Sunday, August 23, 2015

It Wasn’t Cubs

During the Nauvoo years of the Church, what was the group name of boys that were too young to join the Nauvoo Legion, but that could develop military training in preparation for the Nauvoo Legion?
A) Moroni’s Sons
B) Army of Helaman
C) Gadianton’s Gang
D) Sons of Helaman

Yesterday’s answer:
(B) Helping Josiah Stowell find a lost Spanish treasure
We know that Joseph Smith worked for Josiah Stowell in search of a lost Spanish treasure. It’s this activity that led to a disorderly conduct charge in spite of the fact that Joseph Smith was anything but disorderly. What’s ironic is that Joseph Smith was the individual that convinced Josiah to give up his search for the treasure.
The laws at the time (1826) defined actions by “persons pretending. . .to discover where lost goods may be found” as “disorderly.”
James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1992), 41-42.
Additional interesting information:
One of the most interesting descriptions of the Prophet in Missouri was later recorded by Peter H. Burnett, a non-Mormon attorney who helped defend him in the trial in Daviess County in early April:
   Joseph Smith Jr., was at least six feet high, well-formed, and weighed about one hundred and eighty pounds. His appearance was not prepossessing, and his conversational powers were but ordinary. You could see at a glance that his education was very limited. He was an awkward but vehement speaker. In conversation he was slow, and used too many words to express his ideas, and would not generally go directly to a point. But, with all these drawbacks he was much more than an ordinary man. He possessed the most indomitable perseverance, was a good judge of men, and deemed himself born to command, and he did command. His views were so strange and striking, and his manner was so earnest, and apparently so candid, that you could not but be interested. There was a kind, familiar look about him that pleased you. He was very courteous in discussion, readily admitting what he did not intend to controvert, and would not oppose you abruptly, but had due deference to your feelings. He had the capacity for discussing a subject in different aspects, and for proposing many original views, even on ordinary matters. His illustrations were his own. He had great influence over others. As evidence of this I will state that on Thursday, just before I left to return to Liberty, I saw him out among the crowd, conversing freely with every one, and seeming to be perfectly at ease. In the short space of five days he had managed so to mollify his enemies that he could go unprotected among them without the slightest danger. Among the Mormons he had much greater influence than Sidney Rigdon. The latter was a man of superior education, an eloquent speaker, of fine appearance and dignified manners’ but he did not possess the native intellect of Smith, and lacked his determined will.
Peter H. Burnett, Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880), 66-67.

This summer I played my first game of ball with the Prophet. We took turns knocking and chasing the ball, and when the game was over the Prophet said, “Brethren, hitch up your teams”; which we did, and we all drove to the woods. I drove our one-horse wagon standing on the front bolster, and Brother Joseph and father rode on the hounds behind. There were 39 teams in the group and we gathered wood until our wagons were loaded. When our wagon was loaded, Brother Joseph offered to pull sticks with anyone—and he pulled them all up one at a time—with anyone who wanted to compete with him. Afterwards, the Prophet sent the wagons out to different places of people who needed help; and he told them to cut the wood for the Saints who needed it. Everybody loved to do as the Prophet said, even though we were sickly, and death was all around us, folks smiled and tried to cheer everyone up. In those days it seemed that we were all of the blood of Israel, and we were more willing to help our neighbor. In these days, it seems that the man who has the most money is the only hog worthy of notice. As the prophet Moroni said: “Their wail is, ‘Yea Zion prosper, all is well’”. Those who can yell it the loudest are the ones most sought after, while the meek and humble followers of Christ are cast down to earth with their bodies laid across a ditch for the nobility to cross over on. It reminds me of hypocritical Israel worshipping the golden-calf. . . . while the God of Heaven was giving His Holy Laws, ‘Thou shalt have no other God before Me’. I ask myself this question, “What are the people worshipping today? Is it the golden calf or the image of the beast?” Suppose we go back a few years to the time when Grover Cleveland was president. At that time, three Church leaders went to ask him if he would use his influence to have the persecutions against the Saints stopped. His reply was, “I wish you people up there would do as we do down here”. Did all of them do it? No, just one, who wanted to play politics. And I noticed the other day in a paper where this man met with a brilliant party, an honored and petted one of the land. Why? I asked myself. “Is it because he obeyed the thing called the law of the land instead of what I thought was the law of God?” I asked myself, “What am I? I seem as if I am not fit to be even a hewer of wood or a drawer of water for such gentry. What shall I do or where shall I go to find refuge? Shall I give up my choice friends that I have loved so long, and take up my abode with the outcasts of Israel, and patiently await the time of the Lord?” These are serious thoughts on my part.
Autobiography of Mosiah Hancock, Typescript, BYU-S; http://www.boap.org/

November 6, 1835- Joseph Smith met a man from the eastern United States who was disappointed that Joseph Smith the Prophet “was nothing but a normal man.”

Smith, Joseph Jr. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Edited by B. H. Roberts, 2d, ed., rev. 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971), 2: 302.

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