, and if they persecute us we will do it the quicker. I would exhort all who go from this place to do right and be an honor to the cause. Inasmuch as you will go forth and do right you shall have more of the spirit than you have heretofore. We have had a good conference; we have had beautiful weather and no accidents; and if you will go and do honor to the Lord for this, say amen; and all the people, said amen.

            On motion the conference adjourned until the 6th of April next, at 10 o'clock, A.M.

            Meeting dismissed by prayer, from Elder H.C. Kimball.

BRIGHAM YOUNG, Pres.

            WM. CLAYTON, Clerk.

 

[History of the Church 7:284-308]

[HC 6 Oct, 10 am]

October Conference Minutes

City of Nauvoo, Oct. 6, 1844

            Thousands having arrived on the ground by ten o'clock a.m. Elder Parley P. Pratt called the people to order. Singing by the choir-prayer by Elder Phelps. Some instructions were given by Elder Pratt, when President Brigham Young having arrived, arose to lay before the brethren the matters to be attended to during the conference.

[Brigham Young]

[HC 7:284-288]

The Discourse of President Brigham Young

      'This day' [he said], 'will be devoted to preaching and instruction, and we will attend to business tomorrow. If the Twelve could have had their desires when they returned home, they would have set their houses in order, and devoted themselves to fasting and prayer. It has not been the Twelve who desired to have business which pertains to this conference transacted previous, it was others who urged it on. Some elders who have known the organization of the church from the beginning, have faltered and become darkened. We feel to give the necessary instruction pertaining to the church, and how it has been led, etc. It is necessary that the saints should also be instructed relative to building the Temple, and spreading the principles of truth from sea to sea, and from land to land until it shall have been preached to all nations, and then according to the testimony of the ancients, the end will come. When the Lord commences to work upon the earth he always does it by revealing his will to some man on the earth, and he to others. The church is built up by revelation, given from day to day according to the requirements of the people. The Lord will not cease to give revelations to the people, unless, the people trample on his laws and forsake and reject him. I request that the Latter-day Saints may pray that we may have the outpouring of the Spirit that we may hear, and I wish them to pray for me that I may have strength, and that I may make every principle I speak upon so perfectly plain, that we may all understand as quick as when we talk together upon our daily matters.

The Church Led by Revelation.

      'This church has been led by revelation, and unless we forsake the Lord entirely, so that the priesthood is taken from us, it will be led by revelation all the time. The question arises with some who has the right to revelation? I will not ascend any higher than a priest, and ask the priest what is your right? You have the right to receive the administration of angels. If an angel was to come to you and tell you what the Lord was going to do in this day, you would say you had a revelation. The president of the priests has a right to the Urim and Thummim, which gives revelation. He has the right of receiving visits from angels. Every priest then in the church has the right of receiving revelations. Every member has the right of receiving revelations for themselves, both male and female. It is the very life of the church of the living God, in all ages of the world. The Spirit of Truth is sent forth into all the world to reprove the world of sin and unrighteousness, and of a judgment to come. If we were here today and had never heard this gospel, and a man was to come bounding into our midst, saying, he had come to preach the gospel, to tell us that God was about to restore the priesthood, and save the people, etc., it would be your privilege, and my privilege to ask God in the name of Jesus Christ, as individuals, concerning this thing, whether it was of God, and get a testimony from God that it was true, and this would be revelation. Let us take some of these old fathers for an example, they have heard the gospel, they have been baptized, etc., had hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost-he has got a family of children, he has been led all his days by his own spirit, but now begins to come to understand he has the right to bow before the Lord and receive instruction from God, from day to day, how to manage his family, his farm, his merchandise, and to govern all the affairs of his house. I will take some of my younger brethren who have received the gospel, they have been ordained an elder to hold the keys, etc. What is your privilege? It is your privilege to go and preach the gospel to the world, and to go by the power of the Holy Ghost, and you have no right to go without it. You have been ordained to go forth and build up the kingdom to a certain extent. No man ever preached a gospel discourse, nor ever will, unless he does it by revelation. You will do it by the Holy Ghost, or when you tell the history of the gospel, the gospel will not be there. It has got to be done by revelation or the gospel you have not got, and when you preach, the people will still be left without the gospel. There never was a prophet on the earth that dictated to the people, but he dictated their temporal affairs as well as spiritual. It is the right of an individual to get revelations to guide himself. It is the right of the head of a family to get revelations to guide and govern his family. It is the right of an elder when he has built up a church to get revelations to guide and lead that people until he leads them and delivers them up to his superiors. An elder will always be a little in advance of those whom he has raised up if he is faithful.'

Self-Guidance by Revelation.

      He [President Young] next showed how the saints are delivered up in their progress from those who give them up to the high council, and from the high council to the prophet, and from the prophet to the son, the elder brother, and from the son to his father. (Then continued)-

The Keys of Leadership not Taken from Joseph.

      'Are the keys of the kingdom taken from Joseph? Oh no; well then he still lives. He that believes in Jesus as Joseph did, they will never die. They may lay down their lives, but they still hold the keys. You are not going to be led without revelation. The Prophet has stepped behind the veil and you have the right to obtain revelations for your own salvation. Who stood next to the Prophet when he was here. You have all acknowledged that the Twelve were the Presidents of the whole church when Joseph was not; and now he has stepped behind the veil, he is not here, and the Twelve are the Presidents of the whole church. When did Joseph become a Prophet? I can tell you, when he became an Apostle. Years and years before he had the right of holding the keys of the Aaronic priesthood, he was a Prophet, even before he was baptized. There has been a perfect flood of revelation poured from this stand all the time and you did not know it. Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, that he lived and died a Prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of anti-Christ.

The Test of Fellowship.

Hyrum Smith Ordained to Take the Prophet's Office.

      'It is the test of our fellowship to believe and confess that Joseph lived and died a Prophet of God in good standing; and I don't want anyone to fellowship the Twelve who says that Joseph is fallen. If you don't know whose right it is to give revelations, I will tell you, It is I. There never has a man stood between Joseph and the Twelve, and unless we apostatize there never will. If Hyrum had lived he would not have stood between Joseph and the Twelve, but he would have stood for Joseph.-Did Joseph ordain any man to take his place? He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum, but, Hyrum fell a martyr before Joseph did. If Hyrum had lived he would have acted for Joseph, and then when we had gone up, the Twelve would have sat down at Joseph's right hand, and Hyrum on the left hand. The Bible says God hath set in the church, first Apostles, then comes Prophets, afterwards, because the keys and power of the Apostleship are greater than that of the Prophets. Sidney Rigdon cannot hold the keys without Joseph, if he had held the keys with Joseph and been faithful he would have been with us. If the Twelve do not apostatize they carry the keys of this kingdom wherever they go.'

            He [President Young] concluded by requesting all the brethren to tarry with us until all the business is through.

            The meeting adjourned by blessing from Elder Heber C. Kimball, until 2 o'clock.

[HC 6 Oct, 2 pm]

[HC 288-293]

[John Taylor]

[HC 7:288-293]

Elder John Taylor's Discourse

      Two o'clock p.m.-The meeting was opened as usual by singing; and prayer by Elder W. W. Phelps. After which Elder John Taylor arose and addressed the people. He said it was with peculiar feelings that he arose to address the congregation.

Adherence to Principles Given by Revelation.

      'This is the first general conference' [he said], 'that has been held, where your beloved Prophet and Patriarch are not present. When I look at the many difficulties and severe trials we have passed through it fills me with peculiar feelings. I feel happy to see that the people still seem determined to hold on to those principles which have been given to us through revelation. Nothing shall separate us from those principles which we have imbibed, neither life nor death. By the voice of Jehovah we have been sustained and will be sustained so long as we put our trust in him. We have not followed 'cunningly devised fables', but those principles which have come from God. So long as we are sustained and upheld by the arm of Jehovah, we shall stand: mobs may rage, and the rulers may imagine vain things; but God has said, touch not mine anointed and do my people no harm; and if harm does befall them, woe to that man by whom it comes. If our Prophets have been taken, they are gone to plead our cause before the Father. And if we are deprived of their persons, presence and counsel, that is no reason why we should be deprived of the counsel of God to direct us in all our movements whilst pressing on our journey here below. We are in possession of the same principles, the same priesthood, the same medium of communication and intelligence, and of those things which will not only secure our happiness here, but hereafter. When we speak of these matters, we speak of things which we know assuredly, and although our Prophet and Patriarch are taken, all things pertaining to our salvation will roll on and progress with as great rapidity, and can be as effectually secured and accomplished as if they (Joseph and Hyrum) were here themselves. God has secured to us those things in relation to our salvation which have been in his bosom since the world began. He has in his providence seen fit to call our brethren to himself; but he has left others to take their places, who can teach us principles and lead us to those things whereby we may ultimately be clothed with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life. If we had built upon a false foundation we might have made a mistake in relation to our gathering together to be instructed; but we had not; our present revelations agree with the past. The prophets said that the people would gather together, 'those who had made a covenant with God by sacrifice', and the word and purpose of God must stand unchanged, they do not rest upon any mere casualty. Did the Prophet ever tell us that if a certain man should happen to die we should scatter abroad? No! no such thing ever emanated from the lips of God. We assembled together to fulfill the revelations of the Great Jehovah, to bring about the dispensation of the fulness of times, to build up a Zion to the Most High; that he might be glorified. We assembled here to bring about great events, to fulfill the things spoken of by the prophets and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the everlasting kingdom of God. Shall we then be led about by the foolish notions of any man? No! we will not, but we will accomplish those things which are commanded us. We will not be diverted from our course, though earth and hell oppose. Shall we fear the puny arm of man, or the prating of a wretched mobocrat? No! What have we to fear? We have nothing but God to fear.

Perpetuation of the Plan of Salvation.

Hopes of the Saints Beyond the Grave.

Expectation of Tribulation.

      'It is true we have not much to live for, and if we have no hope beyond the grave we should be of all men most miserable. We are oppressed, and slandered and persecuted all the day long; all that I care for is to do the will of God, and secure to myself all those blessings which the gospel will warrant me. I have been brought to the gates of death, but I don't fear it; I care nothing about it. You feel as I do in relation to these matters, for your conduct has proven it during the late difficulties. I know that the majority of the people are endeavoring to serve God with all their hearts, and are they not prepared to die? There is nothing in death we have to fear; it is not half as much to die as it is to be persecuted all the day long. Our great object then is to accomplish the thing that we set out for. When we gathered together we expected to meet tribulation; the elders that preached to you told you this or else they did not do their duty. We have been told there would be earthquakes in divers places, and pestilence, and war, and persecution, and distress, and famine. Do these things move us? If the bud is so bitter I wonder what the fruit will be. Don't you expect to be worse off than you are now. John saw an innumerable company and wanted to know where they came from; it was told to him that they are they which came out of great tribulation. That is the path we have to tread. The scripture says: 'woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you'; but that curse has never come upon us, for there are some few here and there who will not speak well of us. But "blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for Christ's sake.' Do you think there is any more evil that they have not said? If there is, let it come. What is it that makes you to be evil spoken of? you used to have a good name and reputation where you resided; what is the reason you are now so much spoken against? You have dared to believe the gospel; you have dared to obey it; and that is the reason why the world hates you. I know there is not a better set of men than these by which I am surrounded; I know there is not a more virtuous set of people on the earth, and yet all manner of evil is spoken of you. Shall we cry and go mourning all day long? No, we will rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is our reward in heaven. I feel to rejoice; we have cause to rejoice for all manner of evil is spoken against us falsely, and I will say hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. What did we know of God, of religion, of heaven or hell, until it was made known to us through this gospel? We knew nothing. Why are we taking so much pains to build that Temple? That we may fulfill certain ordinances, and receive certain endowments and secure to ourselves an inheritance in the eternal world. Every man, woman and child within the sound of my voice, are interested in the building of that Temple. We know very little as a people yet, we don't know so much as the former day saints. The Savior said to his disciples, 'whither I go ye know, and the way ye know'; but how many of you know the locality of the Savior and the way to go to him? I know there are some here who know how to save themselves and their families, and it is this which occupies their attention all the day long, and it was this which occupied the attention of our beloved Prophet. Abraham obtained promises through the gospel, from God, for himself and his posterity. There were some upon this continent who also obtained promises, in consequence of which the Book of Mormon came forth. The first thing we have got to do is to build the Temple, where we can receive those blessings which we so much desire. Never mind mobocrats, but let us do what God has commanded us. You that are living at a distance, don't fear these cursed scoundrels; we are all in the hands of God; we are all the servants of God; and we are going forth to do the things of God.'

High Standing of the Saints of the New Dispensation.

To Build the Temple the First Duty.

 

      He [Elder Taylor] exhorted the saints to be virtuous, humble and faithful, and concluded by blessing the saints.

Baptism for the Dead and Tithing.

      He said further, in relation to the baptisms for the dead, that it would be better for the saints to go on and build the Temple before we urge our baptisms too much. There are cases which require being attended to, and there are provisions made for them; but as a general thing he would advise them not to be in too great a hurry. He said one of the clerks had asked whether any should be baptized who had not paid their tithing; it is our duty to pay our tithing, one-tenth of all we possess, and then one-tenth of our increase, and a man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. It is as easy for a man who has ten thousand dollars to pay one thousand, as it is for a man who has but a little to pay one-tenth. It is our duty to pay our tithing. If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends. It is a man's duty to attend to these things. The poor are not going to be deprived of these blessings because they are poor; no, God never reaps where he has not sown. This command is harder for the rich than the poor; a man who has one million dollars, if he should give one hundred thousand, he would think he was beggared forever. The Savior said, how hardly do they that have riches enter the kingdom of heaven.

[George Miller]

[HC 7:293]

Bishop Miller's Remarks

      Bishop Miller arose to say that on yesterday the bishops had to go in debt to get some wood to save some poor from suffering; and they wanted to take up a collection to pay the amount; he was opposed to taking up a collection in the congregation, but necessity required it on this occasion.

            After the collection was taken up the conference adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

[HC 7 Oct, 10 am*]

[HC 7:293-

            Monday, October 7th, 1844, 10 o'clock, a.m.-Conference met pursuant to adjournment, and opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt, after which President Young arose to exhort the saints to keep their minds on the business before them, and not to be in a hurry to get away.

Sustaining of the Several Authorities of the Church

            The first business that we shall attend to will be to present the several quorums before the conference, for the purpose of taking an expression of the brethren and sisters, whether they will sustain the officers according to their several appointments.

            I shall therefore give way, and I am to hear motions and present them to the conference for their action: wherefore,

            It was moved by Elder Heber C. Kimball, that we as a church endeavor to carry out the principles and measures heretofore adopted and laid down by Joseph Smith as far as in us lies, praying Almighty God to help us to do it. This motion was put to the conference by President Young and carried unanimously.

Policies of Joseph and Hyrum Smith Sustained by Vote.

            President Young said by way of explanation that this is as much as to say that we receive and acknowledge Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God; being called of God and maintaining his integrity and acceptance until death.

            Elder Heber C. Kimball then moved that we carry out all the measures of Hyrum Smith, a Prophet and Patriarch in the church, so far as in us lies [the power], by the help of God.

            This motion was also carried unanimously.

            President Young said, this is an acknowledgment that he lived approved of God and died a martyr for the truth.
Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young the president of the Quorum of the Twelve, as one of the Twelve and the First Presidency of the Church.

            This motion was duly seconded, and put to the church by Elder John Smith (Uncle of the Prophet) and carried unanimously.

            Moved by President John Smith and seconded, that we receive Elder Heber C. Kimball as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Hyde as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Parley P. Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder William Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Orson Pratt as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John E. Page as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Willard Richards as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder Wilford Woodruff as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that we receive Elder John Taylor as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that we receive Elder George A. Smith as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained as such by the church. Carried unanimously.

            Moved by Elder H. C. Kimball, that Elder Amasa Lyman stand in his lot. The motion was seconded.

An Explanation by President Young.

            President Young said by way of explanation that Elder Amasa Lyman is one of the Twelve, just in the same relationship as he sustained to the First Presidency. He is one in our midst and a counselor with us.

            The motion was then presented and carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, and after some discussion, carried unanimously that Elder Lyman Wight be sustained in his office to fill the place of Elder David W. Patten [martyred at Crooked River Battle, Missouri], but not to take his crown, for that, as the Lord has said, no man can take.

            Elder Snow moved that George Miller be received as president of the high priests' quorum. Carried unanimously.

            President John Smith moved that William Marks be sustained in his calling as president of this [Nauvoo] stake.

            Elder W. W. Phelps objected inasmuch as the high council had dropped him from their quorum.

            Elder S. Bent explained and said the reason why the high council dropped Elder Marks, was because he did not acknowledge the authority of the Twelve, but the authority of Elder Rigdon.

Difference of Effect in Dropping Officers from Positions.

            President Young said that a president of a stake could be dropped without taking his standing from him in the church. But not so with the First Presidency or the Twelve. A president of a stake is only called for the time being, if you drop him he will fall back into the high priests' quorum.

            The motion was then put, but there were only two votes. The contrary vote was put and carried by an overwhelming majority.

            Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder John Smith stand as the president of this stake. Carried unanimously.

            President Young then said, the Macedonia church must select their own man for a president, as Elder John Smith is coming here.

            President John Smith moved that Elder Charles C. Rich be one of his council. Carried unanimously.

The High Council.

            Moved and seconded, that S. Bent, James Allred, Dunbar Wilson, George W. Harris, Wm. Huntington, Sen., Newel Knight, Alpheus Cutler, Aaron Johnson, Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Ezra T. Benson, and David Fullmer, be sustained as the high council. Carried unanimously.

The First Council of Seventy.

Elder H. C. Kimball moved that Elder Joseph Young stand as First President over all the quorums of the seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Levi W. Hancock be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Daniel S. Miles be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Zerah Pulsipher, be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Josiah Butterfield be cut of from the church. Carried unanimously.

            President Young showed that it was because he had got a little money, and was lifted up.

            Moved and seconded, that Henry Harriman be sustained as one of the Presidents of Seventies. Carried unanimously.

            President Young said, that the Seventies [First Council] had dropped James Foster, and cut him off, and we need not take an action upon his case.

            Moved and seconded, that Jedediah M. Grant take the place of J. Butterfield in the Quorum of Seventies. Carried unanimously.

The Bishopric.

            Elder H. C. Kimball moved that N. K. Whitney stand as our first bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that George Miller stand as second bishop. Carried unanimously.

The Elders

            Moved and seconded, that Samuel Williams retain his office as president of [in] the elders' quorum. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Jesse Baker and Joshua Smith be sustained as his counselors. Carried unanimously.

The Lesser Priesthood.

            Moved and seconded, that Stephen M. Farnsworth retain his office as president of the priests. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that E. Averett retain his standing as president of the teachers. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded, that Jonathan H. Hale, Isaac Higbee, John Murdock, David Evans, Hezekiah Peck, Daniel Garns, Jacob Foutz, Tarlton Lewis, and Israel Calkins, be sustained as bishops in their several wards. Carried unanimously,

[Parley P. Pratt]

Elder Parley P. Pratt's Discourse

            President Young being fatigued gave place for Elder Parley P. Pratt, who got up to preach his 'old sermon', [not said in derision] viz.

            President Young advised the saints to come after intermission prepared to tarry till evening if necessary. They [the authorities] have much instruction to give and want an opportunity to give it. He advised the saints to call and get Orson Pratt's Mormon Almanac which is something new. After some few exhortations he closed the meeting till 2 o'clock by blessing.

A Rigdonite Excommunicated.

            Two o'clock p.m.-Meeting opened by singing, and prayer by Elder John Taylor, after which Elder Taylor presented a communication from Mr. Small declaring his full faith in Elder Rigdon's doctrine. Moved and seconded, that he be cut off from the church. Carried unanimously.

[Heber C. Kimball]

[HC 7:299-300]

Elder Heber C. Kimball's Discourse

The Resurrection

      Elder Heber C. Kimball addressed the congregation on the principles of salvation by the celestial law. He went on to show the order of the resurrection and that there are different orders or degrees, wherever death finds us the resurrection will take hold of us. 'We desire to obtain a fulness of celestial glory, but many will be disappointed. It is for this that we pray every day that the Lord will spare our lives that we may obtain it. President Joseph Smith never rested till he had endowed the Twelve with all the power of the priesthood, because he was about to pass within the veil. He designed that we should give it to you and you cannot be saved without it. You cannot obtain these things until that house [The Temple] is built. I and my brethren are willing to do all that lays in our power to finish that house for your benefit, that you may go where Joseph is gone. We have got to carry out Joseph's measures and you have got to assist us. When Jesus was upon the earth his time was spent in endowing the Twelve Apostles that they might do the things he had left undone and carry out his measures, and upon the same principle we carry out Joseph's measures. We have no rest-don't sleep half as much as you do. We need your prayers.

All Evil to be put Away.

      'It is necessary to put away all wickedness from our midst, all grogshops and bad houses. Drunkenness and such things will be our overthrow if we are ever overthrown. The best way to put these things away is to never frequent such places. It is necessary for us to put away all this frolicking and dancing over the blood of the Prophet, where it was drenched by the blood from the coffin. When the Prophet had a dance at his house he said everything against it he could, and now men go and practice the same things. Shall we put these things away? I say yes. We have got an ungodly race here among us who are leading our young people away. They will open their doors and let men go in and say everything against the Twelve and the church they are capable of. I never frequent such places; I cast them far from me. Are you not under the same obligations and responsibility, ye elders, high priests, teachers, deacons and members?'

      He then went on to show that the saints could not obtain the blessings they want until the Temple is finished. We want all to pay their tithing that they may receive the blessings.

President Young Presents a Patriarch

            President Young arose and said that it had been moved and seconded that Asael Smith should be ordained to the office of patriarch. He went on to show that the right to the office of Patriarch to the whole church belonged to William Smith as a legal right by descent. Uncle Asael [however] ought to receive the office of [a] patriarch in the church.

            The motion was put and carried unanimously.

The Principle of Tithing Expounded.

[President Young]

            President Young wanted to say a few words on the principle of tithing. 'There has been so much inquiry it becomes irksome: the law is for a man to pay one-tenth of all he possesses for the erecting of the House of God, the spread of the gospel, and the support of the priesthood. When a man comes into the church he wants to know if he must reckon his clothing, bad debts, lands, etc. It is the law to give one-tenth of what he has got, and then one-tenth of his increase or one-tenth of his time. A man comes and says he was sick six months and what is required of me? Why go and pay your tithing for the time you are able to work. Some say they have been preaching and want to know if that doesn't pay their tithing? Well, it will if you want to have it so.' He then went on to recommend the brethren not to sell their grain but to bring it into the city and store it, and not take it to Warsaw.

Reference to Lyman Wight's and James Emmett's Going Away.

            He next referred to Lyman Wight's going away because he was a coward, but he will come back and his company, and James Emmett and his company will come back. How easy would it be for the Lord if an army of mobs was to come within one mile of this place, to turn the northwest winds upon them and with snow, hail and rain, make them so that they would be glad to take care of themselves and leave us alone. He then referred to the Missourians when Joseph and others went to jail, snapping their guns at the brethren but they would not go off, etc. The Lord never let a prophet fall on the earth until he had accomplished his work: and the Lord did not take Joseph until he had finished his work, and it is the greatest blessing to Joseph and Hyrum God could bestow to take them away, for they had suffered enough. They are not the only martyrs that will have to die for the truth. There are men before me today who will be martyrs, and who will have to seal their testimony with their blood. I believe this people is the best people of their age that ever lived on the earth, the church of Enoch not excepted. We want you to come on with your tithes and offerings to build this Temple, and when it is finished we want you to spend a year in it and we will tell you things you never thought of.

            The Twelve then proceeded to ordain Asael Smith as follows:

The Ordination of a Patriarch-Asael Smith

            'Brother Asael Smith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we lay our hands upon your head to ordain you to the office of Patriarch in this last Church of Jesus Christ, and we bestow upon you the keys and power, and the right and authority of blessing as a patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ-and we say unto thee, thou shalt be a father to many. Thou shalt feel the Spirit of the Lord more than thou hast ever done before. Thy heart shall be enlarged, and it shall be thy delight to bless thy family, and thy posterity, and the fatherless and widow; and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon you to predict upon the heads of those on whom you lay your hands, things that shall be hereafter even in the eternal world. We ask thee O Lord in the name of Jesus Christ that thou wouldst send thy Spirit upon this thy servant, that his heart may circumscribe the wisdom and knowledge of this world, and be enlarged so as to comprehend the things of eternity. We say unto thee, thou art blessed: thou art of the royal blood, and of thy lineage shall arise great and powerful men in the earth. We seal upon you the powers we have mentioned with the keys thereof upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ. Thou art the anointed of the Lord, one who shall stand in the latter days and be a pillar in the church of the living God, and one in whom the saints of God may trust to ask counsel. These blessings we seal upon you in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.'

The Business of the Conference for October 8th Outlined

            President Young then said, we want the conference to continue tomorrow for business. We want the high priests' quorum together. President Miller will organize them on the right of the stand.

            The Presidents of Seventies will organize all the seventies. We want to select a number of high priests to go through the states to preside over congressional districts. Then we want to have the elders' quorum organized that we can take out of the elders' quorum and fill up the seventies. We want all the seventies to be here and their presidents. We want them organized and begin to fill up the second quorum and then the third and the fourth to the tenth. The business of the day will be to ordain the Presidents of the Seventies and then fill the quorums of seventies from the elders' quorums, and select men from the quorum of high priests to go abroad and preside.

            The conference then adjourned until tomorrow at nine o'clock, by blessing from President John Smith.

[HC 8 Oct, 9 am]

[HC 7:303-304]

Remarks of Elder John Taylor on Economic Policy to be Inaugurated At Nauvoo

            Tuesday Morning, October 8th, 1844.-Previous to opening the services of the day, Elder John Taylor made some remarks on our temporal economy. He proceeded to say that we have the means of wealth within ourselves.

[John Taylor]

[HC 7:303-304]

      'We have mechanics of every description from every country; men who are capable of carrying through any branch of manufacture. We want capital to commence with; but it is not necessary to wait for a very large amount, for it is safer to go to work with small means, than with an immense sum; for a rich man is very apt to overlook himself, and for want of proper calculation often scatters his means without accomplishing any benefit to the community. We can be made rich by our own enterprise and labor. Look at Great Britain: how have they obtained it? They have obtained it by encouraging their own manufacturers. It is true the poor are oppressed there; but it is not the manufacturers that oppress the people. We are not going to start anything on a large scale; our calculation is to have the saints manufacture everything we need in Nauvoo, and all kinds of useful articles to send abroad through the states and bring money here. Franklin says, 'time is money', and we want to spend our time in something that is useful and beneficial. Since we came here we have labored under every disadvantage. We have purchased Nauvoo, and much of the surrounding country, which has taken all our money. We have no need now to purchase more land; we now want to hit upon a plan to enable you to take your hands out of your pockets and build work shops and other places of industry. We have silk weavers, and cotton weavers, and every kind of mechanics that can be thought of. We want these to come together, and we want those who have money to lay it out and find them work. We have men here who can take the raw silk and from that carry it through every process and manufacture the shawls and dresses our women wear. We want to purchase raw cotton and manufacture it into wearing apparel, etc. If we can manufacture cotton, silk and woolen goods, we can keep our money at home; we will encourage home manufacture, as the Quakers do. We want all the cutlers to get together and manufacture our knives and forks, etc, etc. I know that we, as a community, can manufacture every thing we need. But I must now desist as the time to commence meeting has arrived.'

Organization of the High Priests and the Seventy

Elder Heber C. Kimball now appeared and took charge of the meeting, which was opened by singing and prayer by Elder W. W. Phelps.

      Elder George A. Smith moved that all in the elders' quorum under the age of thirty-five should be ordained into the seventies', if they are in good standing, and worthy, and will accept it. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

      Elder Heber C. Kimball stated that President Joseph Young's wife was very sick and he wished to have her blessed, that brother Young might tarry and perform the duties of his office, and if the congregation would bless her let them say amen, and all the congregation said, amen.

      He then recommended all those elders who are under the age of thirty-five, and also all the priests, teachers, deacons and members, who are recommended to be ordained, to withdraw and receive an ordination into the seventies, which was done.

Special Mission Appointed to the High Priests

            President Brigham Young then appeared and proceeded to select men from the high priests' quorum, to go abroad in all the congressional districts of the United States, to preside over the branches of the church, as follows:

David Evans                                   Joseph Holbrook
 A. O. Smoot                                 John Lawson
 Edson Whipple                             Abel Lamb
 Harvey Green                               J. H. Hale
 J. S. Fullmer                                 G. D. Watt
 J. G. Divine                                  J. W. Johnson
 J. H. Johnson                                L. T. Coons
 Lester Brooks                               J. L. Robinson
 J. B. Noble                                    Howard Coray
 Rufus Fisher                                 M. Sirrine
 D. B. Huntington                          Pelatiah Brown
 Jefferson Hunt                              E. H. Groves
 Lorenzo Snow                              G. P. Dykes
 William Snow                               Willard Snow
 Noah Packard                               Wm. Felshaw
 A. L. Tippets                                 Winslow Farr
 J. C. Kingsbury                             Shadrach Roundy
 Jacob Foutz                                   S. B. Stoddard
 Peter Haws                                   E. D. Woolley
 Thomas Gates                               Solomon Hancock
 Simeon Carter                               Abraham Palmer
 Albert Brown                                James Brown
 Levi Gifford                                  R. McBride
 Elijah Fordham                             W. D. Pratt
 Edward Fisher                              Martin H. Peck
 Franklin D. Richards                    Morris Phelps
 Isaac Clark                                    D. McArthur
 J. S. Holman                                 Archibald Patten
 Wandell Mace                               L. H. Ferry
 Charles Thompson                        Charles Crismon
 John Murdock                              Lyman Stoddard
 John Chase                                   Arnold Stevens
 A. L. Lamoreaux                           David Fullmer
 E. T. Benson                                 Joseph Allen
 Thomas Grover                             Andrew Perkins
 C. L. Whitney                               Daniel Carter
 Addison Everett                            Wm. G. Perkins
 Moses Clawson                            Graham Coltrin
 William Parks                               D. H. Redfield
 George Colson                              Titus Billings
 H. W. Miller                                 Harvey Olumstead
 Isaac Higbee                                 Daniel Stanton
 Daniel Garn

Explanation of the Mission

            President Young explained the object for which these high priests were being sent out, and informed them that it was not the design to go and tarry six months and then return, but to go and settle down, where they can take their families and tarry until the Temple is built, and then come and get their endowments, and return to their families and build up a stake as large as this.

            President Young then selected from the elders' quorums some to be ordained high priests, whose names for the want of room are omitted for the present.

            He also selected a number more to go into the seventies after which the remainder of the morning was spent in calling out the several quorums of seventies, and giving charges to the several presidents.

            Brother Joseph L. Heywood was ordained under the hands of Elder Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Parley P. Pratt, to be a bishop to the church in Quincy, Illinois.

            Previous to adjournment the Presidents of the Seventies ordained upwards of 400 into the quorums of the seventies, and the presidents of the high priests' quorum ordained 40 into their quorum.

            The meeting then adjourned until 2 o'clock p.m.

[HC 8 Oct, 2 pm]

[HC 7:307-308]

Instructions to Seventies and Elders

            Two o'clock p.m.-Conference resumed business. Those presidents of the seventies who were present and had not received an ordination to the presidency over the seventies, were called out and ordained, under the hands of President Joseph Young and others.

            The remainder of the afternoon was spent in filling up the quorums of seventies, and at the close, eleven quorums were filled and properly organized, and about 40 elders organized as a part of the twelfth quorum.

[President Brigham Young]

            President Brigham Young then said that the elders young men who are capable of preaching, will be ordained; 'but do not be anxious. You must now magnify your calling. Elders who go to borrowing horses or money, and running away with it, will be cut off from the church without any ceremony. They will not have as much lenity as heretofore. The seventies will have to be subject to their presidents and council. We do not want any man to go to preaching until he is sent. If an elder wants to go to preaching let him go into the seventies. You are all apostles to the nations to carry the gospel; and when we send you to build up the kingdom, we will give you the keys, and power and authority. If the people will let us alone we will convert the world, and if they persecute us we will do it the quicker. I would exhort all who go from this place to do right and be an honor to the cause. Inasmuch as you will go forth and do right you shall have more of the spirit than you have heretofore. We have had a good conference; we have had beautiful weather and no accidents; and if you will go and do honor to the Lord for this, say amen;' and all the people said amen,

            On motion the conference adjourned until the 6th of April next, at 10 o'clock a.m.

            Meeting dismissed by prayer from Elder Heber C. Kimball,

[Signed] Brigham Young, President.

Wm. Clayton, Clerk.'

 

1845

6-8 Apr 1845, Special Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.
[Times and Seasons 6:869-871]

[T&S 6 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 6:869-871]

Conference Minutes.

Special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints At Nauvoo April 6 1845; It Being the First Day of the Sixteenth Year.

            The choir sang "Hark the Jubilee" at quarter past 10 o'clock, while the assembly was collecting.

            Present -- President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, John Taylor, John E. Page, Willard Richards, and Amasa Lyman of the quorum of the Twelve-Father John Smith, president of the stake-Bishops Whitney and Miller-the high council-and about twenty-two thousand persons.

            Elder Kimball called the meeting to order at half past 10, A. M.; and the choir sung the thirty-first hymn; followed by prayer by Elder Kimball; the choir then sang "Come all ye sons of Zion."

            The morning was spent in teaching, on the baptism for the dead, by President Young which will be hereafter reported in full.* Conference adjourned until two o'clock.

[Brigham Young]

[T&S 6:953-957]

SPEECH.

Delivered By President B. Young in the City of Joseph, April 6th 1845.

      I hope there may be faith enough in this congregation of Saints to still the wind, and strengthen me so that I may be heard by all of these vast assemblage of people: and in order that my voice may extend, and be heard by all it will be necessary for the brethren and sisters to be quiet as possible, and I will do my best to speak that you may hear and understand.

      We shall devote this day to preaching - exhortation - singing - praying and blessing children, (such as have not been blessed,) and all those who have not been able to come to meeting: such women may be, who have not had their children blessed, and have the privilege this afternoon.

      Last Sunday I proposed to the Saints, to speak to day on the subject of the baptism for the dead in connection with other items, that the Saints may be satisfied - that all doubt and darkness may be removed with regard to certain principles of the doctrine of redemption.

      But before I undertake to explain or give correct views upon this important subject, I would say to all those who are satisfied with all the knowledge they have, and want no more: to you I do not expect to be an apostle this day; but for those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, I pray, that they may be field and satisfied with the intelligence of God, even his glory.

      What I have stated in the winter past relative to the baptism for the dead, has been matter of discussion among the elders, and among the brethren and sisters in general, but I will endeavor to show to this congregation of Saints the propriety of it; and that the people could not run at haphazard, and without order to attend to this ordinance and at the same time it be valid, and recognized in heaven.

      We are building a house at present unto the Lord in the which we expect to attend to the fulfillment of this doctrine: you all believe that this is a doctrine revealed by God to his servant Joseph. Admitting this to be the fact, that he has revealed through him a plan by which we may bring to life the dead, and bless them with a great and glorious exaltation in the presence of the Almighty with ourselves; still we want to know how to do these things right; to do them in a manner that shall be acceptable to the Almighty, if otherwise he will say unto us at the last day, "ye have not known me right, because of your slothfulness and your wickedness depart from me for I know you not." O ye Latter-day Saints! I don't want one of you to be caught in that snare, but that you may do things right and thus be enabled to make your calling and election sure. I might say the plan of salvation is perfect of itself - it is a system that can save, redeem, honor and glorify all who are willing to apply themselves to it according to the pattern - it is a palm of salvation to all men both male and female; it has been handed down, and known from the days of Adam, and those who will open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their hearts to understand, they will acknowledge at once that it is a perfect system; but those whose eyes, ears and hearts are shut up by incorrect tradition and prejudice, they acknowledge by their lives, by their practices, by their walk an conversation, and by their actions in general, that they do not understand it, ye they plead the atonement, and say we believe and he will save you; yet at the same time the bible, reason, common sense and every other righteous principle positively testifies that there must be means made use of to put you in possession of the blessings of the atonement, as well as any other blessing.

      I believe the plan of salvation is comeatable, and may be understood and the inhabitants of the world who will come to God can be made acquainted with all the ordinances and blessings by which they may know how to save themselves and their friends, as we know how to build a house, or as the mechanic knows how to make any piece of mechanism; but mechanism is not to be compared with the perfection of the machine of salvation or with the beauty of the plan of redemption: it is the most perfect system of any other creature under heaven.

      The gospel is adapted to the capacity of all the human family, whether they be high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, black or white, young or old, it is adapted to their capacities, all can understand and be saved: no comparison of its purity can be made; you may investigate the laws of nations, and gather together all the laws of the kingdoms of this world, and make a selection of the best part of the purest principles of the laws of justice and equity, and they would not compare, nor would there be any resemblance to the purity of the laws of heaven. He who gives that law is perfect, and reduces it to the capacity of finite beings in order that they may understand it and then receive more: thus the infinite being gives line upon line, reveals principle after principle, and the mind of the finite being expands, and when he has learned all his life he will then begin to see, that he has not yet entered upon the threshold of the eternal things that are to be gained by the children of men. I have now about got through with my preliminaries, and shall occupy your attention with some items in relation to the doctrine of the baptism for the dead.

      I do not say that you have not been taught and learned the principle; you have heard it taught from this stand from time to time, by many of the elders, and for the mouth of your beloved and martyred prophet Jose;h;therefore my course will not be to prove the doctrine, but refer to those things against which you minds are revolting. Consequently I would say to this vast congregation of Saints, when we enter in to the Temple of God to receive our washings, our anointings, our endowments and baptisms for the saving of ourselves, and for the saving of our dead: that you never will see a man go forth to be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man. If your minds should be in any dubiety with regard to this, call to mind a principle already advanced, that when an infinite being gives a law to his finite creatures, he has to descend to the capacity of those who receive his law, when the doctrine of baptism for the dead was first given, this church was in its infancy, and was not capable of receiving all the knowledge of God in its highest degree; this you all believe. I would keep this one thing in your minds, and that is, that there is none, no not one of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, that ever received the fullness of the celestial law at the first of the Lord's commencing to reveal it unto them.

      The doctrine of baptism for the dead you have been taught for some time, and the first account that I heard of it was while I was in England; it was there I got the glad tidings that he living could go forth and be baptized for those who had fallen asleep. This doctrine I believed before anything was said or done about it in this church; it made me glad when I heard it was revealed through his servant Joseph, and that I could go forth, and officiate for my fathers, for my mothers,and for my ancestors, to the latest generation who have not had the privilege of helping themselves; that they can yet arise to the state of glory and exaltation as we that live, have a privilege of rising to ourselves. The next year I came home and requested Brother Joseph to preach upon the subject, which he did, I also heard many of the elders preach upon the same subject.
There has been many things said, and notions imbibed concerning this doctrine. Allow me to advance an idea, and it is this; except we attend to this ordinance according to the law of heaven in all things it will not be valid or be of any benefit either to the living or the dead; when it was first revealed all the order of it was not made known, afterwards it was made known, that records, clerks, and one or two witnesses were necessary or else it will be of no value to the saints.

      The Lord has led this people all the while in this way, by giving them here a little and there a little, thus he increases their wisdom, and he that receives a little and is thankful for that shall receive more and more, and more even to the fullness of the eternal Godhead: there is no stopping place, but the weak capacity of man cannot understand it unless the spirit of the eternal God is in their hearts, and then they can comprehend but a little of it. In this is the glory, power, and excellency of the gospel of the Son of God to poor weak finite man. Look, O ye Latter-day Saints, at the nations of the earth, Christendom, look at them; but look at ourselves (although we have received a great deal) yet who is there here that has seen Jesus Christ, that have beheld angels, that have conversed with the spirits of just men made perfect, and the assembly of the church of Enoch, and with God the judge of all? who is there here that has been caught up to the third heavens and gazed upon the order and glory of the celestial world? don't you see brethren we have yet a great deal to learn, but is it not our privilege to be filled with all the fullness of Godliness? (cries of yes.) When you receive all that is for you, you will say O the blindness of Christendom! O the ignorance of the world!! even the Latter-day Saints that have assembled themselves together at the April conference in the year eighteen hundred and forty-five, will say, what am I?

      Joseph in his life time did not receive every thing connected with the doctrine of redemption, but he has left the key with those who understand how to obtain and teach to this great people all that is necessary for their salvation and exaltation in the celestial kingdom of our God. We have got to learn how to be faithful with the few things, you know the promise is, if we are faithful in a few things we shall be made rulers over many things. If we improve upon the small things, greater will be given unto us.

      I have said that a man cannot be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man, and it be valid. I have not used any argument as yet; I want now to use an argument upon this subject, it is a very short one; and I will do it by asking this congregation, if God would call a person to commence a thing that would not have power and ability to carry it out? Would he do it? (no.) Well then, what has been our course on former occasions? Why, here goes our beloved sisters, and they are baptized in the river or in the fount for their uncles, for their fathers, for their grandfathers and great grandfathers.

      Well, now I will take you and confirm you for your uncles, for your fathers, for your grandfathers, and let you go; after a while here comes our beloved sisters, saying. I want to be ordained for my uncle, and for my grandfather, and great grand-father; I want my father ordained to the high priesthood, and my grandfather, I want to be patriarch, and you may ordain me a prophet for my uncle! What would you think about all that, sisters, come now you have been baptized and confirmed for your father, wont you be ordained for him? You could cast on a stocking and finish it. - You could take wool and card and spin it and make it into cloth, and then make it into garments. A person that commences a work and has not ability and power to finish it, only leaves the unfinished remains as a monument of folly. We will not commence a work we cannot finish: but let us hearken to the voice of the spirit and give heed to his teachings and we will make ourselves perfect in all things.

      I would now call your attention to some of the saying of the apostle Paul. I hope you will not stumble at them. Paul says, "nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman. neither the woman without the man, in the Lord, for as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the women, but all things of God." The same Apostle also says, "The woman is the glory of the man." Now brethren, these are Paul's sayings, not Joseph Smith's spiritual wife system sayings.

      And I would say, as no man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can be perfect without a man to lead her, I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth; if he wishes to be saved he cannot be saved without a woman by his side. This is spiritual wives.

      Lest these my sisters should think I give power into the hands of their husbands to abuse them, I would say there is no man has right to govern his wife and family unless he does it after the order of the church of Christ, unless he does it upon this principle he need not expect to receive a celestial glory. He that does not govern as Jesus governs his church, breaks his bonds and solemn obligations to his family.

      Now ye elders of Israel will you go and beat your wives? will you neglect and abuse them? You may ask, is that anything about being baptized for the dead, or the laws of the celestial kingdom?

      With regard to the laws of the celestial kingdom, I say it always was, and is, and always will be, a system of beauty and order. When the angle visited Cornelius, and commanded him to send men to Joppa for Peter, who should tell him words whereby he and his house should be saved. Would it not have saved a good deal of trouble if the angel had told these words to Cornelius? It certainly would, but it was not the angel's privilege, it remained for Peter to do, because it was Peter's calling; it was Peters's duty. In this case we see the principle of order. Again, in the case of the Savior, did he offer to baptism Paul? No, he had to go to Damascus, to a certain street, in order to find Ananias, who administered to him. Thus you see the angel honored Peter, the Savior honored Ananias by permitting them to attend to the calling they and received power to act in. So let fathers honor their families, husbands honor your wives, honor your children that they may learn to honor you; and if you come and are baptized for the father of your wife, and you want you mother baptized for, let you wife do it; give honor to her. Ananias had the glory and honor of ordaining Paul and sending him to preach. Christ had done his work, and then gave honor and glory to his servants; when the elders have done their work, let them give their wives honor, and mother, and for my sister, and save them, and I will preside over the whole of you.

      Thus let every person stand in their own order, and do that which belongs to them to do, that there may be no confusion, but let order and beauty be the characteristics of this people. I used to think that the sectarian world would certainly get to heaven for they tried hard enough. And we boys would frequently wish ourselves in heaven with our backs broke that we could not get out again. The sectarian world is just like that, they are scrambling up in the greatest confusion, saying to each other, I hope you will get to heaven, and may your back be broke that you cannot get out again. The sectarian world is just like that, they are scrambling up in the greatest confusion, saying to each other, I hop you will get to haven, and may you back be broke that you cannot get out again, and that is all they know about it.

      The religion of heaven teaches us to give every man and every woman their due, that rightly belongs to them. And he that walks up to his privilege and duty, he has honor and glory, and shall never be removed out of his place.

      I have shown other brethren and sisters that Brother Joseph did not tell them all things at once, consequently you may expect to hear and see many things you never thought of before. One thing is that we have taken down the wooden fount that was built up by the instructions of Brother Joseph. This has been a great wonder to some, and says one of the stone cutters the other day, "I wonder why Joseph did not tell us the fount should be built of stone." The man that made that speech is walking in darkness. He is a stranger to the spirit of this work, and knows nothing. In fact he does not know enough to cut a stone for the house of God. there is not a man under the face of the heavens that has one particle of the spirit about him, but knows that God talks to men according to their circumstances. God knew that old Abraham could not build a temple, therefore he said unto him, go to the mountain I shall tell thee of, and there offer up you sacrifice. He tells us to build an house here in this place, according to our means. And when we get a little more strength, he will say, go now and execute you means upon the next house we have got to build, and it is just stretch our faith until it shall become exceeding great, that we can command the elements and they will obey. And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation, (cries of amen,) and we will be far better off with regard to temporal things, when we have done, than ever we were before. If we had the means to build a fount in that house, say one of marble, the Lord would just as like as not tell us to cover it with gold just to stretch our faith. Brother Joseph said to me with regard to the fount, "I will not go into the river to be baptized for my friends, we will build a wooden fount to serve the present necessity; brethren does that satisfy you? This fount has caused the Gentile world to wonder but a sight of the next one will make a Gentile faint away. This brings to my memory a circumstance that transpired in the temple at Kirtland. A very pious lady came to see the temple, she walked up and down in the house, with her hands locked together, and after the escape of one or two of the sectarians most sanctified groans, she exclaimed, "The Lord does not like such extravagance." Poor thing, I wonder how she will walk upon the streets when they are paved with gold; she could not bear to see the temple of God adorned and beautified, and the reason was because she was full of the devil.

      I would put you on your guard against those who wear a long face, and pretend to be so holy, and so much better than every body else - They cannot look pleasant because they are full of the devil. Those who have got the forgiveness of their sins have countenances that look bright, and they will shine with the intelligence of heaven. If you don't believe it, try yourselves and then look up into the glass.

      We will have a fount that will not stink and keep us all the while cleansing it out: and we will have a pool wherein to baptism the sick, that they may recover. And when we get into the fount we will show you the priesthood and the power of it: therefore, let us be diligent in observing all the commandments of God. Put away all fears of mobs, let not these things trouble you, for I say to the people I believe myself we shall have a healthy season, and that we shall have a summer of peace. The devils will growl without, and if they could get in here they would growl, but if they do they must look out. And I dare venture to say, that there could not be found as healthy a looking congregation in all the United States as I see here this day.

      Brethren and sisters, for the sake of your dead and for the sake of yourselves, be faithful and have no feelings in your hearts against one another, but learn to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, and by so doing we will outstrip all our enemies and conquer the evil one, for know ye not that there is Zion? know ye not that the millennium has commenced? We have had Zion upon the earth this fourteen years. Peace reigns among this people which is Zion. Union and true charity dwells with this people: this is the most orderly and peaceable people upon the face of the whole earth. Well, this is Zion, and it is increasing and spreading wider and wider, and this principle of Zion, which is peace, will stretch all over the earth; that is the millennium.

      The saints will increase, and continue to increase, and virtue, love, holiness, and good principles, will continue to spread and spread and will rule the nations of the earth, and who is there that can stop its progress? None, but it will roll until there is no room for the evil; then he will be bound and shut up. The principles of the kingdom of God will prevail, from city to city, from nation to nation, until the devil shall be bound and there is no place for him. They killed the prophet Joseph for fear he would spread this principle but it will go and fill the whole earth; this is true and will come to pass as the Lord lives. Amen.

[T&S 6 Apr, 2 pm]

[T&S 6:869]

            Two o'clock P. M. Conference met pursuant to adjournment; the fore part of which was taken up by the blessing of children, but owing to the immense number it was found impossible to complete the whole, when it was accordingly dispensed with, and the remainder of the afternoon was occupied in exhortation from the stand, by Elder Page and President Young; and the conference adjourned until to-morrow at 10 o'clock A. M.

[T&S 7 Apr, 10 am*]

[T&S 6:869]

            April 7, 1845 Ten o'clock A. M. Conference met pursuant to adjournment; after the conference was seated, in consequence of the high wind, it was thought best to remove into the valley, a little south; and the whole of this immense congregation was removed, and comfortably seated in the short space of about forty minutes. The choir sang "The heavenly vision," and was followed by prayer, by Elder John Taylor, after which the choir sang another hymn. Elder Kimball then arose and stated to the congregation some of the items of business which would be necessary to attend to, during the day, viz: the building of the Temple, and the Nauvoo house; also, to take into consideration all old obligations against the church, which are pouring in like a torrent, also to ascertain the feelings of the people, in regard to sustaining the authorities of the church under the present organization.

            President Brigham Young then arose, and said he would now present the first item of business, which would be to present the authorities of the church for the approval, or disapproval of the conference; he also, said he wanted to know if the saints are satisfied that Joseph Smith lived and died as a prophet, seer, and revelator to this church. Whereupon,

            Elder Phelps moved that we accept the labors of Joseph Smith as a prophet, seer, and revelator to the nineteenth century; and that we are satisfied that he lived according to his profession, and died a martyr to the truth. Carried unanimously.

            Elder Phelps moved that we accept the labors of Hyrum Smith, believing that he lived according to his profession, and died a martyr to the truth. Carried unanimously.
                Elder Phelps moved that this conference accept the Twelve as the first presidency and leaders of this church. Carried unanimously.
                Elder George A. Smith moved that we acknowledge President Brigham Young as the president of the quorum of the Twelve apostles to this church and generation. Carried unanimously.

[Note: the manuscript minutes of the general conference of 7 April 1845 in Nauvoo show that Brigham Young was unanimously voted on and sustained as "The President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to this Church and nation, and all nations, and also as the President of the whole Church of Latter Day Saints," (51 Manuscript Minutes of Conference, 7 April 1845, in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock, Miscellaneous Meeting Minutes, and Brigham Young to Wilford Woodruff, 8 May 1845, Woodruff Papers; and Willard Richards Journal, 15 Aug. 1845, all at LDS Historical Department)]

            Elder George A. Smith moved that Heber C. Kimball be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Orson Hyde be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Parley P. Pratt be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that William Smith be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Orson Pratt be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that John E. Page be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Willard Richards be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that John Taylor be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Wilford Woodruff be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that George A. Smith be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Amasa Lyman be continued as one of the Twelve, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously .

            The chairman then observed, concerning the course of Lyman Wight, his feelings are, that we should let him remain for the present, probably hereafter there may be a time that he will hearken to counsel, and do much good which he is capable of for he is a noble minded man.

The chairman then stated that the next article of business would be, to present to the conference, the Presidency of the stake; moved and seconded that Patriarch John Smith continue in his office, as President of this stake, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Charles C. Rich be continued and sustained in his office of counsel to Father Smith. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that George Miller be continued and sustained in his office, as President of the High Priests' Quorum. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that William Snow and Noah Packard be continued and sustained in their office as counsellors to President Miller. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Samuel Bent, be continued and sustained in his office as President of the High Council. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that George W. Harris, Alpheus Cutler, William Huntington Sen., James Allred, Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Newel Knight, Lewis D. Wilson, David Fullmer, Ezra T. Benson, and Aaron Johnson, be continued and sustained in their office as members of the High Council. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Joseph Young be continued and sustained as President of the First Presidency of the Seventies. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Levi W. Hancock, Henry Herriman, Zerah Pulsipher, Jedediah M. Grant, and Daniel S. Miles be continued and sustained in their office, as assistant presidents to President Joseph Young. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that if Roger Orton will reform and become a good man, he be received and ordained as a member of this presidency. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Samuel Williams be continued and sustained, in his office, as the President of the Elder's Quorum. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Jesse Baker, and Joshua Smith be continued, and sustained as counsellors to President Williams. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Newel K. Whitney and George Miller be continued and sustained in their offices, as Bishops, and Trustees in Trust, to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day-Saints. Carried unanimously.
                Moved and seconded that Alpheus Cutler and Reynolds Cahoon be continued and sustained as Temple Committee. Carried unanimously.

            On the subject of the old Church debts coming, it was moved and seconded that the debts of Kirtland, and Missouri, and the debts that are said to be accrued in consequence of purchasing the Galland tract in Iowa Territory, be dropped, and come up no more, and the Trustees shall be dunned for them no more for ever; neither shall they be sold into the hands of the Gentiles. Carried unanimously.

            Conference then adjourned until 2 o'clock.

[T&S 6:871

            Two o'clock P. M, conference met pursuant to adjournment.

            The choir sung a hymn, which was followed by prayer from Elder Orson Pratt; after which the choir sung another hymn. By request of President Young, Elder Orson Pratt read the revelation, given January 19th, 1841 concerning the building of the Temple, Nauvoo House, &c. After which he read an extract from the Law of the Lord, page 240.

            The chairman then stated that he wanted to lay before the conference, the subject of completing the Nauvoo House, whereupon.

            Elder Phelps moved "that we fulfil the revelation, by completing the Nauvoo House, as soon as possible." Carried unanimously.

            The chairman called for a show of hands from all those who could, and would, take one share of stock in the Nauvoo House, there were so many hands uplifted that they could not possibly be counted.

            He next called for a show of hands from those who could and would, take two shares; quite a large number of hands were shown.

            He then called for a show of hands from all, both male and female, who, after they had done all they could to finish the Temple are willing to sacrifice their all, to finish the Nauvoo House, rather than not to have it done. Every hand was raised in the congregation.

            The President then proclaimed to the conference, that on next Monday, the books for the Nauvoo House Association would be opened in the upper part of the brick store on Water street.

            The conference then adjourned until to morrow at 10 o'clock A. M.

[T&S 8 Apr, 10 am]

[T&S 6:871

            Tuesday, April 8th, 1845. Conference met pursuant to adjournment at 10 A, M. and was addressed by Elders Kimball and Young, upon the propriety of the Saints staying in Hancock county, and in the afternoon Elders Young, Page, and Hyde addressed the assembly.

            Perfect union and harmony prevailed throughout the conference and there was but one dissenting vote in the entire congregation.

            It was motioned by the President, that henceforth and for ever, this city shall be called the "city of Joseph."

            Great praise is due to ex-Marshall A. P. Rockwood, and his associates for their unwearied exertion, to arrange and seat the numberless assembly, for the most perfect order was maintained by them throughout the whole city and the conference-and to the saints universally for seconding their movements.

            On motion conference adjourned until the 6th of October next.

Brigham Young
President.

William Clayton } Clerks of Conference.
Thomas Bullock }....................................

            Elder George D. Watt, whose valuable services to this church as Professor of Phonography, are highly appreciated; has taken down the speeches delivered on this occasion, and they will appear from time to time as circumstances will allow.

Willard Richards
Recorder.

            Never have we seen the time before when the people were more willing to receive and listen to counsel than now. The High Council have only had one case in about seven weeks. Our magistrates have nothing to do. We have little or no use for charter or law. Every man is doing his best to cultivate the ground, and all are anxious to provide things honestly in the sight of all men to honor our God, our country and its laws. Whenever a dispute or difficulty arises, a word from the proper source puts all to right, and no resort to law. May God ever save us from this snare of men, this drainer of the purse, and this fruitful source of contention and strife.

 

[History of the Church 7:391-394]

[HC 6 Apr, 10 am]

[HC 7:391]

Conference Minutes

            'Special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo, April 6, 1845; it being the first day of the sixteenth year (i. e. of the organization of the church).

            The choir sang 'Hark the Jubilee' at quarter past ten o'clock, while the assembly was collecting.

            Present-President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde. Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, John Taylor, John E. Page, Willard Richards, and Amasa M. Lyman of the Quorum of the Twelve-Father John Smith, president of the stake-Bishops Whitney and Miller-the high council-and about twenty-two thousand person: (in attendance) .

            Elder Kimball called the meeting to order at half past ten a.m.; and the choir sang the thirty-first hymn; followed by prayer by Elder Kimball; the choir then sang 'Come All Ye Sons of Zion'.

            The morning was spent in teaching, on the baptism for the dead, by President Young.

            Conference adjourned until two o'clock.

[HC 6 Apr, 2 pm]

[HC 7:391]

            Two o'clock p.m.-Conference met pursuant to adjournment; the forepart of which was taken up by the blessing of children, but owing to the immense number it was found impossible to complete the whole, when it was accordingly dispensed with, and the remainder of the afternoon was occupied in exhortation from the stand, by Elder Page and President Young and the conference adjourned until tomorrow at ten o'clock a.m.

[HC 7 Apr, 10 am*]

[HC 7:391-393]

            Monday, April 7, 1845, ten o'clock a.m.-Conference met pursuant to adjournment; after the conference was seated, in consequence of the high wind, it was thought best to remove into the valley, a little south; and the whole of this immense congregation was removed, and comfortably seated in the short space of about forty minutes. The choir sang 'The Heavenly Vision', and was followed by prayer, by Elder John Taylor, after which the choir sang another hymn. Elder Kimball then arose and stated to the congregation some of the items of business which would be necessary to attend to during the day, viz.: the building of the Temple, and the Nauvoo House; also, to take into consideration all old obligations against the church, which are pouring in like a torrent, also to ascertain the feelings of the people, in regard to sustaining the authorities of the church under the present organization.

            President Brigham Young then arose, and said he would now present the first item of business, which would be to present the authorities of the church for the approval or disapproval of the conference. He also said he wanted to know if the saints are satisfied that Joseph Smith lived and died as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to this church.

The Saints Satisfied with Joseph Smith as a Prophet.

            Whereupon Elder Phelps moved that we accept the labors of Joseph Smith as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to the nineteenth century; and that we are satisfied that he lived according to his profession, and died a martyr to the truth. Carried unanimously.

            Elder Phelps moved that we accept the labors of Hyrum Smith, believing that he lived according to his profession, and died a martyr to the truth. Carried unanimously.

            Elder Phelps moved that this conference accept the Twelve as the First Presidency and leaders of this church. Carried unanimously. [After which each of the Twelve was sustained separately by unanimous vote].

            * * *

Lyman Wight.

            The chairman then observed, concerning the course of Lyman Wight, his feelings are, that we should let him remain for the present, probably hereafter there may be a time that he will hearken to counsel, and do much good which he is capable of-for he is a noble-minded man.

            The chairman then stated that the next item of business would be, to present to the conference, the presidency of the stake; moved and seconded that Patriarch John Smith continue in his office, as president of this stake, and that he be sustained in his office. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Charles C. Rich be continued and sustained in his office of counselor to Father Smith. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that George Miller be continued and sustained in his office, as president of the high priests' quorum. Carried unanimously,

            Moved and seconded that William Snow and Noah Packard be continued and sustained in their office as counselors to President Miller. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Samuel Bent, be continued and sustained in his office as president of the high council. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that George W. Harris, Alpheus Cutler, William Huntington Sen., James Allred, Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Newel Knight, Lewis D. Wilson, David Fullmer, Ezra T. Benson, and Aaron Johnson be continued and sustained in their office as members of the high council. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Joseph Young be continued and sustained as President of the First Presidency of the Seventy. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman, Zerah Pulsipher, Jedediah M. Grant, and Daniel S. Miles be continued and sustained in their office, as Associate Presidents to President Joseph Young. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that if Roger Orton will reform and become a good man, he be received and ordained as a member of this presidency. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Samuel Williams be continued and sustained in his office as the president of the elders' quorum. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Jesse Baker, and Joshua Smith be continued, and sustained as counselors to President Williams. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Newel K. Whitney and George Miller be continued and sustained in their offices as Bishops and Trustees-in-Trust, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Carried unanimously.

            Moved and seconded that Alpheus Cutler and Reynolds Cahoon be continued and sustained as Temple Committee. Carried unanimously.

            On the subject of the old church debts coming, it was moved and seconded that the debts of Kirtland, and Missouri, and the debts that are said to be accrued in consequence of purchasing the Galland tract in Iowa territory, be dropt, and come up no more, and the Trustees shall be dunned for them no more forever;-neither shall they be sold into the hands of the Gentiles. Carried unanimously.

            Conference then adjourned until 2 o'clock.

[HC 7 Apr, 2 pm]

[HC 7:393]

            Two o'clock p.m.-Conference met pursuant to adjournment,

            The choir sang a hymn, which was followed by prayer from Elder Orson Pratt; after which the choir sang another hymn. By request of President Young, Elder Orson Pratt read the revelation, given January 19th, 1841, concerning the building of the Temple, Nauvoo House, etc. After which he read an extract from the Law of the Lord, page 240.

            The chairman then stated that he wanted to lay before the conference, the subject of completing the Nauvoo House, whereupon-

            Elder Phelps moved 'that we fulfill the revelation, by completing the Nauvoo House, as soon as possible.' Carried unanimously.

            The chairman called for a show of hands from all those who could, and would, take one share of stock in the Nauvoo House, there were so many hands uplifted that they could not possibly be counted.

            He next called for a show of hands from those who could and would, take two shares; quite a large number of hands were shown.

            He then called for a show of hands from all, both male and female, who, after they had done all they could to finish the Temple are willing to sacrifice their all, to finish the Nauvoo House, rather than not have it d